By CSU Global - April 6th, 2020
The rise of automation and AI has caused the nature of work to shift, impacting industries of all shapes and sizes. The financial industry is no exception. Banking has gone digital in response to consumer preferences, and technological advances have made it easier than ever to manage portfolios, file tax returns, and more.
However, the need for highly trained, tech-savvy financial professionals is rising rapidly. While traditional banking may be less in demand, professionals who can provide in-depth, holistic financial knowledge to individuals will be key in the future of work in financial services.
As part of our ongoing series exploring the future of work, we explore opportunities in this growing industry and the long-term value of a degree in finance.
Shifts in the Financial Industry
Like many other industries, the financial industry is becoming less dependent on a bricks-and-mortar building filled with knowledge workers at computers. Traditional jobs at banks — tellers, brokerage clerks, etc. — will likely be reduced by automation, but the number of jobs created by an increased need for highly trained professionals will far outweigh the jobs lost.
As in other industries, roles will become more project-based (rather than based on a set number of hours worked in a specific capacity). That translates into a need for workers with skills that go beyond easily automatable tasks like data input and processing. Instead, workers must be prepared to take on complex tasks and projects, many of which will also require soft skills — social and emotional skills like communication and relationship-building that AI is not able to replicate or replace.
The financial industry has, historically, been quick to adopt new technologies. And it’s more important than ever to continue that trend — according to Accenture, financial services companies that merely keep pace with other fast-adopting industries in their adoption of AI and human-machine collaboration can see their revenue increase by 34 percent by 2022. For those seeking employment in the financial services world, it’s critical to evaluate a prospective employer’s commitment to technological innovation and its willingness to keep pace with — or outpace — other industries.
Future Jobs in Finance
One of the most exciting things about the future of jobs in finance? Many of them don’t even exist yet — at least not in the way they will in the near future. According to TheNextWeb.com, future roles include titles like “finance engineer” and “sustainable (as in, environmental sustainability) wealth manager.” The financial technology (“fintech”) space will also see marked growth.
Other areas for growth include roles for highly trained professionals who can provide personalized financial guidance for individuals. According to the Wall Street Journal, labor-intensive tasks like budgeting and forecasting will increasingly be handled by AI and automation, freeing up time and energy for financial advisors to provide meaningful, data-driven insights to their clients. There’s also a distinct need for financial advisors who are able to translate this data into meaningful stories and provide top-notch customer service.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the general “financial managers” category of jobs will see 16 percent growth through 2028. Much of this growth is dependent on tech-savvy individuals who are prepared to adapt to technological advances in the tech industry.
The Importance of Continuing Education
According to the International Monetary Fund, rapid shifts in the workplace and the financial industry necessitate life-long learning:
“Instead of focusing primarily on two- or four-year postsecondary institutions that educate early in life, as we did in the 20th century, society must create robust educational institutions that help workers make midcareer transitions.”
While a foundational knowledge of finance is critical, what’s even more important is that professionals are able to access robust, future-forward continuing education throughout their careers, especially as financial institutions continue to adopt and leverage AI and automation.
Routine duties will shift to “knowledge-based responsibilities” in the financial industry, requiring individuals to adapt and grow with technological advances and organizational goals. The future of finance is rich with possibilities for those willing to seek and create new opportunities to thrive.
The CSU Global staff continually researches topics that are of interest to CSU Global students. Our goal is to support student success and learning outcomes.