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Once the realm of stodgy bankers, the financial services industry is changing rapidly as young software engineers breathe new life into the sector. That’s good news for customers and even better news for job seekers. The emerging financial tech industry, known as fintech, is the perfect place for tech-savvy creative thinkers who want to disrupt a market ripe for change.
Disruption has upended many industries, but financial services has remained stuck in traditions that date back to the aftermath of the Great Depression. Customers have to jump through hoops to get loans and put up with crappy web and mobile platforms. And their patience is wearing thin.
The multitrillion-dollar global financial industry is about to get flipped on its head. Thanks to high-performance computing, lending judgments no longer need to rest on bankers’ intuition.
Instead, statisticians, mathematicians, and software engineers can use smart algorithms to recognize patterns, make accurate calls, and ultimately provide better service.
FinTech Offers Great Opportunities
To meet customer demand and produce radically different products, FinTech needs new perspectives. You don’t have to have a background in finance to flourish in the industry.
Companies are looking for out-of-the-box thinkers who can change the status quo, dismantle and rebuild processes, and see things from the customer’s point of view.
As FinTech companies bolster their ranks, creative technologists should seize opportunities in the industry. Here are just a few benefits of entering the industry:
1. Financial Rewards
When tech succeeds in providing better results and customer service, the financial rewards are huge. For example, quantitative high-frequency trading systems are helping investment firms improve their returns, and robo-advisers such as Wealthfront are doing the same for individual investors. Both of these innovations are resulting in astronomical valuations while dramatically improving the industry.
2. The Chance to Shape Change
Companies such as Mint and Simple are incorporating intelligent algorithms into retail banking, and that trend will only accelerate as customers embrace these new platforms. By entering the FinTech industry now, workers can help shape the future instead of watching it pass them by.
3. Rewarding Work
FinTech isn’t ultimately about ones and zeros. The right technology helps customers understand what’s actually happening with their money so they make better financial decisions, and it can change their lives for the better. This makes for incredibly rewarding work.
4. Awesome Co-workers
Traditionally, the finance industry has been all about the Benjamins. This encouraged employees to make self-serving decisions and resulted in poor product design and UX. But most people in FinTech care less about money and more about changing the world. It’s exhilarating to commit to this mission together.
Collaborating with team members is so much more fun than fighting them tooth-and-nail for the biggest paycheck.
5. Fast Pace
Because FinTech is so young, few firms have claimed a dominant foothold. Even leading firms such as Prosper, Square, and Betterment are pretty tiny in the grand scheme of things. This means the entire space is moving with incredible speed as agile upstarts make the giants sweat.
6. Leadership Opportunities: Followers need not apply. As a rapidly evolving industry, FinTech offers the perfect environment for people who want to be leaders. If you aren’t afraid to be bold and slash a new path through the jungle of finance, you’ll find your place in FinTech.
7. Great Culture: PwC’s NextGen study found that Millennials care deeply about team cohesion, work/life balance, and supervisor support and appreciation. Because many industries haven’t yet caught up to their needs, they are the least engaged generation in the workplace. But FinTech offers the kind of culture Millennials dream of: flexible schedules, collaborative communication technologies, and progressive cultural benefits.
The finance industry is undergoing dramatic and exciting changes. Now is the perfect time to get your foot in the door. If you have any experience in technology, math, or statistics, you have the right background for FinTech. Play up these skills on your resume, and start investigating industry players. The financial services revolution won’t happen overnight, but it’s going to be a great decade for anyone who isn’t afraid to think about old problems in new ways.
Image by Domiriel via Flickr