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How To Start A Career In FinTech

 

FinTech is all the rave right now. With innovative solutions getting out to the market every single day, and unicorns getting minted every other year, this space is bubbling. A growing number of people want to get a slice of all the action.


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One way to do this would be to make a career right there—in FinTech. If you took this path, you could join a team that’s creating some market-moving products, or work with a traditional bank that’s fashioning digital branches.

But how do you get a foot in the door?

There’s no single well-defined path to a career in FinTech. That’s partly because the industry has so many possible roles within it. You could be on the engineering end of things, where you’ll build things. Or you could be a data analyst, and try to make sense of the numbers pouring into your employer all the time.

But whatever you choose to do within FinTech, there are points you can’t skip on the road to a career there. Those points are explained here, in what is a brief guide to starting a career in FinTech.

So here’s our guide to launching out to the financial technology space.

Step One: Decide What Role You’ll Want To Play

As we’ve hinted, there’s a lot you can do within the FinTech setup. You have to be certain where you want to fit in. Would you be an engineer or a cybersecurity person? Would you work as a financial analyst, or be on the data-crunching end of things?

Also, you should think about whether you’d prefer to work for a bank, an established startup, or a venture that’s just starting. Note that the approach to work may differ across these options. Find out which one suits you best.

Step Two: Get Educated

In the old days, you’d probably have needed a degree in a relevant field of study to get a job in finance. This isn’t the case with FinTech—at least not for many roles within it. If you take the requisite courses online, the door could be a quarter opened to you already.


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You should begin with introductory courses in FinTech. There are plenty of those on open-source learning platforms like EdX and Coursera. Take them to get a good understanding of what Fintech is really about.

Step Three: Speak To People In FinTech

While learning from online and other courses is important, there’s no substitute for the insight that insiders have on the topic. It is one thing to study the field, and quite another to experience it, especially with respect to local realities.

You don’t have to reach out to people at the top (although getting through to them will help immensely). Middle and lower-level people in the industry will have gained knowledge that you can use.

After taking the courses and speaking with people in the thick of the action, you should assess your findings, and decide whether this is something you’d like to carry on with.

Step Four: Learn Your Specialty

If you decide that FinTech is for you, the next step would be to zero in on the role you wish to play and sharpen the skills needed for it. So if you’re going to be an engineer, you’ll want to get good at it, learn to build projects, and stack your portfolio. And if you’d like to focus on cybersecurity, you’ll want to take relevant courses and get certified.

Some of these learning opportunities are available for free. Others, especially the more advanced ones, may come at a cost. Find out what’s needed, and take the steps required to earn the right qualifications.

Step Five: Apply For A Job

Once you’re done with learning and getting certified, it’ll be time to scout for a job. It could be an entry-level role or something higher up the pecking order. It all depends on how much work experience you’ve gathered before moving into FinTech.

Scour job boards for openings. Also, keep in touch with online communities where these opportunities may be shared. Being on regular speaking terms with industry insiders helps too (where this is possible). With the right qualifications and a good deal of persistence, you could get the job you’ve always wanted.

Final Words

You can begin your journey to a career in FinTech today. The first step is always to decide that you’ll explore it as a serious option. Hopefully, you’ll succeed in your pursuit.

Featured Image Source: Great Learning


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Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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