Financial technology, or FinTech as it’s more commonly known, is revolutionising the finance industry. While many of the functions of financial services remain the same – people still need loans and pay money for goods – the way things are getting done behind the scenes is changing rapidly.
Through specialised software and algorithms, banks and businesses use technology to make their operations and processes easier. Consumer-oriented innovations are also popping up, from mobile wallets like AliPay to online health insurance platform Oscar, to personal loan provider Avant.
For business and finance students, this opens a whole new dimension to explore. As a Stern School of Business student said to US News, FinTech has the “potential to disrupt every vertical within the financial services industry.”
Since many of the industry’s new major players are FinTech companies, Finance Professor at the Stern School of Business, David Yermack, said: “Really students are going to have no choice but to learn this material in five or 10 years.”
Yermack recommends that students start now. We agree – and on that note, here are 4 FinTech degrees at US universities that aspiring business and finance students should check out:
MIT’s Sloan School of Management, together with the Ivy League’s engineering department and Harvard Law School, launched its first FinTech course in 2016. Called ‘Fintech Ventures’, it’s the first graduate-level course covering financial technology applications in the United States.
Applications such as cryptocurrencies, consumer finance and trading systems are covered by entrepreneurs, legal experts and venture capitalists in the seven-week course. The course is best suited to entrpreneurial types, keen to “work through the nuts and bolts of developing, investing in or acquiring a FinTech startup”.
This is a course tailored to those who want to combine business-oriented coursework with applications-focused Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) courses. The FinTech concentration lets students explore machine learning and data analytics with an emphasis on financial time series analysis, a foundation that prepares learners for a future career in finance and tech companies.
From the business school with some of the most well-defined FinTech courses in the country, this online course is a 15-week programme that focuses on six key FinTech areas: innovation, technology, incumbents versus startups, valuation, risk and implications.
Taught by Clinical Associate Professor of Finance Kathleen DeRose, the course will be split across video lectures, readings and assessments to facilitate learning. There’s also the option of attending live video sessions with the professor where additional questions and topics will be addressed.
FinTech is much more than the technology that makes it happen. Laws and regulations matter too, and this five-week course aims to familiarise beginners with the key legal and regulatory challenges faced by FinTech firms in various sectors. It will cover the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies, as well as financial account aggregators.