Specialised FinTech track in ESSEC’S Master in Finance places students at the forefront of the digital finance revolution.
In this age of ever-evolving digitalization, financial technology or FinTech is revolutionizing global financial systems – and beyond. Not only has FinTech transformed how financial institutions assess risk, make decisions and manage operations, it has also paved the way for digital start-ups to thrive with analytics- and data-based finesse. Even the largest social media, food, and retail companies are riding this new wave by providing seamless, unified experiences at consumers’ fingertips.
This illustrates why nearly US$100 billion has flowed into FinTech ventures since 2010, with investment ballooning from US$1.89 in 2010 to US$27 billion in 2017*. This increase in FinTech spending is expected to continue as the Asia-Pacific and African markets are driving a significant share of market growth.
Finance professionals who stand on the cutting edge of this movement, therefore, are in rising demand. Recognizing the acceleration of FinTech and how it infiltrates almost every aspect of the real world, ESSEC has recently added a FinTech track to its highly-regarded Master in Finance (MIF) program.
“We are one of the few schools that combines FinTech with a Master in Finance,” said Dr. Peng Xu, the program’s Associate Academic Director. “Our goal is to foster future leaders with the ability and skills to address problems in the FinTech landscape.”
The FinTech track is delivered by prominent FinTech founders, entrepreneurs and specialists, covering sub-sectors of FinTech such as payments, digital and cryptocurrency, blockchain, and digital transformation.
The program is designed to help students better understand the range of disruptive financial innovations and develop analytical skills that enable them to create and review large financial data sets or evaluate investment decisions.
Students will also learn programming tools that allow them to implement financial models. Most importantly, they will gain an understanding of current issues affecting the FinTech landscape.
“Technology has huge potential to make financial systems more efficient, and perhaps more importantly, fairer and more accessible for everyone. However, transforming organizations requires talents,” added Dr. Xu. “Talents with advanced knowledge on finance, programming, big data analytics, and cutting-edge financial technology are in high demand in the financial market as more jobs have been created.
“In the banking industry, there is plenty of talk about artificial intelligence taking over and making employees redundant. By experiencing this exposure to FinTech and learning how one can add value, our students stand out among their peers with their ability to contribute innovative ideas and new ways of doing things.”
A career-oriented program
The intensive 15-month MIF program takes place in France and/or Singapore and is designed to offer high-quality training to high-potential students. Providing a springboard to the real world, the program’s strong international dimension teaches students to adapt to a multi-cultural environment, addressing multinational issues and providing exposure to Europe and Asia.
“Students are taught by industry experts and they adopt a “learning by doing” approach. For example, students might do a project with a bank’s innovation lab or a FinTech company to work on a real problem and to get hands-on experience. They must write and defend their report as part of the assignment,” explained Prof Xu.
In addition, MIF students are supported beyond the classroom with two study trips to major financial hubs such as London, New York and Hong Kong.
Throughout the program’s duration, personalized career services provide all the necessary tools such as training on networking and negotiation skills to help students secure internships and jobs in some of the world’s finest financial institutions. A strong network of alumni in many respected organizations also forms the backbone of ESSEC’s repute in the industry.
“This is a program for any student interested in finance and technology, regardless of their background.” said Prof Xu. “It’s an intensive course, but a very efficient one. In 15 months, students learn a deep range of topics that poises them well for a career in the finance industry.”
*Accenture Research Analysis of CB Insights data