In a recent newsletter, I announced the launch of a new, Online MBA program at UConn. The program goes live this fall, and we have almost 40 applications under review, and another 53 in process.
Today I am pleased to announce another innovation, the launch of a Master of Science degree in FinTech. Our UConn Board of Trustees approved this program on April 28. This graduate degree will prepare people to participate in the rapidly changing intersection of finance, technology, and analytics.
Yesterday’s fintech applications were credit cards and ATMs. These innovations allowed for faster, easier, and cheaper transactions and are now ubiquitous. Today’s applications are rapidly growing and evolving: mobile banking, Venmo, Stash, the examples are too many to name.
Tomorrow’s applications will be more examples of better, cheaper, faster innovations that simplify our lives. They will build upon artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, 5-G applications, and the science emerging regularly from laboratories around the world. Slightly further afield, we have drone technology to help insurance companies expedite damage assessment and claims payment. Blockchain will fundamentally alter supply-chain management and performance of legal instruments via chain-based smart contracts. Some of our students will build and implement these strategies, but they must all understand them and be fluent in their potential.
Fintech, the name for this degree is a “portmanteau” which is a combination of two words, in this case finance and technology. It is apt that the degree will be a combination of study from two departments at UConn: Finance and Operations and Information Management (OPIM). The program will involve 36 credits of study, including a shared set of core courses to be taken by all students and a few elective options to allow students to focus more deeply on specific interests.
Over time we will find that fintech naturally evolves to serve several other portmanteau opportunities: InsurTech, HealthTech, RegTech and more. All of these industries are ripe for innovation, and for the integration of technological solutions to better serve customers. The demand for people with training and knowledge is high, as seen in both the frequency of job listings and the substantial salaries on offer to successful candidates. It is important to realize that this is not just a space for small start-ups, although there are many small start-ups in the space. Fintech is also the basis for a number of “unicorns,” large, private companies poised to enter the public markets at high valuations.
To compete, established large companies are innovating in the fintech space to enhance their mobile banking applications, or provide you fast, free, credit scores, or simplify the path to refinancing a mortgage. Robo advisors for investors and high-frequency trading are other examples of such innovation. Companies of all sizes need employees with the entrepreneurial mindset to innovate and the knowledge base in technology and in industry to do so efficiently. Our FinTech program will prepare students for exactly those opportunities.
We welcome your interest in this program. Additional information is available at fintech.business.uconn.edu.