The University of Waikato has introduced New Zealand's first Bachelor of Banking, Finance & Technology (BBFinTech) in response to an industry need for graduates with skills in the fast-growing fintech sector.
Matt Bolger, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Waikato Management School, says employers are saying they will increasingly need people who can thrive in both finance and technology:
“The world of finance runs on digital technology. From investment platforms and digital currencies to the way we make payments, nothing happens without digital. Yet no undergraduate degree in New Zealand currently recognises the need for these dual competencies.”
"The BBFinTech will fill this critical skills gap. Graduates will help businesses continue to innovate and evolve - whether they are a local Kiwi champion or a Silicon Valley start-up."
A 2022 Fintech Insights report found that the fintech firms in their sample of 200 New Zealand tech companies generated a combined export revenue of $1.8 billion in 2022. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's investigation into digital currencies also signals an even more cashless future, according to Mr Bolger.
Shane Marsh, founder of leading fintech innovator Dosh and University of Waikato alumni, agrees that fintech is set to grow:
"We're expecting this area to snowball. Our industry will require more people with these skills in the future, and we are thrilled to see the University of Waikato meeting this need with their new BBFinTech degree."
He says this sector has a range of opportunities and that regulation will be especially critical.
"There is a real need for people with fintech skills who can help shape the future of financial services. We need people who understand how open banking, digital currencies and emerging technology will define the future solutions we want in New Zealand and overseas," says Mr Marsh.
The BBFinTech degree will arm students with expertise in financial markets, investment platforms, digital finance, banking operations, automated trading, blockchains, cryptocurrencies, cyber security, and more.
“There is huge growth potential in this sector, so for students interested in tech who are interested in a career in an exciting sector, this is definitely a path to consider.”
“We can’t wait to welcome our first cohort of students next year,” says Mr Bolger.
Waikato is New Zealand's leading business school, ranked number one for business and economics and in the top 1% of business schools globally with Triple Crown Accreditation.
“Waikato Management School is a smart choice for both New Zealand and overseas students,” says Mr Bolger.