IMDA, MAS to push career development of fintech professionals

THE Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Nov 16 signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) FinTech Collective to develop a talent pool skilled in infocomm technology (ICT) with a focus on financial technology (fintech).

Other partners on the MOI are SkillsFuture Singapore, six local universities and five financial associations.

The MOI, billed as Singapore's first nationwide collaboration between industry and universities, will see both parties join forces to "better equip Singaporeans with the right skills to take up ICT jobs", they said in a joint media release.

Initiatives under the partnership will include fintech research collaborations with the universities, new courses in fintech specialisations, mentorships and hackathons with finance professionals to help students understand fintech trends. It will cover popular areas such as blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data science.

The partnership will also help align the universities' curricula to be more industry-ready, helping university students benefit from professional education training (PET). Polytechnic graduates and ICT professionals will also benefit from continuing education training (CET) initiatives enhanced for upskilling and reskilling.

Other students and professionals will also be exposed to emerging fintech trends through outreach efforts, to guide their skills development.

MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh said that the need for professionals with strong skills in technology and a good understanding of financial products will grow significantly.

"This unprecedented, large scale collaboration among the government, financial industry and universities will help to build a deep fintech talent pool in Singapore," Ms Loh said.

Tan Kiat How, chief executive of IMDA, said: "There are many exciting opportunities for Singaporeans looking for a career in infocomm technology, fuelled by the strong demand in every sector as companies embrace digitalisation. We are very encouraged by the support from all six local universities and the industry associations to ensure that we have the right talent to accelerate the growth of the fintech sector, a key part of Singapore's digital economy."

According to the release, the finance sector employed 24,300 ICT professionals in 2016, a sharp increase of more than 25 per cent from the 19,100 the year before. Total demand for ICT jobs in the financial sector also reached an all-time high of 26,200.

The TeSA Fintech Collective was first announced by Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, at the Singapore FinTech Festival welcome dinner on Nov 13.