A New Subject For MBAs To Learn
This fall, you may start to see more attention given to a relatively new subject in the MBA curriculum: Financial Technology.
“FinTech is the disruption of the financial services industry by information technology,” states NYU Stern finance professor, David Yermack.
Think Venmo or chip-enabled credit cards. Fintech is essentially an industry of innovations that are the result of disintermediation. In other words, the removal of middlemen, according to Top MBA.
The field is growing across universities as more MBA programs begin to implement courses in FinTech. Many schools—such as Brandeis, NYU’s Stern School of Business, Columbia Business School and MIT—have already launched courses and degree programs in FinTech over the past few years, according to Tearsheet.
Most FinTech courses are being implemented following student demand. Reena Aggarwal, director of the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy, tells Reuters that the relatively new industry is drawing several students’ attention.
“Ten years ago everyone wanted to go into investment banking or in the trading side,” says Reena Aggarwal, Director of the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy. “Now the students are much more interested in innovation.”
Compared to traditional industries, FinTech is a unique field. Due to its potential and unexpected growth, the FinTech curriculum needs to be constantly updated to ensure that students are being taught the most relevant technology. As a result, MBA universities are taking a broad approach to FinTech, opting to prepare students to adapt to changes in the market.
Angela Lee, associate dean and chief innovation officer at Columbia Business School, tells Tearsheet that there are two main struggles in implementing something as new as FinTech into an MBA curriculum.
“One is what does FinTech even mean, and the second thing is how the industry is evolving and how to be agile with course developments,” Lee says.
At Columbia Business School, the curriculum is focused on providing a combination of broad training over specific training due to the innovative field of FinTech. This fall, the school will partner with Citi Ventures in a program that will allow Columbia MBA students to get hands-on experience building new business ideas from the ground up.
A broad approach to the FinTech curriculum is also being taken at Stanford Business School where a financial inclusion course will be offered to students this fall. Kenneth Singleton, professor of economics at Stanford, tells Tearsheet that the course will address social and economic circumstances that drive financial inclusion issues in the U.S.
“We’re going to be focusing on financial inclusion across the entire socio-economic spectrum, but a lot of it will focus on the development of new products that will enhance the financial capability of individuals and households,” he says.
Ryan Falvey is the managing director of the Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation—a JPMorgan Chase-backed accelerator program for up-and-coming startups. Falvey tells Tearsheet that the broad curriculum is the best approach to FinTech.
“We’ve talked to a number of professors who are putting these classes together, and they’re approaching us about different trends or how we should be contextualizing what’s happening in FinTech — forget the specifics of an innovation or product — that kind of discussion is super relevant,” Falvey says.