Some financial-services firms and banks like to claim they’re essentially tech companies, given the number of technologists they hire and bleeding-edge research they fund. And when you read about banks throwing enormous resources behind moonshot projects such as quantum computing, it’s easy to see why they’d make that claim.
But beyond the headlines about quantum computing and advanced data analytics, which tech skills do these financial institutions actually need? To figure that out, we can turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country; we looked at six months’ worth of data to determine which tech skills popped up the most in these companies’ postings:
That SQL dominates this list should come as no surprise. SQL (Structured Query Language) is key for managing relational databases, which makes it a vital element in companies’ data operations. Financial institutions, of course, live and die based on the quality of their data. If you can use SQL to modify databases’ index structures, generate tables, and retrieve information, chances are very good that you can find a tech job in the finance industry.
As you might expect, financial institutions also desire technologists who have a grasp on project management, software engineering, and software development skills. If you can oversee a complex project and guide it to completion (on-time and on budget, hopefully), your job prospects increase; for these kinds of roles, it’s also helpful to have a full complement of “soft skills” (i.e., empathy, communication, and more) in addition to technical skills.
Which institutions have actually been hiring in 2021? Burning Glass provides us with a pretty comprehensive answer on that front, too:
If you want to land a job at a bank or financial-services firm, you don’t need to specialize in something esoteric like artificial intelligence (A.I.) or quantum computing (although that surely wouldn’t hurt); mastering some basic tech skills will also make you a sought-after talent.