The competition for graduate fintech jobs can be fierce as many graduates who would have traditionally followed careers into retail or investment banks and investment management firms are drawn to the world of startups.
Fintech, or financial technology, is a rapidly growing industry that combines finance and technology to improve and automate financial services. It encompasses a wide range of fields, including payment systems, wealth management, and cryptocurrency.
If you're looking for a graduate job and want to break away from established finance companies and into a fintech company there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of landing a job. Here are some tips to help you get started:
To be successful in fintech, it's important to have a strong foundation or at least understanding of both finance and technology. This means having a basic finance knowledge with an understanding of financial concepts and how finance organisations work, as well as being proficient in programming languages and other technical skills.
If you've studied finance, consider taking some computer science or data analysis courses to round out your skill set. If you've studied computer science, a finance course may help you better understand the industry you're looking to enter.
In addition to traditional academic study, you can also gain valuable experience through internships or side projects. Consider working on a fintech-related project either personally or through a startup accelerator program. This will not only give you hands-on experience, but it will also demonstrate your passion and commitment to the industry to potential startup employers.
Networking is an important part of any job search, and it's especially important in the fintech industry. Many fintech startups are relatively small (compared to traditional financial organisations) and may not advertise job openings widely, so it's important to get your name out there and make connections with people in the industry.
Attend fintech-related events and meetups, join industry groups on social media and connect with co-founders and senior leaders in the fintech sector on LinkedIn. This will not only help you learn more about the industry, but it will also give you the opportunity to meet potential employers and get your name on their radar.
When applying to any fintech company, it's important to tailor your CV and cover note to the accordingly. Highlight any relevant university modules or coursework, internships, or projects that demonstrate your knowledge of fintech as well as any transferable skills you think are relevant.
In your cover note, be sure to mention why you're interested in that specific tech company as well as the industry generally. This will help you stand out from other candidates looking for graduate jobs and show potential employers that you're serious about a career in fintech.
While a degree in finance or computer science is a good starting point, you may want to consider getting a fintech-specific certification or degree to give yourself a competitive edge. There are a number of programs available online which can be studied in your own time and many are either free or very affordable.
These programs can provide you with in-depth knowledge of the industry and give you access to a network of professionals and potential employers. They can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates in the graduate careers market and show potential employers that you're serious about a career in fintech.
If you're a recent graduate, keep in mind you should be looking for fintech graduate jobs, not senior leadership positions. Many larger fintech scale-ups now run a rotational graduate scheme as well as internships which can be a great way to get your foot in the door.
It's also important to remember that fintech companies, like all financial organisations, hire roles across all departments and so you're not just restricted to finance or technology roles. For example, you could get a role as a graduate sales development representative, a social media manager or a customer service agent, all with the same fintech startup.
The fintech industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. To be competitive in your job search, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry.
Consider following industry blogs and news, attending conferences and events, and joining online communities or groups on social media. This will not only help you learn about the latest trends and technologies, but it will also help you stay connected to the industry and demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm to potential employers.
While the fintech industry is concentrated in a few major cities, such as London, New York, and San Francisco there are now opportunities in fintech everywhere.
Also, with the rise of remote-first working, there's no reason why you couldn't join a company based in Berlin, whilst working from home in Manchester, supporting a colleague in Stockholm.
It's natural to want to start your career in fintech with the best known unicorn which you can read endless about on TechCrunch. However, new graduate fintech jobs are now super competitive and it's common to see established finance companies compete with startups for the best talent. With this in mind, don't be afraid of joining a smaller startup, perhaps one with little funding where you can join as an early employee where you can grow with the company. Joining a startup like this will give you the most valuable skills of your career and so should be a serious option, not just a fall back.
In conclusion, competition for fintech jobs as a graduate is incredibly fierce but that shouldn't hold you back. By building a strong foundational knowledge of the industry and making connections, tailoring your CV and cover note, and staying up-to-date fintech news, you can increase your chances of landing a job in fintech. Good luck!