A Sign of the Times: Modern Roles in Finance
The lucrative emerging jobs shaping the financial sector
Finance- meet your little brother, Fintech
Financial technology, more commonly known as Fintech, is among the fastest growing areas in technology innovation. It is expected to grow exponentially and significantly reshape the financial landscape in upcoming years. According to Fintech Global, in 2018 the global Fintech sector raised an astonishing $41.7 billion dollars in investments. And according to PwC’s 2017 Global Fintech Report, “82% of incumbents expect to increase FinTech partnerships in the next 3-5 years.” So, even if you’re not inclined to switch careers, it’s important to get to know the players you’ll probably have to partner up and engage with in the not so distant future.
“You have to...re-imagine how money can be managed and moved because there’s going to be more change in the next five years in financial services than happened in the past 30.” -Dan Schulman, CEO, PayPal
There is currently substantially greater demand than there is a supply of qualified fintech workers, and it is highly likely that in this market potential candidates will continue to hold the upper hand over employers. Demand for knowledge workers in areas such as blockchain, data science, and machine learning is high. These modern jobs require finance professionals to adopt new skills and become fluent in the language of technology. Whoever masters this combination will join the ranks of the lucky few whose careers will be promising, challenging, and lucrative.
As Fintech advances, demand for qualified workers is expected to remain high and supply low. Accordingly, salaries will reflect this discrepancy.
It’s important to be aware of where the financial job market is heading as existing jobs begin to disappear and new ones arrive. And as fintech advances, with demand continuing to remain high and supply low, salaries will reflect this discrepancy. For all the aforementioned reasons, we cover below some of the top and top-paying fintech roles.
1. Blockchain Experts and Developers
Blockchain technology has a promising future in the world of finance. For example smart contracts, based on a blockchain network, allow for the performance of credible transactions without the involvement of third parties. This has the potential to substitute and antiquate many intermediary roles such as brokers and banking institutions. In a 2017 Global FinTech Report conducted by PwC, it was proposed that “77% of financial institutions expect to adopt blockchain as part of an in production system or process by 2020”.
A blockchain developer is a software developer who works with blockchain technology. They are responsible for the full lifecycle of blockchain applications, from research to execution. Talent in this field is scarce, resulting in salaries that are at least 10-20% higher than those offered for normal jobs. With an average of 14 job offerings per blockchain developer, I’d say the odds are in their favor.
2. App Specialists (Developers and Architects) The main role of app specialists is application and software design, as app specialists guide the product lifecycle from start to finish. This includes the design process as well as creating, testing, and introducing the app. App specialists also modify existing software and troubleshoot any software related issues that may arise. 3. Data Scientists Finance departments today depend heavily on data science for simplifying decision making and coming up with better solutions for various issues. Data scientists help connect the dots between hundreds of thousands of sources of information, and in turn produce better and oftentimes more efficient solutions for clients.
Today, with huge amounts of existing data, data scientists are the ones who tell us what it all means. As a result data scientists, data analysts, and analytics specialist are in great demand, and command high compensation accordingly. According to Glassdoor, Data Scientist is ranked as the #1 job in the US for 2019. Glassdoor’s ranking takes into consideration position average salary, number of open positions, and average job satisfaction of employees in the role.
4. Cybersecurity Experts
While ushering in innovation, technology also precipitates a novel level of risk that organizations need to combat. With more financial data being stored and transferred digitally come increasing numbers of cyber attacks and hackings. Unfortunately, the cyberskills security gap is large and growing. As such, organizations are willing to expend lots of money to bring in people capable of protecting their online assets and data. According to Forbes, “cybersecurity professionals report an average salary of $116,000, nearly three times the national median income for full-time wage and salary workers.”
Refashioning the old to usher in the new
Many long-lasting finance roles will endure, but with a makeover. Compliance and risk management for example, two important areas in finance, will become increasingly important and therefore lucrative. Given the influence of technology, the required skillset for these well-paying roles will include a modern twist. We explain below:
5. Risk Control Managers Risk managers analyze and control a business’s financial exposure. Evaluating and determining degrees of risk is a building block of the financial world. In the modern world, data science is a key asset allowing financial institutions to build quicker and better risk decision processes and assessments.
Credit rating agencies and credit scoring companies like FICO already rely on data science and machine learning to gain instant data on borrowers. For example, they use logistic regression to predict the risk of customers and separate good borrowers from bad ones. Updating long-lasting roles to the technological world is necessary to ensure they meet modern day conditions.
6. Compliance Experts The greater the role of technology the more compliance experts will be needed. The need for and significance of regulation is only growing as technology presents novel challenges for rules and regulations- new regulations are increasingly introduced and stricter regulations are necessary.
New platforms are already challenging the way things are done.
In addition to fintech roles, many fintech platforms and technologies are already changing the way finance work is done. Here are just a few platforms you may see integrated in, changing, or replacing financial workplace processes soon:
Blockchain platform Symbiont is a leading smart contracts platform. With Symbiont, institutions can rely on a unified ledger for business information and market data. The blockchain platform can be used to create financial instruments, including loans and securities, in a digital form. Reduce risk, secure data, and save costs by building a network for sharing data. Payment platform Payoneer’s cross-border payments platform helps businesses pay and get paid on a global scale as easily as they do in their own city. With Payoneer, go beyond the borders of your country by easily managing multiple vendors, pay suppliers, and access working capital from all around the world with ease. Platforms such as Payoneer usher in new competition for banks and traditional lending institutions.
Automation platform DataRails revolutionize the way FP&A work is done by automating tedious consolidation processes for Excel-based data. With their patented technology DataRails consolidates and stores all your Excel-based data on a cloud-based centralized database. Save time, money, and effort, all without changing the way you work. DataRails enhances the way finance departments, particularly FP&A professionals, work and extract insights.
Lending platform Kabbage is a novel lending platform that, along with payment platforms such as Payoneer, rivals traditional financial services. Kabbage offers a simpler way to fund businesses by allowing individuals to qualify for up to 250,000 dollars in credit within 10 minutes. By eliminating the exhausting process of securing credit, Kabbage gives small and emerging businesses the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Get ready, get set, go! Like it or not, the race is on.
Traditional finance, and finance professionals, need to adapt or be overtaken by innovation. To end, I will leave you with this quote from David M. Brear, a partner from Think Differently Group. While he speaks specifically about banking, his words resonate with the finance industry as a whole.
“Technological innovations will be the heart and blood of the banking industry for many years to come and if big banks do not make the most of it, the new players from FinTech and large technology companies surely will.” -David M Brear, Partner, Think Differently Group