According to James Milligan, senior business director for IT and talent solutions at Hays, fintech is something of a buzzword at the moment, and everyone wants a bit of the fintech pie.
He said that fintech, at its core, encompasses small and medium-sized companies that use disruptive technology and innovation to change the way financial transactions take place.
Larger organisations, however, are determinedly claiming a piece of fintech. It’s a growth industry, according to Milligan, and those big companies are anxious not to miss out on the hype.
That lends itself to a huge number of job opportunities, ranging from the typical technology roles – project managers, developers, testers and analysts – all the way to highly-specialised positions.
“Some of the more interesting roles that Hays have had have been, for example, things like cryptocurrency engineers, who have good familiarity with bitcoin,” said Milligan. “Or we get specialist roles within financial services where there’s very specific software packages that they’re using. Things like Calypso or MIG21, where we’re looking for individuals with very specific skillsets.”
While this may sound skewed towards those who live and breathe code, people may be surprised at the broad range of backgrounds of those working in the fintech arena.
According to Carmel Mitchell, human resources director at Fidelity Investments, opportunities exist in fintech even for those without a qualification in a tech field.
“We have hired people into technology roles that may not have technology as their primary degree, and they have completed conversion programmes to equip them with the skills to work in their field,” said Mitchell.
Further to that, roles in fintech are not confined to technology-based positions. In addition to the more expected roles in development and analytics, many companies are seeing an increased need to expand support services and human resources teams.
‘The whole area of fintech is developing at a furious pace’
– GRAHAM HEALY
At Accenture, Graham Healy, Accenture’s MD with responsibility for fintech, sees increasing reliance on digital products as a contributing factor in the move away from a tight focus on pure tech.
“The financial services sector is undergoing a shift away from physical location towards digital products and services that mesh with customers’ increasing use of mobile technology, so people with backgrounds in digital marketing, analytics and CRM are also in demand, as well as more traditional financial services and technology skills.”
Additional to new roles, a number of possibilities for advancement exist within companies, too, meaning that, once on the fintech ladder, an employee will be able to gain experience across a range of specialities.
Sinead Nevin, lead resource consultant at IFDS, said: “If I’m looking at my roles here, a lot of the reasons why I’ve got roles are because internal people have progressed their career within the company. So, for example, you can start off as a QA analyst, and you can move into business analysis.”
Fintech is, relatively speaking, still in its early days, and shifts in the sector are driving changes in recruitment patterns and bringing certain skills and roles to the forefront.
“The whole area of fintech is developing at a furious pace and we are helping financial services clients become more user-centric as the huge leap in digital customisation has changed customer expectations dramatically, such as [consumers] expecting to apply for products completely online without having to sign a piece of paper, or transferring payments via mobile technology,” added Accenture’s Healy.
These new requirements are creating a demand for those experienced in cybersecurity and payments.
Fidelity, too, is seeing dramatic increases in cybersecurity roles, noting that it has increased hiring over the last year in the area of risk and threat intelligence.
No matter what roles and trends we discuss here, however, the thing about a growing industry is that it’s impossible to predict where it will go next.
Sinead Nevin at IFDS summed that up most succinctly: “I don’t really know what we’re going to be looking for. It’s hard to know what we’re going to be looking for at the end of this year, never mind longer term.”
Perhaps, though, we can rest assured that – regardless of what shape they take in the future – fintech roles won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
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