It’s maybe no surprise that as the FinTech industry has matured, we’re seeing FinTech degree and Masters courses popping up – we have seen several of these already in the UK, and now the first in India with the BSE Institute. It’s an interesting response to the need for skilled talent in this booming global sector (and an understandably attractive career route), though I can’t help wonder whether this is the right way to go to fill the entrepreneurial pipeline. A little over engineered perhaps?
The majority of FinTech businesses I’ve met are made up of a founding team with individual and separate skill sets – often one person from a finance background, who has seen the problem first hand, and one person with the technical know how to build the solution. This first point is important – the best ideas tend to come from someone who has spotted, or even experienced, a real business need or gap in the market. Without this experience, we’re in danger of putting the tech solution horse ahead of the business problem cart - a failing for which blockchain has been so widely criticised in many areas.
Do we risk a boom in ‘FinTech founders’, equipped with theoretical understanding of the latest trends, having written eloquently on the likely future of Artificial Intelligence, clutching a FinTech diploma but with no practical and applicable industry experience?
I can’t help but draw parallels with the PR and marketing industry. It’s true, many PR folk come from a creative, analytical degree course, such as languages, English Literature, history or law (rather than maths or engineering) – but they are no less well equipped for success than those that have studied a specific qualification. In fact, I’d argue the value of applied skills from non-related courses, rather than ‘death by theory’ which can come from a vocational qualification.
I’m all on board with adapting learning and education to fit with today’s world and career opportunities offered by technology, but I’m not convinced that you can teach entrepreneurial mentality, how to generate a new business idea – or the hussle required to get investors on board, and stand out in a crowded market. Creativity, innovation and a curiosity to understand the world around you and ‘join the dots’ are rarely born in a classroom.
BSE Institute now offers two-year Masters program in Fintech