UMSL launching new master’s degree program in fintech
Technological changes have been reshaping the world of finance, from the use of mobile payment devices, big data for conducting analysis and forecasting, and artificial intelligence in wealth management to the use of blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies and applied to transactions such as real estate.
They’re intended to produce and deliver financial services faster, cheaper and with greater security than traditional financial methods.
The University of Missouri–St. Louis is committed to preparing students to excel in this evolving world. UMSL’s College of Business Administration is launching a Master of Science in Financial Technology program that will give students technical training and skills that are in demand throughout the financial industry.
Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education gave final approval for the new fintech program in August, and the College of Business Administration will begin enrolling students in the spring semester.
“This program is designed to build a highly trained fintech workforce with knowledge of not only traditional finance modules and data-driven financial modeling and analytics but also fintech tools, including everything from blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning to mobile payment systems, robo-advising and more,” said Professor Nasser Arshadi, chair of the Department of Finance and Legal Studies in the College of Business Administration, who has led the development of the degree program. “This program will stand out from existing master’s in finance degree programs in the region and state by educating students in fintech tools that will provide graduates with fast-track entry to this exciting industry.”
It’s believed that UMSL will join fewer than 15 universities nationwide offering a master’s degree with a focus in fintech.
The College of Business Administration has already been offering several elective courses in financial technology, and graduate students have had the opportunity to receive a graduate certificate in financial technology.
That’s one way that Arshadi and his colleagues saw the demand for the master’s degree program. Last semester, there were 37 students enrolled in the Essentials of Fintech course offered as an elective.
They also recognize St. Louis’ place as a financial hub with wealth management and investment banking firms such as Edward Jones, Commerce Bank, Northern Trust, Stifel Nicolas and Wells Fargo and major companies such Anheuser-Busch/InBev, Boeing and Enterprise Holdings all in search of savvy professionals to serve in positions as financial managers; management, investment or operational research analysts; and statisticians, helping inform business and financial decisions. All those occupations are projected to see growth of between 5% and 30% nationally between now and 2031.
The MS in Fintech is a 30-hour program that includes 24 required hours in financial management; financial modeling and computer applications; financial forensics; an introduction to fintech; financial data analytics; artificial intelligence and machine learning; blockchain; and a seminar in finance. UMSL will also offer elective courses in security analysis; real estate; financial markets and institutions; venture capital and private equity; and international financial management as part of the program.
All courses will be offered fully online to provide maximum flexibility to working professionals.
Students in the MS in Fintech program will also have access to Refinitiv Workspace for their computations using real-time data on stocks, bonds, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Scores, among others. Refinitiv Workspace, coupled with R and Python as big data analytics tools, provides a powerful instrument for analyzing various financial strategies in the work environment. Most firms currently use Refinitiv Workspace for their financial analysis.
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