Rising industry demand for trained graduates in the field of ‘FinTech’ has led to the creation of a new program at Georgia Highlands College (GHC). Starting spring 2022, GHC will offer an associate degree in Financial Technology, as well as a Nexus degree.
FinTech focuses on technologies aimed at upending portions of the financial world, such as payments, wealth management, lending, insurance and currency. Students enrolled in the FinTech program will obtain a multifaceted education encompassing a breadth of topic areas such as credential security, blockchain applications and virtual currencies.
Based on the latest data, 70% of all U.S. transactions are handled by payment processing firms located in Georgia, with more than 170 FinTech-labeled companies generating an annual revenue of more than $72 billion.
“Georgia has become the FinTech capital of the world,” Dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies Melanie Largin said. “FinTech is broadly defined, but industry experts expect unmet demand of about 5,000 jobs in Georgia for the current year, and after 2023 the demand will about 2,000 jobs per year.”
A degree in FinTech serves as a steppingstone to careers across multiple industries ranging from a Business Systems Analyst to Software Engineer/Developer to Art Director and Email Marketing Specialist.
Associate of Science in FinTech
The associate degree program, which is fully online and accessible through Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program, is offered in conjunction with the Georgia FinTech Academy, a collaboration of all 26 University System of Georgia (USG) schools with experts in the field developing courses that can be offered at any institution in the state. In addition, the associate degree can matriculate to an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology through Middle Georgia State University.
The associate degree is geared toward first-time college students with little or no experience in FinTech, as well as returning or non-traditional students and those who already have a degree but are interested in FinTech.
Nexus Degree in FinTech
The Nexus degree is similar to the associate degree in terms of the number of credit hours, but with an emphasis on supply chain, including a 6-hour apprenticeship. This degree is geared more toward those who have industry experience or who have completed a degree, although it is open to new students.
The University System of Georgia’s Nexus Degree, a new academic credential and the first new degree program in the United States since the 1890s when the associate degree was added, will help more Georgians access careers in high demand areas. Creation of this degree is in direct response to talent demand analysis with employers in high demand career areas. The first graduates with this credential earned Nexus degrees in film production from Columbus State University in December 2020.