Financial Technology (FinTech) becomes a major driver of financial industry, both for financial and technology sectors. In 2018, FinTech industry is worth nearly $40B globally. While the Industry is increasing job opportunities worldwide, it is also facing uncertainties and major disruptions, and suffering from induced consequences.
The increasing demand for talents in the FinTech industry is being stimulated by the increase in the number of tech-savvy customers and e-commerce activities, and in the aggressive smartphone penetration. In Australia, the 2018 Ernst & Young FinTech Australia census shows that 45% of FinTech companies agreed that attracting qualified or suitable talents was a challenge while 50% of FinTech CEOs and founders agree that Australia lacks experienced startups and FinTech talents. In order to address this global shortage of talents in finance, we need to accommodate FinTech in our teaching learning domains. In the past, universities primarily focused on the conventional subjects. However, with the rapid digital transformation, academic institutions are required to provide alternative options in preparing students to have a broader understanding of the underlying technologies in order to take advantage of the potential FinTech industry to create more opportunities.
According to Linda Kreitzman, the program director of Haas’s Master of Financial Engineering – University of California Berkeley, the expansion of FinTech reflects strong demand for students with a convergence of multidisciplinary skills is known as the ‘full-stack quant’. It refers to multi skills such as Coding, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain Technology, Finance Intuition, and Statistics that are in demand along with basic knowledge such as Banking, Accounting, and Technology.
It is no wonder that leading business schools are enforced to address the increasing demand for FinTech-related courses. For example, Stanford university provides courses on technologies that promote financial inclusion and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focuses on blockchain technologies. I think we have to do the same as well to catch up with financial revolution. Indonesian universities have to respond comprehensively to the changing financial landscape. Based on my best knowledge, there are very limited Indonesian universities that have courses related to financial technology, even though it is urgently needed to include this financial technology related courses into curriculum in order to adapt to the changes of environment in the finance industry.
Singapore can be the leading example in FinTech education field. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has invested $167 million to provide support for creating the top global FinTech hub. This is in alignment with educational objectives. At the university level, Singapore adopts FinTech as a subject in curriculum, builds collaborations with a top technology company to design, and develops a FinTech curriculum to come up with better solutions and incorporate technology into financial education. I firmly believe the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education has proposed agendas to reinvent and update curriculum to keep pace with the rapid technological and financial development. With the solid cooperation among governments, businesses, and universities, Indonesian students will be more prepared as innovation pioneers that could reshape the future of finance and technology.