Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

The best courses for fintech jobs

Thinking of making the jump into fintech? Whether you're coming from traditional finance or FAANG, nobody adapts seamlessly. In order to bridge that gap and expand your horizons, you might want to consider one of those fintech courses you're starting to see pop up worldwide.

But which of these are the best? Who has taken them and gone on to great things? Is it worth taking one at all? Below is a look at all the major players and what they have to offer.

Oxford Fintech Programme - Oxford Univeristy

Duration: 6 weeks

Cost: £2,200 ($2,636)

One of the earliest major universities to adopt a fintech program was Oxford. Co-founded by former Citi MD Huy Nguyen Trieu, the course gives prospective fintech employees the lay of the land in the financial technology space and an introduction to entrepreneurship.

One of the program's key strengths is its extensive range of visitors and contributors. “it’s important to bring in people that can share their experiences: case studies, testimonials, entrepreneurs that used to be bankers." Nguyen Trieu says, "It’s much easier when someone has gone through the journey and shares their experiences.”

Among their top contributors are Jeremy Allaire, CEO of blockchain unicorn Circle, Rita Martins, HSBC's head of fintech partnerships and Ricky Knox, founder of digibank Tandem Bank.

Who has taken the course?

Louise Smith, a graduate of the fintech course, was made chair of the UK board of directors at payments giant Stripe this December. Not all graduates leave traditional finance however; Dil Nawaz Rafiq, formerly a senior associate at JPMorgan, graduated the course and became an executive director at Goldman Sachs for technology in London.

Fintech Certificate Program - Harvard University

Duration: 6 weeks

Price: $2,800

Another of the top universities to offer a fintech course is Harvard. While the Oxford appears more focused on the experience of those in fintech, this course takes a broader look at the industry, the technologies in use and how innovations are changing the financial system.

Among the course instructors is Christopher Malloy, research partner at investment management firm Arrowstreet Capital. The course takes a "Case Method Approach" and will present its students with "real-life challenges that reflect the complex, dynamic nature of the FinTech environment. "

Who has taken the course?

Within the traditional banking world, one alumnus is Fariba Akrami, an SVP for digital payments and AML compliance at Citi. Another high profile graduate is Das Dasgupta, a former McKinsey associate principal and Amazon's former director and head of North America for customer experience. In fintech one notable alumni is Vincent Borgne, formerly transactions fintech SWIFT's head of data & analytics, now founder of crypto research firm Blockchain Economics.

Fintech: Shaping The Financial World - MIT Open Learning

Duration: N.A

Price: Free

Looking for a taste of fintech without having to splash big cash? MIT's open courseware presents you an opportunity to learn the many different forms a fintech can take from a high profile source.

The course is conducted by Gary Gensler, current chair of the securities and exchange commission and former Goldman Sachs co-head of finance.

Within the module are classes on AI in finance, blockchain and crypto, challenger banks and payments. The purpose of the course is to teach students "the key technologies, market structure, participants, regulation and the dynamics of change being brought about by FinTech."

Who has taken the course?

One of the major names to have taken this course is Arman Kamran, CIO of AI and machine learning solutions provider Prima Recon. One alumnus currently working in fintech is Malta based Marco Toppano, design manager for Maltese challenger bank MeDirect.

FinTech and the Transformation in Financial Services - Copenhagen Business School (via Coursera)

Duration: Flexible (19 hours of content)

Price: Free

Another free course established on mainland Europe comes from the Copenhagen Business School. It aims to educate students on the competitive dynamics transformed by digitization while learning from top companies and "inspirational examples from the digital masters."

The course is rated 4.3 stars out of 5 with over 1000 ratings. A notable point of concern made by a reviewer in September is that "all the reading materials were published in 2017." They say, "this is not sufficiently up-to-date for a fast moving area like Fiintech."

Who has taken the course?

This course has a number of graduates still working in financial services. One of the most notable is Liting Tan, a director of mass market propositions for Barclays in London. Rohan Gupta, senior group product manager for payments unicorn Paytm, is another graduate.

Master of Finance in Financial Technology - HKU Business School

Duration: 1-2 years

Price: HK$462k ($58.8k)

For those not yet in full time work or looking to take a break from it, a more intensive course might be more up to your speed. For Asia based students or those willing to locate, the Hong Kong University Business School offers one of the more comprehensive courses for financial technology.

The degree consists of 12 courses: 9 core, 2 elective and one capstone. The core aspects feature modules like blockchain and cryptocurrency, machine learning and AI, mathematical techniques and quantitative trading. Elective courses include natural language processing and entrepreneurship. 

Among the course's faculty are Ph.D. graduates from MIT and LSE as well as Henri Arslanian, managing partner at crypto asset management firm Nine Blocks.

Who has taken the course?

As a more intensive and dedicated course, fewer senior professionals have taken this course.  As part of the course you are afforded opportunities for placements, however. On such a placement right now is William Ngai, currently working on data and analytics at Citi. Daric Li, currently studying the course, is a poduct manager for CDIO investment banking at UBS, having previously worked at Deloitte and DBS bank.

Miscellanious - CFTE

The Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepeneurship provides a range of courses on AI, payments, entrepeneurship and open banking. The courses are as short as 40 minutes or as long as long as 10 weeks. As with the Oxford course, the emphasis here is on learning fromt the experience of guests brought in across the financial spectrum such as Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden and Citi's chief innovation officer Philip Watson.

They also offer extrapreneurships where students are afforded the opportunity to work on interesting projects for startups. 

Who has taken the course?

Nguyen Trieu says that “50-60% of participants are in traditional finance and intend to stay there" while "the rest of the 40 has a lot of people coming from fintech startups and tech companies.”

Many traditional finance alumni are at Citi, including Singapore based executive director Joseph Lee who studied AI in finance and London based director Albert Martinez Vila, who studied the same course as Lee alongside a fintech foundation course.

Should you take these courses?

With so many options, which is the right one to pick? Is there a right one at all? It depends on your situation and your experience. If you see it as an instant foot in the fintech door, I'm afraid there's bad news.

"People are not going to get jobs by saying they've done these courses" says Shawn Rutter, managing director for fintech recruitment firm Excelsior Search, "but they're good for giving people an insight into and demonstrating they are serious about developing their career in the area."

In that regard, the extrapreneurships at CFTE might have the edge, as Rutter says "You still can’t beat work experience. If I want to hire someone into a particular area I’ll still be looking closer at that."

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Comment ANONYMOUSLY on articles and make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance. 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: alex.mcmurray@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. 

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

Sign up to our Newsletter

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Jobs
Deutsche Bank
Group Strategic Analytics (GSA) Quantitative Strat
Deutsche Bank
London, United Kingdom
Wellington Management Company, LLP
Equities Trader
Wellington Management Company, LLP
Singapore
Lake Street Executive Search
Multi-Asset Portfolio Manager
Lake Street Executive Search
Hong Kong
PER, Private Equity Recruitment
Senior Associate, FoodTech Venture Capital Fund, London, UK
PER, Private Equity Recruitment
London, United Kingdom
Global Head of Financial Risk
London, United Kingdom

Sign up to our Newsletter

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.