FinTech Courses

Best FinTech Courses/ Certifications ranked by Bankers (2021)

In FinTech by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

The FinTech sector is an amalgamation of two of the world’s largest industries – finance and tech. Companies and investors around the world are pouring billions into FinTech development efforts in order to get an edge over the competition. This has led to a wealth of new career and entrepreneurship opportunities for skilled FinTech professionals. You have dozens of options to choose from like payments, blockchain, RegTech, programming, product development, WealthTech, AI, machine learning, algo-trading and so on.

But the BIG question is this: How do you even get started in FinTech? The following is a list of hand picked courses that offer the best entry points into FinTech. There is something for everyone – business and strategy oriented courses for bankers and senior management, tech-heavy courses for programmers or students and so on. I have only picked top-brand providers that will add tremendous value to your CV while teaching you all you need to know about FinTech.

What to look for in a FinTech Course/ Certification?

  1. Fits your requirements – FinTech is a broad filed and everyone from CEOs to coders and from investment bankers and data scientists are interested in it. Not every course is suitable for everyone. Which is why I have selected the best course for each specific use case.
  2. Brand value for CV building – At the end of the day, its all about professional growth & career progression. To get ahead, you need to build your personal brand and that could be anything from a new designation next to your name to a spanking new certificate on your LinkedIn profile. Which is why I only list the most brand-enhancing courses and certifications in all of my lists.
  3. Provides real-world expertise – Employers prefer candidates who can hit the ground running form Day 1. While theoretical concepts are necessary to build a solid foundation, I always hire people who can tell me what they can do in the real world, in a real situation, solving a real problem with real money on the line.
  4. Doesn’t take years to finish – You need the career boost today, not  years down the line. Self paced programs allow fast learns to power through quickly while those with limited free time can take it slow.

1. FinTech: Innovation and Transformation in Financial Services from National University of Singapore

Who is it for?

Mid/ senior level executives interested in FinTech applications.

Why take this course?

  1. When it comes to FinTech, Singapore holds a commanding position throughout Asia and beyond. With so much local innovation, the National University of Singapore is ideally positioned to train the future generations of FinTech entrepreneurs and disruptors. The immense opportunities available in the massive Indo-Pacific market make this option all the more attractive.
  2. This 2 month program with 8 modules has been designed to help executives apply fintech innovations to real world business applications. The program starts off with a general but well presented introduction covering the drivers of FinTech, blockchain, Internet of Things, cloud computing, AI and machine learning and all such technologies that are playing a pivotal role in the industry. This builds a solid foundation before you are thrust into the meat of the program in the coming modules.
  3. The use of tech in Banking and financial services is the first area of focus followed by cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. I was happy to see a module on stablecoins and enterprise blockchains because that is the real future in my opinion. Stablecoins can help address the biggest drawbacks of vanilla cryptocurrencies and enterprise solutions are where the big projects are. Other FinTech topics like AI/ ML, alternative lending and innovations in payments etc. are also covered in nice chunky modules of their own.
  4. There are a 100+ videos, plus dozens of assignments, quizzes, live sessions with program leaders and enough case studies to keep you busy for quite a while. The case studies are especially nice and are always my personal favorite to sink my teeth into. You’ll look at some of the best examples of FinTech implementation in the real world. 

Summary

  • This is a 2 month program with 4-6 hours of commitment required each week. 
  • Offered fully online based on a pre-specified program schedule. 
  • The best FinTech program for experienced professionals. 

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2. FinTech: Foundations & Applications from Wharton

Who is it for?

Everyone interested in a foundational understanding of FinTech. Suitable for leaners at all skill levels.

Why take this course?

  1. Wharton is a great brand to have on your Resume. Recruiters get swamped with so many Resumes that they can only spend a few precious seconds glancing over each of them. Having a solid brand that pops and catches their attention can be hugely beneficial. This is a great opportunity for some solid personal branding while learning from the best.
  2. The courses both on the fundamental building blocks of FinTech as well as real world applications. This means you get a great combo of both theory and practice that few other courses can get right. This is a broad-based course covering core finance areas like payments lending, regulations and investments as well as newer topics like crowdfunding, AI, Insurtech, Modern Investing and so on. 
  3. The course covers important aspects like use of technology for financial regulation, blockchain applications, portfolio management, payments, peer-to-peer lending, robo-advising, etc. This will provide you with a wide latitude of options in your FinTech career. Wharton has roped in real business leaders to offer insights as part of this program. 
  4. You get a certificate on successful completion that can be shared on your LinkedIn profile as well. Course is suitable for beginners and is generally very highly rated. Highly recommended as a first step towards FinTech. 

