SUSS’s stackable programmes prepare working professionals and fresh graduates for changes in the financial industry caused by disruptive technologies
May 15, 2018
The digital economy is impacting our society in profound ways. The finance industry especially has witnessed dramatic changes owing to the rapid development of innovations such as financial (fintech) and blockchain technology.
To be future-ready in this new economy, professionals need to re-train and equip themselves with new skill sets.
Associate professor Ding Ding, head of the Finance Programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), says: “The number of jobs in traditional financial institutions has been shrinking and new jobs emerging from fintech innovations require a different set of skills and knowledge.”
Associate professor Lee Pui Mun, dean of SUSS School of Business, agrees. “Many banks have made plans to reduce headcounts both globally and in Singapore. These mid-career professionals will need re-training in the emerging areas to rejoin the workplace.”
To help professionals gear up for these new technologies, a number of programmes are available at SUSS.
Since 2016, the university's Fintech & Blockchain Community has invited prominent global experts to participate in over 15 seminars and more than 10 workshops for students and adult learners to update them on global views, fintech innovations and other emerging technologies. Renowned names include Vitalik Buterin of Swiss non-profit organisation Ethereum Foundation, Zooko Wilcox of decentralised and open-source cryptocurrency ZCash and Roberto Capodieci of Blockchain Zoo, an association of blockchain experts and professionals.
Adds Prof Lee: “Aside from SUSS’s new courses, there are no existing courses available to teach people these new technologies and innovations. Only the industry experts have the best understanding of the market and they can provide valuable insights into these new frontiers.”
The community is inclusive and encourages bilingual (English and Mandarin) exchange and cross-border collaboration.
SUSS also offers courses and programmes for undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates in fintech and blockchain technologies. The latest of these include the Graduate Certificate in in Financial Technology, the Graduate Diploma in in Financial Technology, and the Master of Finance (MFIN) part-time programmes.
Dr Yu Yinghui, head of the Doctor of Business Administration (Finance) Programme at SUSS, explains that the difference between the Graduate Certificate and the Graduate Diploma lies in their depth and breadth.
The Graduate Certificate programme takes half a year to complete with a maximum candidature period of one year. Courses will be held mostly on weekday nights from 7pm to 10pm or over the weekends. Students can work in the day and study in the evenings.
The duration of the full-time Graduate Diploma programme is one year and the maximum candidature period is two years. The curriculum will include more courses on fintech and blockchain and expands into areas like big data, cloud computing and machine learning.
The professors share that the school adopts a “learning is living” philosophy and aims to provide programmes that help working professionals and fresh graduates gain a deeper understanding of these new areas, which in turn may lead to better career prospects.
Programmes are fully stackable, which means that students can start with the Graduate Certificate, individual courses or sign up directly for a full master’s programme. Intensive short courses conducted by SUSS fellows are also available.
He also encourages mid-careerists to consider jobs in start-up companies with promising prospects rather than focus on limited openings in the traditional financial institutions like banks and investment firms.
Prof Ding Ding advises job seekers to keep an open mind and embrace these new trends in the finance industry. They should update their skills and knowledge to take advantage of new job opportunities arising from these changes.
• Technological Innovations in Finance
• Blockchain Technologies: Applications and Challenges
• Python Programming
• Blockchain Security and Privacy
• Hands-on Lab with Multichain
• Fintech Innovation Ecosystem
• Big Data, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning
This article was first published on May 15 in The Straits Times.