NJIT expands fintech concentration to full bachelor’s degree program

Inspired by the pressing need of corporations on Wall Street and beyond to hire a new generation of workers who are skilled in the latest trends of applying computing to commerce, New Jersey Institute of Technology announced Wednesday it will offer a B.S. in financial technology.

Fintech is a category of software and online services that helps people better use and understand finance.

The degree, which will be offered through the Martin Tuchman School of Management, represents an expansion of NJIT’s existing financial technology concentration, which debuted in 2017 and saw 35 students enrolled as of 2020. Fintech is expected to begin with 40 students and reach enrollment of 200 by the 2024-2025 academic year. Business administration majors can still opt for the concentration.

Crowdfunding, cryptocurrency, market analysis and mobile payments all fall under the fintech umbrella. But, it’s hard to find experts. NJIT professor Zhipeng Yan said this degree will start to change that.

“(Fintech) has brought an unprecedented demand for professionals with advanced skills in finance, mathematics, programming, analytics, data science, applied statistics and regulatory compliance,” he said. “Experts believe that fintech will replace most brick-and-mortar financial services within the next decade, and the demand in the job market for fintech professionals will continue to accelerate.”

Tuchman Dean Oya Tukel said big companies do not need another finance person, they need a fintech person.

“We have to adjust ourselves accordingly in the universities,” he said. “It’s all around us, but people don’t realize it. Those are the jobs that are well-paid and in demand.”

In addition to traditional finance courses, students will learn about the theories and evolution of financial technology to gain context. Subjects include analytics, data-driven financial modeling, financial data mining and machine learning. The program also covers innovations such as bitcoin, cloud computing, crowdfunding, the Internet of Things and peer-to-peer lending.

The major requires 120 credits and includes several courses that are redesigned or entirely new, such as MGMT 416, Artificial Intelligence for Business; FIN 306, Blockchain Technology for Business; and FIN 410, Data Mining and Machine Learning.

Jordan Hu, founder and CEO of RiskVal Financial Solutions, earned a master’s in computer science at NJIT in 1989 and now is a trustee of the university. His company has 60 employees worldwide, with almost all of their jobs involving fintech.

“I can’t express how valuable this program can be for NJIT students and the financial industry,” Hu said. “As an entrepreneur in the financial industry for more than 30 years, I observed the revolutionary impact of financial technology. Ever since the late ’80s, when the desktop computer became available to end users, it opened a brand-new approach to our day-to-day lifestyle and corporate solutions development.”