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FinTech program gives students a competitive edge in the tech-driven workforce

Dec 16, 2021
5 min Read
Cindy Workman
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Technology’s continuous impact on the financial services industry landscape is helping Creighton University’s young FinTech undergraduate degree program flourish as students develop new knowledge and technical skills to compete in the finance industry of the future. Within three years of the launch of the program, there are now over 70 FinTech majors who offer unique perspectives on the constantly evolving workforce.

Similar to a traditional finance degree, the FinTech, or Finance and Technology undergraduate degree program, provides students with a competitive advantage when pursuing careers in the financial services industry. This advantage is the reason why Lee Dunham, Ph.D., CFA, chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at Creighton’s Heider College of Business pushed to create the program in 2018. The program is among the first of its kind in the country.

“The added knowledge of technology in the FinTech major complements the coursework of a traditional finance degree,” Dunham said. “Students with knowledge in both fields are the “unicorns” that have the technical skills and finance discipline knowledge that employers desire as technology disrupts traditional financial institutions.”

Creighton’s FinTech majors are hired into internships with traditional companies in Omaha and across the country. These students are tasked with projects that integrate finance and technology to help these firms make better business decisions and make their operations more efficient. A partnership with the Heider College of Business and the Startup Collaborative offers students opportunities at First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) through its FinTech Fellows Program.

Garrett Cahill, a senior FinTech major from Dove Canyon, California, is in his third year interning with FNBO, which is among the largest agriculture lenders in the country. He is part of a team that has developed a new method of tracing data across the beef supply chain through facial recognition. Through Blockchain technology and data analysis, Cahill and the team developed an app that tracks beef from farm to fork. The unique adaptation of well-known technology is what Cahill says is setting FNBO apart from its competition.

“FinTech is becoming the future of business, and companies using it are leveraging the opportunity to be a front-runner that differentiates them from competitors in nearly all fields and industries,” Cahill said.

This distinction comes from understanding the technology at hand and how to use it, which is why organizations value the input and expertise of students like Cahill and his peers in the FinTech degree program.

“As technology advances, businesses need students on hand to give them an edge in the field. Traditional firms are still catching up, while newer businesses utilize their expertise on the latest tech enhancements,” Dunham said.

In this competitive market, FinTech impacts key areas of the financial services industry, such as payments, lending, insurance and investments. These areas are adjusting as FinTech firms seek ways to disrupt the industry’s legacy firms. An increasing use of technologies like Blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other data tools make Dunham confident the number of job opportunities for FinTech majors will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Students in the FinTech degree program, like Cahill, have an opportunity to earn course credit through a FinTech-related internship, as they earn a BSBA degree. For more information about the FinTech degree program, visit https://www.creighton.edu/academics/programs/finance-technology.