UConn Hartford, Stamford to Offer Fintech Grad Program

UConn Hartford, Stamford to Offer Fintech Grad Program

(TNS) — When it comes to building a top financial technology program at the University of Connecticut, John Wilson has his sights set high.

“We are looking to be the global leader,” said Wilson, the academic director and architect of a new expanded program to do just that slated to start this month.

The Stamford and Hartford campuses of the university will offer an in-person master’s degree and a new graduate certificate in financial technology, also known as “fintech,” this fall, putting it ahead of most universities and colleges in providing such options, he said.

While fintech is an emerging sector in the business world, many higher education institutions have yet to offer degrees geared toward the field. Wilson said UConn is ahead of the curve.

“We’re just early,” he said. “We have a history of getting out ahead of some trends.”

Wilson said he predicted that in a year or two there will be plenty of options to pursue degrees in fintech and related fields elsewhere.

The UConn master’s degree program in fintech launched this spring, but the graduate certificate is a new development, and will kick off later this month. Unlike the 36-credit degree, the certificate can be obtained with 12 credits, or the equivalent of four classes. The cost per credit is $1,500.

In a nutshell, financial technology is a field that deals with automated and streamlined financial services for businesses and consumers using the latest in technology. That can mean anything from applications such as Venmo, that lets someone send money instantaneously via cell phone, to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Fintech also refers to technology related to insurance, regulations, medicine and real estate.

“Fintech has disrupted traditional practices in the financial sector and changed the way we bank, shop, trade, invest and pay our bills,” said John A. Elliott, dean of the School of Business, in an article posted on the university’s website. “We are eager to expand our educational offerings in this area and anticipate that our graduates will have a significant impact in this evolution.”

The graduate certificate beginning this fall was created in response to growing corporate demand for talent in the fintech world, according to the article, which also states that UConn’s Board of Trustees approved the new certificate program this month.

The idea of the certificate is to appeal to those who already have some experience in the field but want to enhance their skillset, Wilson said.

“It was a natural progression from the fintech master’s program,” he said.

The suite of courses include blockchain, statistics, predictive modeling and cryptocurrencies topics.

Acquiring the certificate, which includes four courses — three core classes and an elective — would give students the experience of getting through a third of the master’s degree.

“One of the things we were deliberative about was making sure the certificate was integrated into the degree program,” Wilson said.

That means that students taking courses toward the certificate will be in the same classes as those in the master’s program.

“The benefit of that is they’re getting robust instruction,” Wilson said.

He said UConn has been active at fintech conferences, and the response from companies about the school’s burgeoning fintech program has been highly encouraging.

“There is incredible interest in recruiting our talent and the skills they’re going to have,” Wilson said.

©2022 The Advocate (Stamford, Conn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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