A fintech bootcamp is an intensive educational program that prepares students for a career in fintech. These bootcamps are offered by a variety of different companies and the number of options for students to choose from has expanded over the last few years as the demand for workers with strong fintech skills has increased.
Not all fintech bootcamps are the same so you’ll want to compare many factors before choosing one to enroll in.
First of all, bootcamps may be offered online or in person at a bootcamp campus. Online programs are the more numerous option but if you’re a classroom learner or a social butterfly, you can find bootcamps that meet for in-person lessons.
Fintech bootcamps can follow part-time or full-time schedules. A full-time bootcamp is great for someone who is in a hurry to dive into the workforce, while a part-time option is more accessible for those who work or have family responsibilities.
Additionally, fintech bootcamps have varied curricula. Some skills may be more thoroughly emphasized by some programs than others. When browsing bootcamps, it’s a good idea to review the skills each bootcamp covers.
Fintech is a booming new field at the intersection of tech and finance. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about fintech bootcamps – from how fintech skills can help your career, to different bootcamp formats, to what “fintech” even means. Read on to learn more!
Fintech, or financial technology, includes any technology that is used in finance and related fields. Innovative tech has been permeating virtually every industry and finance professionals have been especially welcoming to it. In finance – where every dollar and every second counts – technologies like automation, digitization, and mobile applications can make a great positive impact on efficiency. Finance professionals can also use fintech skills to develop predictive algorithms about markets, automate elements of internal workflows, and analyze data. In all of these fields, technology can help firms achieve a significant competitive advantage in markets.
Fintech applications are not limited to internal functions. Some applications of fintech are designed for use directly by the consumer. You may have used fintech yourself, to deposit a check with your mobile phone or to trade stocks on an app like Robinhood.
According to a study by Morning Consult, fintech has been particularly boosted during the Covid-19 pandemic – particularly among young people, urban dwellers, and high-earners. For people quarantining at home, mobile banking and e-commerce were a huge help. Communities leveraged crowdfunding platforms to help families in need due to pandemic-related job losses. Even without the effects of a pandemic, fintech products increase convenience and modernity in daily life.
Fintech is one specific application of all technologies – from coding to cybersecurity to UX design. For example, a fintech professional might use their coding skills to build an app that allows users to apply for loans. They could also leverage UX design skills to make the app user-friendly. Other fintech pros might use data science skills to pinpoint unusual transactions on a credit card statement.
Applications of fintech include:
While bootcamps vary in their exact curriculum design, there are some overall subjects that nearly all fintech bootcamp will cover. These programs teach students a variety of technologies like coding, analytics, and software development but these subjects will be taught within the framing of finance. For example, when learning about UI design, students may work on developing a sample UI for a payment app and when using algorithms to analyze data, they’ll use datasets relating to finance.
Four areas commonly included in fintech bootcamp curricula include blockchain and cryptocurrency, programming and related financial libraries, machine learning, and fundamentals of finance. With proficiency in these four areas, students will be ready to enter the fintech field with a sturdy knowledge base.
Cryptocurrency is a new kind of currency – a futuristic version of dollars, euros, yen, etc. However, instead of being issued by a country’s bank like national currencies are, crypto coins are generated by software and code. The specifications of the code vary between different kinds of cryptocurrencies. Popular cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether.
Blockchain is the technology that makes cryptocurrency transactions possible. Blockchain is, intuitively, a chain of blocks. Each block contains code that details information about cryptocurrency transactions. The blocks are ‘chained’ together in a way that makes them highly secure. These blocks of code are compartmentalized but also connected. If an attacker accesses one block, the rest of the blockchain remains secure. Furthermore, since other blocks in the chain contain information about the blocks that are chained to them, any tampering with a block is easy to identify.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency can seem extremely abstract and difficult to wrap your head around. This is where instructor-led bootcamps can be more helpful than written explanations.
Many kinds of fintech use programming – programming financial software, programming an algorithm to use with financial data, or programming AI to accomplish finance-related tasks.
Libraries are packages that contain useful code that many people may want to use. They make coders’ work easier because, instead of coding every program 100% from scratch, they can use pre-written code from libraries to accomplish common actions. Many programming languages have financial libraries that contain pre-written code for accomplishing all kinds of common tasks related to finance. Fintech bootcamps will teach you how to use these to streamline your programming.
Machine learning is a form of automation in which algorithms can take in data and accomplish tasks based on the data without being programmed with specific instructions. Finance institutions use massive amounts of data to make decisions about loans, investments, and business decisions. Machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze this data and provide suggestions or implement actions on their own. Bootcamp programs will cover more specific use-cases for this technology.
Most FIntech bootcamps include Python in their curriculums. It’s an excellent programming language for organizing, viewing, and analyzing data, which is a common task in finance.
In order to be involved in financial technology, fintech bootcamp students must have an adequate understanding of how finance and banking work. This includes skills in financial analysis, financial modeling, time-series analysis, and working with advanced spreadsheets, as well as a general understanding of the industry and its major players. As opposed to general coding or data science bootcamps, fintech bootcamps will provide students with the opportunity to work with finance-specific data sets. This way they can build up a more relevant portfolio of projects and get experience that may be relevant later in their careers.
Fintech bootcamps can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on your scheduling needs, and how quickly you wish to complete a program. Additionally, online-only program options exist for virtual learners.
