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How to start a career in FinTech – Best tips to succeed

The buzz around FinTech has grown even louder. The FinTech industry in Malaysia has witnessed one of the fastest growth rates transforming it into a thriving new sector.

The sector’s meteoric rise is largely due to the development of FinTech supported by the huge number of new entrants, as well as established banks and tech giants. With extensive support from the government, the hiring sentiments of FinTech firms in Malaysia continue to show a positive outlook despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Coupled with the fact that certain sectors are still in the recovery phase, there is little surprise that many professionals are looking to break into Fintech.

There is no better time than now to join this fast-emerging sector. So here’s everything you need to know to navigate towards the FinTech fast train.

Looking to start a career in FinTech or in need of FinTech talents to support your FinTech operations? Work with a FinTech specialised employment agency to get expert advice on the next step to take.

Getting to know the FinTech industry

With the proliferation of the internet, there are various educational resources online that could provide credible and useful information. Stay up to date to current FinTech trends with these FinTech news hubs to have a more in-depth understanding of this industry. It is crucial to understand the industry you are getting into before applying for roles. Interviewers will want to see some knowledge and depth to your application. Merely researching the company is insufficient, understanding the industry as a whole is imperative to get a better grasp of what you are signing up for.

Technical skills For an industry that is driving innovation in the financial segment, it is natural that candidates are expected to be equipped with solid hard skills as an entry criterion. Programming skills The ability to code is one of the most sought-after skills in the FinTech industry. Even outside of this niche industry, programming skills are required pretty much everywhere. Professionals who possess the ability to code can consider applying for these financial technology jobs:

  • Website developer (Full-stack)

  • Application developer

  • Application maintenance

  • UX/UI Designer

  • Products APIs

AI and Machine Learning The collection of data is made possible with the incorporation of technology in the services provided. This vast amount of data holds great potential and unlocks doors to more opportunities in terms of increased customisation of services, improved efficiency, and performance of processes. Professionals who are looking to join the FinTech sector will be expected to be proficient at data science toolkits and visualisation tools, alongside query languages and SQL databases.

Cybersecurity Research has shown that FinTech firms are more likely to invest a greater amount of resources in the cybersecurity space as a large bulk of their operations run on the web. A study by Accenture shows that financial organisations are the ones to suffer the most from cybercrime, with total costs sitting at $18 million for 2017. To defend the company from these malicious cyber threats, cybersecurity professionals are highly sought after by all FinTech organisations.

Blockchain technology A majority of the financial firms are harnessing Blockchain technology in their asset management, claim settlements, and asset transfers. In addition, the growing popularity of Bitcoin has caused the cryptocurrency market to grow leaps and bounds. As such, many FinTech firms are looking to ride the wave and hire more professionals who are well versed in Blockchain technology. Related article: For more information on the top in-demand skills in the FinTech industry.

Soft skills

With the technical skills covered, it only guarantees an entry to the job. In contrast to the banking sector, rigidity in finance is a liability in tech. Due to the nature of the industry, it demands candidates to have their soft skills developed to achieve long-term success. Traits such as openness and creativity are highly appreciated in the FinTech industry. Interpersonal skills Working in the FinTech space requires lots of collaboration and working in teams. An example is the role of a software designer and developer, where it demands cooperation, communication, and team leadership skills to succeed. It is imperative to build strong bonds within the team to encourage productive collaboration and constructive feedback. Adaptability All professionals in the FinTech space understand how dynamic and fast-changing the industry is. A new technological invention can cause many things to become obsolete and that includes employees as well. To survive in FinTech, individuals must be prepared to accept new changes such as pick up a new programming skill or working in a completely new environment. One should not be bogged down by traditional practices because resistance to change can be a career-killer. Creativity and Problem-solving skills FinTech being a relatively young industry, many technological, legal, and regulatory challenges and unpredictable events are common. FinTech professionals are expected to have analytical and critical thinking skills that can help them find creative solutions to these problems. Also, a huge part of FinTech is the search for opportunities to improve on existing processes and results. Hence, employees should be proactive in seeking innovative solutions.

Dive Deeper into your area of interest

FinTech can be a huge industry with many different job opportunities. After understanding the basic workings of FinTech and your strengths, this information can aid you in deciding on an area of your interest that you could see yourself working long-term in. Once you have identified your specialisation, work towards that specific direction and evolve in it. FinTech firms would appreciate candidates who have honed their skills in a niche domain of FinTech as compared to a candidate who is a jack of all trades.

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