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Five new financial jobs of the future

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Money and property develop in an increasingly digital and virtual world, and finance jobs will also change to keep up. Here’s a look at some of the new roles emerging in the industry.

Internal banking hacker

Bank guards usually keep criminals out. What about security guards hired to break in? Large financial institutions have long been hiring companies to hack their systems and reporting vulnerabilities, a process called penetration testing, says Sean Moyer, co-founder of one of those companies, security research firm Atredis Partners. A big change he’s noticed in recent years is that financial institutions are using their own penetration testers to continuously test their systems. “People realized that you can’t do a test once a year. When you’re continuously writing code and continuously deploying new infrastructure, you need to have a continuous penetration testing process,” he says. Talent has always been hard to find, says Mr. Moyer, who has been hiring penetration testers for more than 20 years. Now these jobs are even more in demand. Do we need more hackers? “I don’t use that word very often, but I do,” says Mr. Moyer.


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NFT appraiser

As our lives increasingly move into digital and virtual worlds, we will begin to acquire assets in those worlds, says Ken Timsitt, managing director of blockchain network Cronos. At the same time, it envisions the “financialization of everything,” in which anything with intellectual property value can become a unique digital asset that can be owned—music, games, even sneakers. Collectors last year spent billions of dollars trading digital art and collectibles, most of which have been attached to NFTs, or non-fungible tokens that act as vouchers of authenticity on the blockchain for virtual goods. So, how to estimate the value of these virtual assets? Call an NFT appraiser. Financial institutions will need to hire people from different industries to help them understand how to properly value digital collectibles, Mr. Timsitt says. “Experts from all walks of life will contribute to the calibration of these models.”


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Credit specialist as a financial consultant

Technological developments and regulatory changes could cut the time it takes to buy and sell a home from months to days, predicts Jeremy Waxman, chief operating officer of the real estate company

The Zillow Group Inc.

And this could mean that loan officers will take on a very different role. Now they spend a lot of time working with documents: tax returns, pay stubs, credit scores and proof of insurance, Mr. Waxman notes. With that out of the way, the loan officer in the future could do more important parts of the job: act as a counselor and advisor. They will have more time to help clients strategize, find opportunities, and financially prepare for their long-term goals. It already exists to some degree, he says, but it’s not as widespread as it could be. “Whenever technology makes things more efficient, it allows people to spend their time doing what they do best,” says Mr. Waxman. “I think you’ve already seen this trend in the industry, and I think you’ll see it continue as agents and loan officers become advisors and consultants.”


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Chief FinTech Director

What happens when the financial services part of an online business takes on a life of its own? You may need a chief fintech officer. Housecall Pro, built as a platform to help plumbers, electricians, landscapers and other home service providers run their businesses, is one example of a development that’s happening more and more, says the company’s chief fintech officer Ethan Centuria. It was started to help merchants do things like schedule appointments, create estimates, send invoices, and accept payments. Today, the financial part is a huge part of the company’s business. As demand for financial services grew, the company brought in Mr. Centuria — an entrepreneur who had previously founded and chronicled the demise of an online lending company — to help build a finance department into the platform. It offers customers a range of products to meet their financial needs, including payments, bank transfers, customer finance, payroll and more. In the future, Mr Centuria says, more companies built around a core non-financial product will need people in roles like his responsible for providing financial services to customers.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What new roles do you see in your industry? Is there one you’d be interested in taking on? Join the conversation below.


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Financial watchdog bot

People will need a new kind of financial advisor if they want someone to help them manage their virtual portfolios of NFTs and other assets, says Bertrand Perez, CEO of Switzerland’s Web3 Foundation. The group, founded by Gavin Wood, co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, works on initiatives related to the decentralization of the Internet. This new role of financial management is best performed by a bot, says Mr Perez, as AI will be far better than a human trained to monitor virtual assets and recommend trades. But humans won’t be completely out of the picture, he says: Humans will have to look over the bots’ shoulders to make sure the recommendations they’re making are valid. In other words, a financial watchdog bot. “You’re going to need someone sitting on top of everything, making sure that whatever these bots offer as a result to consumers is always within the rules,” says Mr. Perez.

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