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A degree for the fintech age

New Master of Financial Innovation and Technology addresses gap in fintech education.
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Technology is shaking up the financial world. The latest EY Global Fintech Adoption Index finds that consumer fintech services use has grown by 64 per cent since 2017. A PwC report, meanwhile, says 28 per cent of the world’s banking and payments sectors and 22 per cent of the world’s insurance, asset and wealth management sectors are considered at risk of disruption due to technology.

With that in mind, Smith has launched a new master’s degree: the Master of Financial Innovation and Technology (MFIT). It’s the first program of its kind in Canada to address the significant gap in financial technology education.

MFIT is a 12-month degree designed for employed professionals, with training in finance, data-science and machine-learning technologies. Classes are held in the evenings and weekends so students can earn the degree without taking a break from their careers.

“Until now, employers hiring in the financial technology sector have had to choose between candidates who specialize in either finance or technology; it’s been a challenge to find talent with strengths in both who understand how one impacts the other, including the opportunities and risks,” says Ryan Riordan, director of the MFIT program, as well as Distinguished Professor of Finance and director of research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance. “With the launch of this new program, we’ve created a unique educational path that bridges both sectors and equips graduates to succeed in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

Asking alumni

MFIT expands Smith’s program offerings for students who focus on finance but also want a professional footing in the industry’s ongoing digital transformation, or for technology specialists who want to build their career in the finance sector.

Before developing the MFIT program, Smith surveyed more than 2,500 alumni of existing finance and analytics master’s programs to better understand the demands of today’s job landscape. Eighty-five per cent identified a need for a program like MFIT.

“Smith has a strong history of recognizing the changing needs of business in Canada and around the world, and quickly developing programs to help fill the talent pipeline with qualified candidates,” Dean Brenda Brouwer says. “The new MFIT program is the latest of our new programs that address the changes taking place in how business is done, including the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence in 2018 and the Global Master of Management Analytics last year.” For more, visit