Financial Technology

Financial Technology

Industry Outlook

The financial technology industry is firmly established, resilient, and poised for fast growth in the coming years. According to a December 2020 analysis, the global financial technology market was valued at $5.5 trillion in 2019. This figure is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.58 percent through 2025.

Emerging technologies will factor significantly in the growth of financial technology in the coming years. According to a Mordor Intelligence analysis, the global market for financial technology-related AI was valued at $7.91 billion in 2020, but was projected to reach $26.67 billion by 2026, following compound annual growth of 23.17 percent. The firm described a wide range of applications for AI, including examining investment, credit, and cash accounts to determine an individual's financial status; process automation among financial enterprises; and the use of predictive analytics by credit card companies to detect fraud.

In line with a positive outlook for the industry itself, related professions are expected to experience growth as well. In general, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts growth of 11 percent for all computer and information technology occupations between 2019 and 2029. This much faster than average growth will result in the creation of an additional 531,200 new jobs during that time frame.

Artificial intelligence specialists, which the BLS classifies as computer and information research scientists, will experience a 15 percent increase in employment through 2029 as computer scientists capable of writing algorithms are needed. During the early 2020s, AI-related careers were a focus of top consulting firms and thought leaders. One example was the Deloitte Artificial Intelligence Institute for Government (DAIIG), established by Deloitte in 2021. One of the institute's objectives was mentoring future AI talent. Another example is Perficient's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bootcamp for high school students in Dallas, Texas. Launched in conjunction with the Mark Cuban Foundation, the free program provided AI-related interactive lessons, educational seminars, and lab exercises to students from under-served communities, especially girls and students of color. In addition to learning how to use cloud computing tools from Microsoft, participating students built their own AI applications.

Excellent career opportunities also will exist for mobile software developers. The BLS forecasts employment growth of 22 percent for software developers through the end of the decade, thanks to skyrocketing demand for smartphone and tablet apps, as well as insurance and reinsurance-related solutions. As cybersecurity threats intensify, information security analysts will experience explosive growth of 31 percent. Finally, the growth of big data will create new opportunities for data scientists, which will see employment rise 8 percent.

Beyond technology-related jobs, the financial technology industry will have many opportunities for business, financial, and management professionals through the end of the decade. According to the BLS, overall employment in the business and financial operations sector will achieve faster than average growth through 2029. Employment will rise 5 percent, creating 476,200 new jobs. Management occupations will experience the same level of growth, with 505,000 new jobs coming online through 2029.

Reflecting the industry's complex regulatory landscape, compliance officers are expected to achieve faster than average growth through 2029. The same is true of financial analysts and advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. An additional 130,300 market research analysts will enter the workforce by that time as well, reflecting much faster than average growth of 18 percent.

During the 2020s, financial technology companies were having a major influence on the cryptocurrency market, and potentially being shaped by it as well. In mid-2021, TheStreet reported that industry leaders like Square and PayPal (Venmo) were giving customers the ability to buy, sell, and conduct transactions using cryptocurrencies. In 2020, Square also made $220 million in cryptocurrency investments. In the article, New Constructs CEO David Trainer explained: "The demand of the younger cohorts for access to these kinds of investments is causing traditional, older wealth management clients to capitulate and fight for customers in the new, younger demographic. And they're fighting against fintech startups like PayPal and Square, which are able to move more quickly in these new assets and categories."

The financial technology industry also is taking deliberate steps to develop a more inclusive workforce. One example is NYC FinTech Women, whose approximately 6,000 members come from traditional finance companies, as well as venture capital firms and startups. The organization accomplishes its mission to "connect, promote, and empower women to advance their careers in FinTech" through a variety of events, a job board, and the Inspiring FinTech Females award, according to a December 2020 PR Newswire release.