Working as a financial technologist has never been so tough – not only do you need excellent programming skills in a wide range of languages such as C/C++, C#, and Java, but this has to be combined with knowledge about particular asset classes or financial sector domains. In addition for anyone beyond a junior role it is now essential that you’re business savvy.
The most ‘critical’ skill needed to work with in IT within the banking and securities industry is the ability to ‘align business and technology goals’, according to a new survey by Information Week and Bank Systems and Technology. This is followed by ‘integrating enterprise applications’ and ‘collaborating with internal stakeholders’. As the table below shows, developing applications comes pretty far down the list of skills.
Lower down the ranks it’s rare that a bank will recruit at technologist without an understanding of how IT will fit into business needs, but at the senior end it’s moving the other way. Banks want to recruit people at executive director and above who have an understanding of the operational issues, can manage outsourcing projects and think strategically about technology, but they also need a technical background. They don’t just want managers any more – most senior recruits have a background in development or engineering and need to understand the technical requirements of the systems their teams are developing.