Summary

  • Should take about 15-20 hours to complete.
  • Offered fully online on Coursera – a trusted eLearning platform. Complete at your own pace. 
  • Probably the fastest and most efficient way to learn about FinTech.

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3. Professional Certificate in Fintech: The Future of Finance from the University of Texas at Austin

Who is it for? 

Business leaders, managers, executives, bankers interested in learning about the intersection of Finance and Technology.

Why take this course?

  1. FinTech is moving at a repaid pace and the University of Texas at Austin has created this Professional Certification to help bridge the gap between actual advancement and out understanding of how they work and what they can do for our organizations. Managers and advances students will benefit equally from this professional certificate and it may even be used for some continuing education programs.  
  2. The certification is divided into four modules or courses. The first course provides an excellent overview into the FinTech sector with a deep into what financial services companies do, how they create value and how emerging technologies can do that in a better way. The second course focuses on blockchain technology for business. This includes topics like cryptography, hashing, encryption & decryption, cryptocurrencies, ICO and the regulations surrounding them. You will be at the bleeding edge of the current revolution by the end of this course
  3. The last two courses focus on machine leaning, AI, Internet of Things and the use of APIs. These are by far some of my favorite topics because this is when we take FinTech to the ext. level. Ai and machine learning provide a force multiplier like nothing we have seen before in human history and the Internet of Things provides us the ability to deploy them to tens of billions of devices around the world. 
  4. This professional certificate should provide value to business leaders and future leaders who want to stay at the forefront of innovations in financial technology. Some of the topics covered here are not covered in any of the other courses (I looked!) and that is what really sets it apart. 

Summary

  • Should take about 80-100 hours to complete.
  • Offered on-demand and fully online on edX– a trusted eLearning platform created by Harvard and MIT. Complete the course at your own pace. 
  • The best professional certificate program for FinTech.

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4. Digital Transformation in Financial Services from Copenhagen Business School

Who is it for?

Ideal for FinTech strategists, digital bankers and management level executives who have to develop FinTech strategies or talk about digital banking authoritatively.

Why take this course?

  1. This course focuses on the digital transformation of the traditional financial services sector. What this means is that you are looking at things form the perspective of banks and how they are transforming themselves to face the onslaught of the tech companies. I find this aspect to be quite unique and a perfect learning opportunity for fellow bankers and financial services practitioners.
  2. Scandinavia is the undisputed leader in the digital transformation of finance. They outrank everyone in terms of financial transactions and services being offered over digital channels. So this insight from Copenhagen Business School is quite welcome.
  3. More than a quarter of the course is spent on formulating your FinTech strategy which makes this course perfect for senior to mid-level executives who need this top-down insight.

Summary

  • The course should take about 40 hours to complete for most people.
  • Offered fully online on Coursera – a trusted eLearning platform.
  • An insightful look inside the digital transformation of the financial services industry and how to ride that roller coaster all the way to the finish.

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5. Professional Certificate in FinTech from the University of Hong Kong

Who is it for?

Those interested in the regulatory aspect of FinTech like risks and ethics and use of blockchain.

Why take this course?

  1. The course not only focuses on FinTech sectors but also on the players like startups, BigTech firms, traditional financial institutions (like banks) and regulators.  It is actually three courses rolled into one – intro, blockchain, security/ risk aspects of FinTech.
  2. Blockchain is a major focus of this course and a lot of time is spent on understanding the technological and cryptographic components of blockchain tech. You will also look at applications and limitations of blockchain.
  3. RegTech and security is the second major focus of this course. These are some of the fastest developing fields in FinTech and I talk about them a lot in my other article. This course is a great opportunity to learn about these fields and get your foot in the door.

