Worcester Polytechnic Institute Debuts Fintech Degrees

With financial technology (fintech) careers set for explosive growth, Massachusetts' Worcester Polytechnic Institute is adding the degree programs to its repertoire.
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Published on September 15, 2023
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  • The Worcester Polytechnic Institute will offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in financial technology (fintech).
  • Fintech includes a variety of ways technology can bolster or automate finance for consumers and businesses, like online payment services or cryptocurrency.
  • The field is set for explosive growth over the next decade, with revenues projected to swell to $1.5 trillion by 2030.
  • Massachusetts is trying to position itself as a key fintech hub via training and investments.

With financial technology (fintech) projected to become a $1.5 trillion industry by 2030, another business school is adding the high-demand field to its degree offerings.

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts late last month announced its new undergraduate and graduate degrees in fintech. Applications are now open for both the graduate and undergraduate programs.

Fintech is a "catch-all term" for technologies that boost or even automate finance for businesses and consumers, according to Columbia University.

The term is broad and can apply to a variety of developments, such as online payment services like Venmo, easily accessible investing platforms like Robinhood, or the development of cryptocurrencies.

The new Worcester Polytechnic bachelor's and master's degree programs will complement work already being done at the school, including its longstanding Wall Street/FinTech Project Center in New York City, which already features seven-week, intensive terms where students work with real-world industry partners.

"The Business School is delighted to launch the bachelor's and master's degrees in FinTech," Worcester Polytechnic Business School Dean Debora Jackson said in the press release.

"As a technology-focused business school, we are uniquely positioned to offer this distinctive program. Recognized for the relevance of our curriculum, we have proudly applied our know-how to create robust degree programs in FinTech, leveraging the WPI hallmarks of theory and practice and emerging as a vanguard. It is an exciting time, and we look forward to welcoming students."

Curriculum for the undergraduate fintech degree will include hands-on training and will touch on topics like computer science, business, and financial technology, according to the program website. And it also includes concentrations in financial technologies, financial analytics, and financial mathematics.

The master's program includes predictive analytics, programming applications for risk management, corporate innovation, financial modeling, and a host of other topics to prepare students for the field.

The Boston Consulting Group projected earlier this year that fintech revenues will explode over the next seven years, growing from $245 billion to $1.5 trillion by 2030.

"The fintech journey is still in its early stages and will continue to revolutionize the financial services industry as we know it," Deepak Goyal, Boston Consulting Group managing director and senior partner, said in a May release.

The fintech degrees at Worcester Polytechnic also fit into a broader push in Massachusetts to make the growing sector a core part of the commonwealth's economy.

The Mass Fintech Hub, a collaborative that includes Worcester Polytechnic and a slew of other companies and educational organizations, aims to bolster the industry's presence across the region.

An October 2020 report from the consulting firm Ernst and Young found that Massachusetts "is a strong FinTech hub underpinned by a well-rounded ecosystem" with more than 350 financial technology companies headquartered in the commonwealth at the time.

Several higher education institutions have adopted fintech as the field continues to grow. Creighton University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of Connecticut, and other schools have all adopted similar programs.

The University of Utah earlier this year received a $65 million commitment from the Stena Foundation to support student fintech ventures via a new center.

University President Taylor Randall said the funds will help "accelerate and incubate important advances in financial technology innovation and businesses that will continue to propel the fintech industry forward and cement Utah as a center of excellence."