Why do the most successful people spend the majority of their free time learning new things? The answer is simple and may seem obvious: lifelong learning has a positive impact on lives and is linked to personal and professional success. By acquiring new knowledge and skills, we deepen our understanding of the world and start to realise previously unknown opportunities. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest“.
Constant learning is crucial especially in the era of the knowledge economy, yet only a few people decide to spend their free time on upskilling. If you are a finance professional, you have probably heard about the disruptive power technology has on financial products and services. Despite the notion that AI will take over our jobs, we shouldn’t fear disruption. In fact, according to Deloitte to date, only 800,000 jobs were substituted with robots in the UK (mostly low-skilled), while 3.5m new, higher-skilled jobs were created. The salary in a newly created job was also approximately £10,000 higher than in one that was lost.
You might ask “how will learning about technology in finance impact me personally?”. We did our research and compiled seven different reasons why you should start learning about financial technologies and why 2020 is the best year to begin.
1. You are more likely to be promoted
Did you expect promotion this year that didn’t happen? With a bit of a learning effort next year, you might get promoted faster. Research shows that professionals with a technical understanding have higher chances to get promoted as opposed to their peers without similar accreditations. The Goldman Sachs’ promotions of Managing Directors in November 2019 show this trend, with more technology specialists being appointed for these prestigious roles than ever, according to efinancialcareers.com. A similar notion can be seen across other financial institutions. Choosing financial technologies experts in leadership positions can be treated as a strategic response in the landscape of increased competition coming from challenger banks and other Fintech startups, which are utilising new technologies extremely well.
Higher management also values the time and effort spent on training. A reputation of a life-long learner can do wonders if you want to land a new opportunity. Managers say that upskilling does not only indicate the ambition and willingness to learn but also suggests that the person stays on top of industry trends.
“Employees that demonstrate initiative and intelligence by contributing something unique to the company are the ones who will attract their employer’s attention when it comes to promotions” – says Richard Milam for bizjournals.com.
2. You might earn more than before
In the increasingly competitive landscape of finance, Fintech skills are in demand. The promotion does not only entail a more exciting job but also better pay. Financial rewards remain one of the main motivators in the workplace and are correlated with one’s productivity and job satisfaction. So it is perfectly understandable if you want to earn more.
Some of the most demanded technology skills that are likely to pay back are AI and blockchain. AI is likely to automate processes in most of the current industries while blockchain is especially promising in verifying credentials or securely transferring information in an encrypted form. Organisations are on a competitive race to utilise these technologies successfully so wrapping your head around AI or blockchain will give you an advantage in landing a high-paying job or securing a promotion.
3. Your job might suddenly get more interesting
We all don’t want to be stuck in a steady job, doing the same thing every day. Learning about technology may open completely new doors for you and you may find yourself doing things that you wouldn’t have thought of. Implementing Natural Language Processing in your enterprise? Integrating AI on a strategic level? These are just a couple of ways how you can utilise the technological knowledge in your workplace.
While working in traditional finance may seem rather steady at times, spicing up your CV with some Fintech knowledge can make your job more exciting and forward-looking. As the landscape is constantly changing and new technologies keep emerging, riding the Fintech train opens opportunities never realised before.
4. You will widen your horizons and explore new business opportunities
Learning about new technologies combined with your current industry knowledge may make you realise new business opportunities. After all, you know where the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation lie, as well as where the new technologies can be utilised to improve processes and increase competitiveness. This versatile knowledge is invaluable for organisations that want to compete in the new world of finance.
Since you don’t even know what you don’t know, learning new things allows you to think outside of the box and see the bigger picture. Who knows what opportunities are waiting to be explored?
5. You will take part in shaping the new world of finance
Finance is changing. And so should you. According to PwC, 2020 will be a year of financial disruption on a global scale, with the most impactful trends being blockchain, public cloud, as well as utilisation of robotics and AI. Learning about these trends will put you at the forefront of technological disruption and you may have a tangible impact in creating the future of finance. How exciting is that?
“If you decide to keep to the traditional banking system, you will get outdated. Reinventing yourself is key to be able to keep up with the market and its trends” says Ayshah J Butt, Business Developer at Caixa Bank, who took the Fintech Programme from the University of Oxford and the AI in Finance course from CFTE.
6. You will be part of the Fintech community
The Fintech community is growing as never before. There is a reason why the Singapore Fintech Festival this year attracted more than 60,000 professionals who discussed the new opportunities in finance. Fintech attracts people with a forward-thinking mindset, who are not afraid of utilising new opportunities and taking an active part in shaping the future by introducing new products and improving existing services.
CFTE’s community of Fintech alumni is growing and currently gathers more than 50,000 people from around 140 countries. They often gather in various industry events to discuss new opportunities and come up with innovative ideas. Whether you are in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London, or Cairo, you can join the Fintech revolution and be part of this vibrant community.
7. Your new skills will be recognised
As finance is constantly disrupted by new technologies, the majority of organisations have gone through, or are at least preparing for, a certain level of digital transformation. In fact, 27% of senior executives consider adaptation to this new landscape as now being ‘a matter of survival’ so it comes as no surprise that the employers favour professionals with technological awareness.
It’s easy to see that acquiring digital skills and expanding your knowledge about new technologies is the key to success in the modern age. Whether you’re a young graduate just starting your career, a startup founder, or a senior manager in a large firm, upskilling yourself to the new world of finance, is essential if you want your career to flourish.
As the end of the year is approaching, you might want to ask yourself questions like “What was the most important thing I’ve learned this year?” or “What are my goals for 2020?”. Make learning one of your new years’ resolutions: it may pay off with new, exciting career prospects and, possibly, better pay.
Accelerate your career with CFTE. We offer signature courses in financial technologies that are recognised worldwide. Our Fintech Foundation and AI in Finance courses equip learners with the necessary knowledge to navigate in the changing landscape of finance. From the understanding of blockchain, cloud and mobile technologies to building AI systems and applying RPAs in your enterprise, you can get a full picture of what’s going on in the new world of finance. Don’t procrastinate and enrol before 2020.
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The article was written by Natalia Slota, London 9/12/2019.