Lidia Zabala (Head of Marketing at the Swiss Finance + Technology Association) speaks in this interview with John Hucker, CFA (President at the Swiss Finance + Technology Association) and Robert Cierny (Jobs lead at the Swiss Finance + Technology Association) about Fintech Careers and the main job trends in this field.
The FinTech sector has grabbed attention, but what does that mean for those with banking experience?
John Hucker speaks from experience when he says FinTech offers a range of attractive opportunities. The global financial services industry has been undergoing constant change over the last decade and many have experienced career transitions as a result. FinTech not only accelerates this change, it creates new opportunities.
As someone who has moved from traditional roles in wealth management, into digital projects and innovation teams, before ultimately pursuing emerging roles in FinTech, John has some valuable insights for others considering how FinTech could play a role in their career.
Answers about whether FinTech offers career opportunities and where exactly depends on what type of role you want to play, whether you want a corporate job, or if you want to work at a startup, what kind of startup. We wrap up with a summary of the opportunities appearing on the Job Listing at www.swissfinte.ch and in the market, plus information about how those interested can take action to pursue new career opportunities.
Lead or supporting actor?
The first thing I ask someone interested to get into FinTech is whether they are someone who want to lead the way or play a supporting role. This is a fundamental question that some are overlooking if they think the only option is to leave their job to pursue their FinTech idea. Both startups and larger companies offer roles for employees, not just co-founders and CEOs.
Where do you want to work
Fortunately, for those not pursuing the path of startup life, there are more traditional corporate roles available. The range covers similar areas such as project management, digital communications, data science, and IT development. The major differences are the perception of the company, the potential freedom, and the opportunity to create something new. Some people are impressed by well known corporate names, while others are dazzled by a new startup – it really depends what’s right for you. Startups can offer much more freedom than a rigid corporate structure in many ways, but you can also be stuck on a small team with a micro manager. What seems to drive a lot of those who decide to pursue jobs outside of large companies is that they want to be part of something new.
Disruptor or collaborator?
An important question to consider when looking at jobs in FinTech is whether a startup seeks to disrupt or collaborate. This can have implications on how well suited the company may be for someone with industry experience. In general, startups which aim to collaborate with the industry leaders are a safe bet, offering a clear opportunity to leverage years of industry know-how and contacts. Disruptors may also offer less obvious opportunities. Despite their vocal disdain corporate culture, they need leaders with experience, especially those who understand the industry’s dynamics and vulnerabilities.
Which profiles are in demand
The call for skilled IT personnel and professionals in Switzerland is truly remarkable. Browsing through job offers from FinTech startups and large corporates, one has to be astonished by how many open IT, data science and data engineering positions there are. Talking to different FinTech startups and firms regarding recruitment and selection, the feedback was very often the same: “lack of IT professionals”. FinTech has technology at its core and that means the key roles are technology driven. This is great news for developers, data scientists, digital marketeers and UX/UI engineers.
Currently, the hottest areas we see are:
- IT professional
- Data scientist / engineer
- Digital marketing
- Business development
The top 3 do not express the wide range of profiles becoming more sought after here in Switzerland, which include cultural change evangelists, HR recruiters who understand adapting needs, topic-specific researchers, innovation program leaders, investment managers, and more.
We must all adapt
Whether you want to remain in a suit and a tie or shed them off in favor of jeans and t-shirts, there are resources available to support your development. Some of our favorites include:
- Join the Swiss Finance + Technology Association to expand your networks, attend events, and join our initiatives. We are pleased to announce the new Job Listings.
- MIT FinTech Course (Swiss Finance + Technology Association members receive 20% discount)
- Startup Weekends and meetups (hosted in partnership with the Swiss Finance + Technology Association)
Role of the Swiss Finance + Technology Association
International companies like Google are able to attract the best talents with very appealing offers. This makes it especially difficult for smaller companies and startups to hold pace. The Swiss Finance + Technology Association took therefore the lead as a main driver of the Swiss FinTech Ecosystem and developed various career programs to support the growing market and let everyone be heard.
- FinTech Careers Event: On 9th May we held a Fintech Careers event at the University of Zurich. Together with Swisslinx (executive search), Credit Suisse and Advanon, we addressed the topics of recruitment and selection.
- Job Listings: We offer to all companies and startups the first month for free. Get in touch with us and send us your links to FinTech related roles: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Swiss Finance + Technology Association Fellowship & Internship: To support young talents interested in FinTech, this program will allow them to gain a broad insight in the industry and help develop the future professionals that are so desperately needed. If you want your own young talent, reach out to us for more information.