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Is fintech secretly a nightmare industry to work in?

Join fintech for the culture, they said... it'll be great, they said...

Whether you're a financial services professional or FAANG alumni, you may be considering moving to fintech, an adjacent industry that boasts a wildly different atmosphere, but is it all it's cracked up to be?

Our recent eFinancialCareers fintech survey had responses from nearly 1,200 people either already working in fintech or looking to move into it. Some of them had nothing but praise for fintech; others were very critical.

What's so great about fintech?

It diversifies your skill set

"The world is moving towards dual profile roles," said one respondent. "Knowing only finance or tech won’t get you far." Another respondent in finance said that "all financial services companies are already actively adopting all sorts of tech," and that failing to get involved in the space could see the finance industry leave you behind.

Exciting and flexible work

For engineers joining the industry, one of the highly praised factors was the ability to work in new, exciting and "interesting tech stacks." Stripe's code base, for example, is mostly written in Ruby.

Alongside the work being fun, people already working in fintech say their jobs are more flexible than at previous employers. One person who joined fintech from finance says they received “no judgement even if I come in after 9am or leave the office before 6pm, unlike traditional banks.”

Hope for the future

Despite fintech's contemporary struggles, people were also optimistic that the future is still shiny.

Respondents told us “Fintech will always be here regardless of how gloomy the economy looks,” and that, “newer fintechs will prosper in such conditions.”

The fintech nightmare

Experienced professionals feel disrespected...

There's a flipside, though.

Fintech attracts a lot of young talent. Maybe this is because it's an exciting new industry. Or maybe it's because it doesn't respect its more experienced employees.

"Experience is expensive" said one respondent, “and they want it all for a lot less money.” Another said: “It’s easy to get a job in fintech, but it’s hard to find one I’d really want at a compensation level I’d take.”

...and juniors find the market over saturated

Junior employees are put off of joining fintech due to the swathes of inexperienced professionals rushing into the industry. One respondent stated that, "for every role I apply, I’m seeing 200+ applicants."

It won't earn you much kudos 

If you're looking at fintech as an opportunity to enhance your career, beware, it may not be as well respected an industry as you think.

This appears particularly true in Singapore.“Fintech is not a big name in the market, for Singapore at least,” said one respondent there. Another said that “the decision-making process is very slow” in Singapore when it comes to hiring, because decision makers are based outside the country. Another respondent outside the country also believed the industry was "full of hype."

Are fintech's critics vindicated? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Comment ANONYMOUSLY on articles and make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance. 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: editortips@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. 

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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