Summary

  • The course should take about 40-70 hours to complete for most people.
  • Offered fully online on edX – a non-profit platform founded by Harvard and MIT.
  • You’ll also get the “Certified FinTech Professional” certification for completing the intro course.

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6. Artificial Intelligence for Trading from Udacity

Who is it for?

Ideal for quantitative analysts and traders (quants), investment analysts,  financial engineers, data analysts in trading and other professionals who need to use advanced computing for market related roles.

Why take this course?

  1. This is more than just a course. It’s a Nanodegree program that’ll pick you up and get you desk-ready to become an AI coding super trader in a matter of months.
  2. The program heavily uses Python and Mathematical concepts and covers topics like quantitative trading, portfolio optimization, factor investing, sentiment analysis using natural language processing, signal processing, back testing and finally simulating trades. The whole nine yards.
  3. Udacity provides you with mentors who will answer your technical questions if you have any and career resources like Resume/ LinkedIn profile reviews to turn you into an AI mastermind.

Summary

  • The course should take about 6 months to complete for most people.
  • Offered fully online on Udacity with excellent personalised support.
  • A very comprehensive and satisfying deep dive into the world of AI development for the finance industry.

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7. Certified Enterprise Blockchain Professional (CEBP)

Who is it for?

Bankers, developers, managers working in mainstream industries and interested in bringing blockchain to their companies.

Why take this certification?

  1. I have reviewed a lot of blockchain courses but the reason this one makes the list is because it is more about FinTech than any of the other courses. Here, the focus is on using blockchain to achieve the same goals that FinTech is all about – technological innovation in finance. It stresses upon those aspects of blockchain that impact everyday companies.
  2. There are several modules which focus on various areas like blockchain basics, proof of work, smart contracts, private and public blockchains, enterprise blockchain platforms, hyper ledger, corda, and so on. You will begin to see the blockchain is so much more than just cryptocurrencies and its applications in mainstream business is tremendous.
  3. The best part of the course is the part about trade and supply chain finance. This is where it really intersects with FinTech and finance. Trade and supply chain finance is an area of finance that can benefit tremendously form blockchain and there are already some very large banks making active efforts on this front. The career opportunities here are really very lucrative for the right candidate with the right knowledge.
  4. You have to then complete the certification process which involves an online exam, a hands on assignment a final presentation. This certification  is the single best opportunity to learn blockchain as it applies to FinTech.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take about 14-16 hours.
  • Available fully online and on-demand.
  • The perfect blockchain course for enterprise users.

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8. Big Data, AI & ML in Financial Services

Who is it for?

Best suited for Investment/ Corporate Bankers on the business side of things. And mid to senior level executives in the financial services industry.

Why take this course?

  1. The best course on the topic of AI and Machine Learning in the financial services industry. The course has been created by Alqami and Delta Capita which means you get a real world look at how AI and ML is used in the financial services industry. While there are a lot of good courses on this list, I always prefer those created by industry practitioners over academics as they give you real world insights.
  2. The curriculum covers everything at the strategic level – from data governance to framework, tools, infrastructure, privacy issues and even quantum computing! There are plenty of quizzes and even some white papers for those who prefer taking a deeper dive into some topics.
  3. My favorite part is perhaps the use cases in finance. You learn how AI and ML is used in regulatory compliance (RegTech), which is the hottest segment within FinTech right now. And also for credit scoring and robo-advisory, among others.
  4. The fact that this course is offered by an actual FinTech firm with plenty of real-world experience instead of an academic institution should give you additional punch in any shortlisting process. Remember that recruiters are looking for people who can hit the ground running on day one.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take about 10-12 hours for most people.
  • Available fully online and on demand. Take as long as you want to complete the course.
  • Created by industry practitioners using real world insights and consulting experience.

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9. AI for Business Leaders from Udacity

Who is it for?

Business leaders, bankers leading the AI revolution in their companies or divisions.

Why take this course?

  1. This is the AI course for investment and corporate bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity managers and even CFOs. It is not meant to teach you to code, but rather lead the AI revolution. This course gives you the tools you need to become an AI and machine learning evangelist in your organisation and become a change leader.
  2. You start with the basics and learn how algorithms work and move onto meatier topics like how learning works in AI and ML systems, the mat and architecture behind these systems, how AI processes data and so on. This course is essentially meant to get you ready for leading the change form a business perspective.
  3. You also get to work on real world project and Udacity provides you access to technical mentors to help you out if needed. There are other value added services as well like Resume/ LinkedIn profile reviews etc.

