The future of finance is still bright despite current challenges.
Founder and CEO of fintech company Channel Vas Bassim Haidar points towards the explosive growth of fintech use at a time when most sectors of the global economy are slumping to justify his optimism.
However, in order to pump the financial sector’s future prospects, Bassim thinks that mindsets must advance alongside new technologies: “As with any technological advancement, the prospects of fintech-led prosperity bring a host of risks, and a sound regulatory framework is the only approach that can promote fair outcomes for customers.
“Currently, however, regulators seem to be trapped in a ‘90s mentality’ that deters them from realising the new reality, and the potential fintech conveys.”
So how do we jump out of that outdated mentality?
By pairing aspiring financial leaders with future-driven education.
Amid an economic crisis at a scale not seen since the Great Depression, President and CEO of National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) Billy J Hensley, believes that financial education matters more than ever.
“Reflecting on the pandemic, questions arise as to what role financial education plays in preparing people to face economic challenges, how it increases confidence to manage money during a crisis, and how it can lead to recovery as quickly as possible.
“Financial education will, however, play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of our country,” he said.
So by preparing today’s students with updated, relevant and forward-thinking finance education, universities will have a better chance at preparing tomorrow’s leaders to come back stronger in a post-COVID-19 world.
Here are four universities that are preparing students for the future of finance:
At the University of Oulu’s AACSB-accredited business school, you will find a Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance that’s revolutionising financial education by providing multidisciplinary Master’s programmes and teaching students about sustainable business practices.
Due to the Department’s multidisciplinary approach to Master’s programmes in finance, economics and financial and management accounting, you will get a solid foundation of all three majors and the flexibility to choose courses based on your own ambitions and interests from a wide selection of elective courses.
Whichever programme you choose, all Master’s students must take the Globally Responsible Business course which helps you to become a sustainable business leader.
Joseph Bentley travelled over 13,000km from Queensland, Australia to Oulu, Finland for these very reasons and to experience the country’s famed education system first-hand:
“The courses on my degree have also helped me to get an internship in Geneva. And I would say the best thing about studying here at Oulu is the people you meet here, how open it is and how flexible it is.”
For Master’s in Finance student Vy Nguyen from Vietnam, it’s the people that truly distinguishes Oulu from other universities:
“You bear great independent responsibility for your studies but on the other hand, you have professors who are approachable and dedicated to their work and are always open for consultations.”
“I have friends and student colleagues who are friendly, helpful and willing to help me succeed,” she says.
Another multidisciplinary offering by the Department is the double degree Master’s programme which awards students with a MSc Economics and Business Administration – Finance from the University of Oulu and MSc Management – Banking and Asset Management from the University of Liege.
Oulu Business School is also a member of global initiatives like the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI).
The Institute of Finance at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) Lugano campus is located in the financial hotspot of Switzerland, which allows it to offer an industry-driven Master in Finance.
Through this three-semester Master’s programme, you’ll learn new skills in diverse areas such as portfolio management, data analytics, banking regulation and cryptocurrencies.
And because this Master’s degree caters to different backgrounds and preferences, it is organised in three minors: Quantitative Finance, Banking and Finance, and Digital Finance.
During this degree, you’ll also have access to several elective courses that allow you to customise your curriculum according to your individual interests and professional goals.
And you can undertake a field project consisting of a consulting project for a firm under the supervision of a faculty member.
So if you’re ready to further your financial education with a multidisciplinary Master’s degree, consider USI Lugano.
Montpellier Business School (MBS) in France was founded in 1897 and has a long history of offering national and international students the best of the nation’s business education.
Holding three prestigious international accreditations — AACSB, AMBA and the new EQUIS accreditation — MBS is proud of its growing academic excellence.
As MBS Dean Bruno Ducasse states, “This new accreditation recognises Montpellier Business School’s unique strategy, which combines a focus on academic quality meeting the highest global standards with the will to defend strong values: social openness and building a more responsible economy and society.”
It offers an interdisciplinary Master’s in Finance, where you can choose from four different specialisations: Advanced Finance, Energy & Environmental Finance, Responsible Finance: financial inclusion, microfinance & social innovation and Innovative Finance: fintech, blockchains & cryptocurrencies.
You’ll also have the option to refine your French language through language skills sessions- which is ideal if you’re considering furthering your career in France after graduation.
If you want to study in the UK, then the Nottingham Business School is a key contender due to its expertise in finance and management education and its pioneering attitude towards entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability.
For instance, their Executive MBA is flexible and enables you to balance study with life and work commitments concurrently. Other postgraduate courses on offer here include the MSc Accounting and Finance, the MSc Banking and Finance and the MSc Finance and Investment.
Alternatively, those looking to join the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders may want to study the MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management programme, which aims to engage students in practice, enabling them to develop their entrepreneurial capabilities.
This course will teach you how to solve problems by thinking differently through different moodules in leading entrepreneurial growth, launching new ventures and entrepreneurial creativity.
Plus, this programme is delivered by The Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a centre of entrepreneurial skills development, so you’ll gain innovation-driven business skills to get ahead.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International