The Georgia FinTech Academy, a statewide talent development initiative in collaboration with the state’s fintech industry and the University System of Georgia, will host its physical presence at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business and the Buckhead Executive Center. Last September, Georgia State announced the opening one of the first university fintech labs in the country at the Buckhead Center.
With more than 60 percent of payment processing companies based in Atlanta, the state’s transaction alley is home to major financial technology players including Kabbage, First Data, GreenSky and others. More than 40,000 Georgians are employed in fintech, which generates more than $72 billion in annual revenue.
The Fintech Academy will provide in-person and virtual course offerings to fill the talent pipeline need in the growing industry.
“Previous analysis done by University System of Georgia officials in partnership with fintech industry leaders demonstrated the companies in Georgia in this sector needed 5,000 new employees over the next three years in order to meet their demand for new talent,” Richard D. Phillips, Dean of GSU’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, told Hypepotamus.
“The Academy is designed to meet that need in the short run, and then to provide a reliable source of fintech-specific talent in the long run.”
Courses will focus on five high-demand areas: software development, client services and business development, cybersecurity, data science and analytics, and innovation and product development. Continuing education options such as certification programs, bootcamps and refresher courses will also be offered for mid-career professionals looking to transition into the industry.
The Academy’s online, cloud-based curriculum will allow students to access information across the state’s 26-institution university system with resources like success coaches and experiential learning.
“Many fintech employers offer high quality and high salary opportunities for people who have developed the competencies and credentials they value most,” University System of Georgia’s Chief Innovation Officer Art Recesso, PhD, told Hypepotamus. “We have many people throughout the state who would enjoy gaining access to those jobs — but they need to know about the careers available and how they can prepare for them.”
To help interested students connect with prospective employers, the FinTech Academy will facilitate apprenticeships positions for students.
“It will be much easier for a fintech employer and USG institutions to connect, so students may access more opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills,” says Recesso. “The University System of Georgia has more than 32,000 students enrolled in information technology-related degree programs, for example, and yet the demand for fintech-ready professionals is substantial.”
Through a dedicated liaison, as well as partnerships with programs like Women Who Code, Women in Technology at Georgia State, USG African-American Male initiative, Operation Hope and more, the Academy will aim to provide access to the fintech industry to underrepresented populations.
This week, Georgia State was ranked the second most innovative university in the country by U.S. News & World Report, rising up from the fourth slot last year.
“Innovation is an integral part of Georgia State’s DNA and we look forward to working closely with the University System to ensure the Georgia FinTech Academy responds to industry needs and helps power future growth and expansion of the sector,” Mark P. Becker, president of Georgia State, said in a statement.
The downtown office will serve as the Academy’s executive offices and a point of contact for employers seeking to hire prospective fintech-focused talent.
Featured image via Georgia State University