Summary

  • The course should take 4-8 weeks to complete.
  • Offered fully online via Udacity’s excellent platform.
  • This is an executive program meant for bankers and other business leaders.

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10. FinTech Law and Policy from Duke

Who is it for?

Anyone interested in the legal and policy aspects of FinTech, compliance, regulatory environment, ICOs, FinTech lending etc.

Why take this course?

  1. Very few courses go into as much depth about the legal and regulatory aspect of FinTech technologies. Perfect for financial professionals at senior level who need to know about this, and also for legal professionals advising financial companies.
  2. The course covers legal, regulatory and policy issues associated with FinTech services like peer to peer lending, new payment methods, wealth management technologies, account aggregators, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and so on. Quite a comprehensive package.
  3. This is one of the most unique and practically significant courses on this list. It goes into great detail on topics that are of paramount importance but are usually overlooked in introductory courses.

Summary

  • The course should take about 9 hours to complete for most people.
  • Offered fully online on Coursera – a trusted eLearning platform.
  • Unique course offering a priceless opportunity to demystify the legal and regulatory aspects of FinTech.

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11. Blockchain Developer Nanodegree from Udacity

Who is it for?

Blockchain developers and designers. Anyone interested in learning blockchain.

Why take this course?

  1. This is the most comprehensive Blockchain developer program available online. It has everything you need to from the very beginning to making top tier blockchain applications in  matter of months. It is by no means a casual course so don’t treat is as such. This is for learners who are serious about a career and Blockchain and it will get you there.
  2. You start with Blockchain fundamentals and architecture – building your own private blockchain using Node.js and Leveldb and learning concepts like privacy, security and decentralized file management. Then, you dive deep into Ethereum smart contracts, tokens and Dapps. You actually get to build your own Dapp and complete a capstone project.
  3. Udacity provides more than just videos and course material. They give you access to technical mentors to help  with your technical queries which are bound to crop up. They even provide career support in the form of Resume/ LinkedIn profile reviews.
  4. As I said earlier, this is not just a course but a Nanodegree which means you get the experience of a compressed degree package. It is what I like to call a career-builder.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: About 4 months.
  • Available fully online and on-demand via the Udacity platform.
  • A full spectrum Blockchain Program for those who are serious about this career choice.

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12. Machine Learning from Stanford Online

Who is it for?

Machine Learning programmers and developers on the technical side of things.

Why take this course?

  1. This is a great course but it is a bit of an oddball in this list because it focuses on technical aspects of machine learning rather than the financial aspects of FinTech. This means this is a specialised course for those who want to focuses solely on machine learning.
  2. The course covers things like machine learning, datamining, statistical pattern recognition etc. which are super important in finance and especially in the data-driven approach to finance championed by FinTechs.

Summary

  • Should take about 55 hours to complete for most users.
  • Offered fully online on Coursera – a trusted eLearning platform.
  • Laser focused on machine learning and AI.

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13. Blockchain Fundamentals from UC Berkeley

Who is it for?

Cryptocurrency developers and designers. Anyone interested in Bitcoin, Ethereum , their applications or other cryptocurrencies.

Why take this course?

  1. This course is laser focused on blockchain so if that is what you are interested in, this is the course for you.
  2. UC Berkeley needs no introduction and having that brand on your CV will add tremendous value for anyone in the industry.
  3. Part 1 of the course focuses on Bitcoin, Ethereum and cryptocurrencies including practical applications like mining, privacy, wallets and so on. The other part focuses on the underlying blockchain technology itself, including aspects like Proof-of-work, Proof-of-Stake, enterprise-level blockchain implementations, regulatory aspects like KYC and anti-money laundering, crowdfunding, ICOs and so on.

Summary

  • Should take about 35 – 55 hours to complete for most.
  • Offered fully online on edX – a non-profit platform founded by Harvard and MIT.
  • Laser focused on practical blockchain applications including cryptocurrencies.

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About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.