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Fintech Career

Hi everyone,

I am a senior student majoring in Statistics in a top 20 US university. My current plan is to go for an MFE program after I graduate to prepare me for a risk or quant position in financial industry. However, I am also interested in working as a data analyst (maybe furture data scientist) in a Fintech. I noticed that many MFE programs have included machine learning and other data related courses into their curriculum. But when I did the research in the forum, I found little about Fintech companies and their career path. Does anyone know if Fintech is a good choice for an MFE graduate? What do people do in Fintech? What about their career paths? What's the difference between doing data analysis in a Fintch company and doing data analysis in a tech company?

Thanks! ;-)))))))))))
 
It depends what you want with your career. I worked at a relatively large fintech firm before moving into banking. Here is what I felt (at my firm):

The good:
  • Fintech firms feel like one big family. You know everyone and everyone knows you.
  • People tend to stay for a very long time if they make it past the first 3-4 years
  • Very smart individuals. Lots to learn and lots to develop. A quants dream.
  • Work life balance is usually pretty good.
  • Internal mobility is much easier and encouraged.

The bad:
  • Pay. Only sales people do well (VERY well). Everyone else earns below industry average with practically no bonus.
  • Career progression. People tend to stay but because they love their co-workers and the work-life balance. Promotions tend to be pretty slow.
  • Separation from real finance. You are a Google. A Facebook. You are a tech-firm not a financial firm. Ask 75% of the people there what the S&P is at and they will have no clue. The only time they know what is going on with the markets is when their clients start going crazy.
 
It depends what you want with your career. I worked at a relatively large fintech firm before moving into banking. Here is what I felt (at my firm):

The good:
  • Fintech firms feel like one big family. You know everyone and everyone knows you.
  • People tend to stay for a very long time if they make it past the first 3-4 years
  • Very smart individuals. Lots to learn and lots to develop. A quants dream.
  • Work life balance is usually pretty good.
  • Internal mobility is much easier and encouraged.

The bad:
  • Pay. Only sales people do well (VERY well). Everyone else earns below industry average with practically no bonus.
  • Career progression. People tend to stay but because they love their co-workers and the work-life balance. Promotions tend to be pretty slow.
  • Separation from real finance. You are a Google. A Facebook. You are a tech-firm not a financial firm. Ask 75% of the people there what the S&P is at and they will have no clue. The only time they know what is going on with the markets is when their clients start going crazy.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. One more question, it seems that you include Google and Facebook as Fintech companies. But, are they pure tech companies? What makes Fintech roles different from those pure tech roles regarding data analysis?

Thanks!!!
 
Thanks for sharing your experiences. One more question, it seems that you include Google and Facebook as Fintech companies. But, are they pure tech companies? What makes Fintech roles different from those pure tech roles regarding data analysis?

That is exactly my point. While my experience is narrow, it seems fintech companies are just tech companies that service the finance industry.

Quantitative Support: Most of the time it is just going to be users not fully understanding how to implement something or just having trouble operating the UI.

Developer: You get a requirement and a deadline. Not much finance here.

Research: While you would expect these to be very finance heavy, they are much more statistics/math based. A lot of theoretical discussions that eventually lead to a decision to use some sort of method/algo. Gets approved and forwarded to business dev/development.

So it operates exactly like a regular tech company. I just didn't feel like I was part of finance. Regarding data analysis I would guess it is pretty similar. Obviously the applications (or end goal) would be much more finance driven, but ultimately your 9-5 wouldn't be much different. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; just depends on what you are looking for in a career.
 
That is exactly my point. While my experience is narrow, it seems fintech companies are just tech companies that service the finance industry.

Quantitative Support: Most of the time it is just going to be users not fully understanding how to implement something or just having trouble operating the UI.

Developer: You get a requirement and a deadline. Not much finance here.

Research: While you would expect these to be very finance heavy, they are much more statistics/math based. A lot of theoretical discussions that eventually lead to a decision to use some sort of method/algo. Gets approved and forwarded to business dev/development.

So it operates exactly like a regular tech company. I just didn't feel like I was part of finance. Regarding data analysis I would guess it is pretty similar. Obviously the applications (or end goal) would be much more finance driven, but ultimately your 9-5 wouldn't be much different. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; just depends on what you are looking for in a career.

Understand now! Thank you so much! I do appreciate your suggestions. (y);)
 
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