Software is disrupting (eating?) our world. That’s something that has been going on for quite a while now at the scale of our fast-changing world. As the tech industry is leading our economic growth, there is something that many of us do not realize about these “tech companies.”
Amazon is not a tech company but a retail one, Facebook is not a tech company but a media one, Lyft is not a tech company but a transportation one…
“Tech companies” used to operate only within the space of slow, basic, bulky electronics and personal computers. But with the rise of Internet, they became much more than this. Software innovation is the engine that is powering the next generation of successful companies. And obviously, the finance world is not exempt of this disruption.
The fintech industry, which is composed of companies making a heavy use of technology, is rapidly developing new markets and opportunities, and the possibilities are endless: from cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin rose higher than gold) to microfinance that is changing the way business happens in developing economies like India, Africa or China.
But the fintech revolution will only thrive if there is a qualified workforce to make it happen, and the industry is suffering from a lack of qualified talent, some fintech companies even have to relocate to hire the talent they need. According to Indeed study, 40% of open UK fintech positions requires digital skills. So what does it mean for the finance workforce? First of all, someone who wants to work in the finance industry must understand the digital shift that our world is experiencing. Secondly, to plan for a successful career in the fintech industry, one must stay up-to-date on the latest Tech innovation. This requires professionals to keep learning and to have a creative mind to come up with innovative solutions and for products they are building and problems to be solved.
Unfortunately, the structure of our post secondary education system doesn’t fully prepare our professionals with the skills for which companies are looking. While the rate of change in our professional world is accelerating, iteration cycles for adding new classes to a curriculum often take years. Resulting in graduates arriving on the job market with an obsolete skill set. The most prestigious organizations might manage to maintain an appropriate rhythm, but they are reserved to an elite that only train hundreds a year, when companies are hungry for thousands of talent and the whole industry constantly need to be retrained.
This is what Centre For Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) is trying to solve. Founded by Finance veterans Huy Nguyen Trieu and Tram Anh Nguyen, the initiative aims to train the next generation of highly-skilled finance professionals. “Many finance professionals and young graduates realize that the industry is changing at at breathtaking pace” says Huy, CFTE CEO. ”In the past, a solid initial education was sufficient to have a great career in finance, but today it’s essential to constantly learn and acquire new skills in the new world of Finance 2.0.”
The initiative will train students how to be lifelong learners on the foundation of finance while keeping them up-to-date on the latest innovations.
“Our education will be a blend of continuous online learning, workshops and in-class training with Finance, Fintech and Software industry leaders,” said CFTE Co-Founder Tram Anh. “Software, having a very central place in the finance world, will be an omnipresent topic that CFTE students will have to understand but also practice.”
The online platform will use adaptive learning to satisfy busy professionals. On top of offering content and workshops, CFTE wants to focus on community with the motto: “in a tech world, we bet on people.” Professionals working in banks, insurance companies, startups, accelerators, venture capital and tech companies will take part of curriculum design and student coaching.
Sylvain Kalache is an entrepreneur and a software engineer who has worked in the tech industry for more than a decade. He is also a globetrotter, having lived in 13 cities in several countries, including in China, Russia, France and the United States. Kalache joined SlideShare in 2011 as a DevOps engineer to support the infrastructure that served 3 billion slides every month. He was a key player who contributed to the acquisition of SlideShare by LinkedIn in 2012.
Sylvain also co-founded while42, the largest French tech engineer network, with more than 3,000 members in more than 50 cities across the world. He currently resides in San Francisco and is the co-founder of Holberton School, a two-year program training full-stack software engineers at scale.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Sylvain Kalache and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications Inc. or its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.