5 careers driving fintech

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Financial technology, or fintech, has rapidly changed the way the world works by making financial services like credit, lending, payments and insurance more accessible for consumers.

Fintech has shifted the world away from having to step inside a bank branch to make a deposit. It’s the tech that’s eliminated the need to balance a checkbook and carry cash every day. Any time you’ve placed an online order or sent money to a friend via an app on your mobile phone? All because of fintech.

And as digital is now the new norm, fintech is becoming more mainstream with a growing number of companies adopting it to stay competitive. In fact, fintech investments rose to over $55 billion in 2018.

How can you make your mark in fintech and get the chance to work on advancements like JPMorgan’s AI-powered virtual assistant? By stepping into a role that suits you and your talents best. Here are five fintech careers to get you started.

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Cybersecurity engineer

Digital attacks are becoming more innovative and sophisticated every year, pushing companies to proactively defend against them (and be able to recover from them).

ImmuniWeb, a web security company, set out to pinpoint security flaws for 100 of the world’s largest banks. Their results show that 97% of these banks are vulnerable to web and mobile app attacks, with 92% of mobile banking apps having at least one medium-risk security vulnerability. And as the cost of a data breach averaged $3.9 million in 2019, there’s no question as to why cybersecurity engineers in fintech are sought after.

Implementing and following the right measures is necessary to safeguard data and systems. Using a combination of modern security techniques and tools (e.g., malware protection, firewalls), a solid cyber incident response plan and training for members across the organization, cybersecurity engineers are key to protecting sensitive data for both companies and clients.

Data scientist 

From basic client information to behavior usage patterns to millions of credit card transactions, fintech companies house massive amounts of data. Beyond needing this data to keep business running, companies rely on data scientists to extract meaning from it to make smarter decisions that accelerate growth, increase revenue and cut costs.

Fintech companies also realize the power of machine learning to rise above the competition. This means data scientists skilled in applying machine learning-based approaches, such as fraud detection, robo-advisors (automated online advisors) and algorithmic trading (the use of algorithms to conduct trades), are integral to success.

Lemonade, a not-so-average insurance company, is a prime example of how data science can drive change for traditionally non-tech companies. Powered by AI and machine learning, this company has replaced the need for brokers with a bot named Maya, and innovations around fraud mitigation and risk analysis.

Want to take your data science career further? Check out the top five tech skills employers want most in data scientists.

Blockchain developer

Originally created to support Bitcoin, blockchain technology (a digital ledger to record transactions) has taken off as a secure way to exchange data, information and money. In fact, blockchain in the fintech market is expected to grow from $231 million in 2017 to $6.7 billion by 2023.

With the crypto and blockchain market rapidly growing (the share of US job postings related to crypto, blockchain and Bitcoin grew 90% from February 2018 to February 2019), employers are looking for blockchain developers that can fill demand.

There are two different types of blockchain developers: core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers. Core blockchain developers are mainly responsible for the design, architecture and security of a blockchain system using languages like Rust, C++ and Java. On the other hand, blockchain software developers build decentralized applications (or Dapps) using blockchain tech and programming languages (e.g., Python, Java, C#). 

Product manager

From day-to-day details to big-picture vision, product managers define product vision and build out a strategy for long-term success. They lead cross-functional teams from concept to launch with a goal of maximizing revenue and creating value for users.

Product management is a little different in fintech versus other industries in that there’s a stronger focus on compliance and security, including data privacy and accounting accuracy. And on top of collaborating across engineering, design and marketing teams (like product managers do in any industry), PMs in fintech also communicate with departments such as legal, portfolio risk, capital markets and financial operations.

Cloud engineer

Fintech companies are adopting cloud technology to drive efficiency across business functions, scale to meet user demands and cut down on costs. Operating in the cloud also means that fintech companies can ramp up cybersecurity to better manage threats (e.g., data leakage, confidentiality breaches) and recover from disasters.

According to a survey of banks, a mere 3% said they didn’t have a cloud strategy in place. To make the transition to being a digital business, these companies call on cloud engineers skilled in cloud-specific technologies like AWS and Azure.

Where do cloud engineers get paid the most? Check out our list of the 10 top cities for high cloud engineer salaries.

Capital One’s cloud-first strategy, for instance, was designed to align with long-term business goals. Today it supports over 8,000 apps and services in the cloud and makes it possible to use machine learning to more efficiently deploy and operate those apps.

Launch your fintech career and make your mark

As more companies find new ways to scale, meet the needs of consumers and improve the delivery of financial services, fintech careers will only become more in demand from here on out.

Remember, it’s easy to associate banking with fintech first and foremost, but the industry also encompasses insurance, investment management, blockchain, ecommerce and payment platforms, which means more opportunity to find a fintech career you love.

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