Beyond those factors, another element to consider is the program provider. Some courses are offered through higher education institutions that provide in-person instruction on campus and may leverage professors and educational resources affiliated with the university. Other bootcamps may be offered via third-party or individualized providers, taught at their own location or online.
Fintechy bootcamps generally take 10 to 36 weeks to complete and require a time commitment of about 15 to 40+ hours per week. These numbers vary depending on the program format and the intensity of the material. For example, a part-time program might require about 15 hours of work during the week spread over 8 months, while a full-time version of the same curriculum might meet all day Monday through Friday but take only 2 months to complete.
Some bootcamps have flexible online learning options that allow students to complete the work entirely on their own schedule. That means, if you only have 3 hours to spare a week, you can still make it work! You’ll just be working through the material for a much longer time.
When comparing bootcamps, consider where you see yourself headed in your career and what you hope to achieve by completing the program. While curricula of individual programs might seem similar, each will provide a different experience. Take a moment to review our listings and browse the program’s “About Us” page to see if the particular subjects and curricula align with the skill sets you are looking to learn.
While most fintech bootcamps do not have prerequisites, it is useful for applicants to have some background knowledge in coding, finance, or a little of both. Prior education in fields such as finance, statistics, business, management, or computer programming is certainly helpful too.
Additionally, most fintech bootcamps require students to be 18 years or older. There may be further requirements for financial aid receipt. In some cases, aid is limited to U.S. citizens and DACA recipients.
Fintech bootcamps generally cost in the range of $8,000 to $30,000. Full-time, instructor-led programs are often the most expensive options while flexible bootcamps that put more responsibility on students might be a bit less pricey. Neither of these options is inherently a better or worse investment – it all depends on what kind of learning works best for you. If you like a bit of extra support, it’s probably worth investing a little extra. All things considered, it’s important to review and compare different features and perks of bootcamps before choosing one to enroll in.
While bootcamps can be pricey, there are many different scholarships and loan options that can help students out. In our listings below we’ve noted programs that offer these or other flexible payment options. You can also check out our comprehensive guide to bootcamp scholarships on our resource page.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of the costs and benefits of a fintech bootcamp, you can decide if the benefits outweigh the costs. While these programs can be pricey, they can give your career a major boost and are a great option for people who want to transition into a fintech career but have little to no background experience with coding and newer technologies. It can be a tough field to break into because it requires expertise with both tech skills and finance. Completing a bootcamp allows students to first learn what kind of skills and responsibilities might be required of them and also to get real hands-on practice using those skills and producing work.
Completing a bootcamp is an investment in your own career. You invest time, effort, and money in order to come out of the program and find a well-paying job that will recoup your investment. Like any investment, you should think carefully before diving in. Ask yourself, is your ultimate goal to land a job in fintech where you can leverage your new skills? If not, a bootcamp might not be worth it for you. However, if this outcome would represent success to you, chances are a bootcamp can help you achieve this goal.
1. New Skills
The number one benefit you’ll gain from a fintech bootcamp is the new set of technical skills you’ll develop. You’ll learn about many of the subjects we discussed above and potentially even more fintech uses and even cutting-edge, new developments in the field. Your new skills will help you market yourself to employers and will help you excel in your ultimate career.
2. Expert Guidance
A major benefit of enrolling in an instructor-led bootcamp is that you will have fintech professionals to answer your questions, help you with your weak spots and consult on your projects. While you can learn some skills independently, expert instructors can help make sure you learn the most in-demand skills and understand the industry on a deeper level.
3. Peer Collaboration
Many bootcamps include partner and group projects in their curriculum. Even 100% of online programs will set up opportunities for discussion and collaboration among students. These opportunities can help you gain insights from other students’ perspectives and even foster friendships!
4. Develop a Portfolio
Most bootcamps follow a project-based curriculum in which you’ll learn new skills and then apply them to a project at the end of each unit. By the end of the program, you’ll have completed a handful of polished projects to be proud of! You can demonstrate your projects to potential employers or discuss them in interviews as evidence of your technical experience.
5. Professional Connections
Some bootcamps offer networking opportunities in which you can meet with potential employers. Even for those that don’t explicitly include this, you’ll still get to be part of a community of students, instructors, and alumni. These connections can be helpful when you’re looking for job opportunities.
Choosing a bootcamp is a personal decision and depends on circumstances like your current employment status, your familial responsibilities, and your future goals. Think about whether you want to study full time or only on evenings and weekends. Consider how much career support you anticipate wanting when looking for a post-bootcamp job. Decide if you’d rather learn online or in person.
It’s also important to review the bootcamp’s curriculum to make sure that it covers any specific skills you hope to learn.
Many bootcamps offer a range of career services to help students find employment after finishing a program. This does vary across programs and, as we mentioned above, the more expensive programs often have the most robust career services. Career support may include opportunities to network with industry employers, project fairs where students can demonstrate their work, resume review, interview coaching, job hunt guidance, and goal planning.
A career in fintech can return an excellent salary since there is currently a large push to technologically advance the finance industry with the help of skilled fintech professionals. The salary you’ll be able to earn depends on a number of factors like your location, the specifics of your role, and your experience level, but to give you a broad idea, we’ve laid out the average salary in the U.S. for a handful of fintech roles. This data is from Glassdoor.
|Job Title||Average Salary (October 2021)|