If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when you swipe your credit card, transfer money between bank accounts, send money to a friend, or trade stocks on an app, fintech companies are what make each of these transactions possible.
Students that are interested in a career in the quickly-growing fintech industry may first want to explore this field through an associate degree program before moving on to a bachelor’s degree or entering the workforce.
Throughout this guide, you’ll learn more about what an associate degree in fintech entails, the coursework you’ll need to complete, and which of the few schools in the country are currently offering this program.
Can You Earn an Associate Degree in Fintech?
Yes, you can earn an associate degree in Fintech, though these programs are quite rare. Interestingly enough, most of them are offered in the state of Georgia, as a result of the Georgia Fintech Academy from the University System of Georgia.
The Georgia Fintech Academy, founded in 2019, is a diversity talent development program specifically designed for the fintech industry. It helps prepare students from across the University System of Georgia for jobs in the industry through classes, events, projects, and more.
The Academy was created in response to the growing demand in the fintech space for skilled workers, supported by the fact that fintech is the quickest growing business sector in Georgia. It’s even estimated that the state will have a need for 2,000 fintech professionals annually going forward.
Currently, there are 23 institutions—including Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, and the University of Georgia—that participate in the program each year and a number of colleges in the state that offer a dedicated associate degree in fintech.
Students at these schools can conveniently enroll in Georgia Fintech Academy courses, in addition to their typical class registration, to complete the associate degree program.
What to Expect from a Fintech Associate Degree
When pursuing an associate degree in fintech, students will complete coursework that provides them with an introduction to the fintech industry, financial theory, and the application of technology in finance.
Specifically, the Associate of Science in Financial Technology that the University System of Georgia offers is a 60-credit hour, 100% online degree that’s available through multiple schools in the state. Again, this program is offered in coordination with the Georgia Fintech Academy.
In addition to core classes like mathematics, English, science, and statistics, students enrolled in this program will complete coursework that includes the following:
- Foundations of Fintech. Get an overview of the fintech industry and learn about the applications of technology in finance.
- Introduction to Financial Technology. Learn about how technology is transforming the financial world, and what new and emerging technologies are on the horizon.
- Introduction to Financial Data Analytics. Get a better understanding of the financial data analytics that are used in the industry.
- Coding for Fintech: Get a basic understanding of how to design and develop financial applications that are used to make payments, manage accounts, and more.
- Introduction to Information Security for Fintech. Get familiarized with the advancing field of data privacy and security, and how it applies to the fintech industry.
- Financial Technologies and Services. Learn the basics of financial technologies and services that are on the market, especially as they pertain to online financial services, mobile payments, and other services.
Upon completion of the Associate of Science in Financial Technology, students can easily transfer their credits to other participating institutions in the state to complete a related bachelor’s degree program like finance or business management.
Alternatives to Fintech Associate Degrees
There aren’t many fintech associate degrees available in the country, especially if you’re planning on attending college outside of Georgia. Therefore, it might make more sense to complete an associate degree program in a related subject that can be transferred to a four-year bachelor’s fintech program at a participating school.
You could, for example, complete an associate degree in finance with the goal of transferring those credits toward a fintech major or a finance major with a fintech minor, concentration, or certificate at a four-year university.
Or if your time and budget allow, you may want to jump straight into a bachelor’s in fintech degree program and forego earning an associate’s. Because of the limited number of options currently available in the United States for an associate degree in fintech, this may be your best bet.
Thus just because your school of choice doesn’t offer an associate degree in fintech doesn’t mean you’re unable to pursue this field through a different route.