For many, a job in finance conjures up ideas of stability and dependability. A career in finance in years gone by has been a well-paid, stable career path that benefits those with acute mathematical acumen.
However, just like we are witnessing in almost all other industries, AI and machine learning are beginning to enter the finance scene and this is causing disruption to these otherwise stable career choices.
In fact, recent reports suggest that roughly half of those working in finance will either lose their job or be reassigned due to automation. To put that in numbers, 1.3 million bank workers will see a change in job role over the coming years. Big migration is introduced bringing with its automation, business process optimisation and robotics to improve work processes.
It is not all bad news, however. There will be some jobs that become obsolete, but this also opens up the opportunity for other roles. The biggest challenge facing the sector will be in upskilling existing staff, roughly 50%, to jobs that have not surfaced yet.
Whilst this will be a gradual shift, it is worth speculating on the trends that we expect to surface and what this means to workers in the sector. Following this, we are listing below some of the new jobs we at FJP Investment expect to surface over the next decade and beyond.
With the sector growing at such a rapid pace, we expect fintech to dominate the market in the coming years, with more and more businesses seeking the top talent.
Banks are beginning to start, acquire or partner with fintech start-ups to stay ahead of the curve in the sector. For example, some major banks have been fined millions over the past few years for their failure to detect money laundering. With criminal organisations becoming more sophisticated, HSBC is just one bank teaming up with start-ups that have developed AI-based tracking systems.
With current technologies detecting fraud at a high success rate, this trend will continue over the coming years. This is supported with almost three quarters of millennials (73%) more excited about financial services from tech companies than traditional banks. Banks will be looking for the best talent to support their efforts with fintech specialised head-hunters becoming increasingly popular.
Self-driving finance engineer
Banks are beginning to diversify their services with the pressures from fintech and advancements in technology. Financial institutions may become a source of knowledge to guide individuals with their financial decision making, something that is very important in the economic climate and the changes afoot in the area.
Wealth management is becoming an important area with the rise in pay as you go and automatic transfers. With millennials earning less money than the previous generation with little help for the Government, when they will retire is potentially later in the ecosystem unless we see any changes in the immediate future.
With a large number of people opting to become freelancers and ‘flex workers’, statistics showing at least one in four millennials, there is a dilemma on the horizon. How are we going to secure labour in an evolving society and who leads this?
Finance engineers, through financial institutions, will likely step in here. Whilst wealth management was traditionally reserved for those with a fair amount of wealth to manage, a shift in supporting flexible workers will drive the opportunity to manage and drive finances autonomously.
Going further, using AI tech can aid in paying back various debt at optimal times, long term investments can then be rebalanced as needed. The aid of AI in wealth management will be important in the future.
Cryptocurrencies have changed the financial landscape and will continue to have an impact on the future of finance. Big banks have taken note but currently have not taken the plunge through lack of regulation making the space too risky.
Banks are likely to begin applying the tech as opposed to teaching thousands to learn the ins and out of crypto. Understanding regulations as they are introduced will be important to not only understanding the market, but the fluctuations within the market.
Finance professionals are widely predicted to have transferable skills that can be applied to this emerging market. Super forecasting has become a very desirable skill in the finance field and will continue to be as we transition into a world of cryptocurrency. Applying these skills to the cryptocurrency market, this being complex problem solving and analysing past and future forecasts will help investors in the market.
Data misuse is in the media spotlight for major companies like Facebook and Google. With stricter data protection regulations like GDPR being introduced, the spotlight remains strong on the use of personal data.
In fact, just recently, Dutch banks came under the spotlight for accessing customer spending habits to tailor personalised ads. Data can be sensitive, and users are becoming more aware of when their data has been compromised.
A trust officer is going to become useful here. People will need to be aware of the transparency around data protection measures and how to keep themselves safe. Knowing exactly how financial data is being used will be essential in the future.
It is not just partnering with fintech’s that will arise in the coming years, with the ever-changing nature of cybersecurity, everyone is realising that security cannot be relied on, on an individual basis. As we become more interconnected through greater collaboration, we need to ward off the growing threat of cyberattack.
While the world comes to terms with advanced cybersecurity, we may on a personal level need someone who is dedicated to preventing cybersecurity attacks on personal data. This will come in the form of a package from financial companies in an attempt to improve their service offering.
We are in an interesting time in the financial space. The clash between humanity and technology is growing, which will be a deciding factor in the prominence of the above roles. While technological advancements will be necessary in the sector to remain relevant, we must retain talented people that can instil creativity, initiative and critical thinking to make the company thrive.