Duke University Launches Forward-Looking FinTech Masters Program

FinTech has become an indispensable part of our day to day lives, allowing us to Venmo friends for dinner, pay for coffee with a smartwatch, and of course use cryptocurrency. While living without the revolutionary advances in Fintech seems virtually impossible, there has been a significant lack in dedicated programs designed to foster the next generation of this industry’s innovators.

Until now.

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Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and the Duke Financial Economics Center (DFE) have announced they’re partnering to launch a new Master of Engineering in FinTech. The course which is one of the first of its kind based in an engineering school will teach valuable computing and programming skills alongside industry-specific business fundamentals.

Designed to develop graduates that will meet the growing need for technical expertise in emerging finance sectors, Duke’s FinTech degree is a step towards the future.

“Organizations occupying the drastically changing financial services arena are thirsty for employees who understand the practical application of both business and technology,” said Jimmie Lenz, the program’s academic director. “It’s not just traditional banking organizations that are interested in diversifying their workforce. Ten percent of startups on last year’s AngelList were FinTech.”

Rather than ride the wave and bear witness to progress in the finance sector, the Vinik Dean of Engineering at Duke University, Ravi Bellamkonda, plans to be a part of FinTech’s growth.

“This future will be built by technologically savvy professionals with the kind of knowledge base students can gain in our new FinTech master’s program,” said Bellamkonda. “Technology, law and business professionals have designed our curriculum to serve the needs of both students and finance industry partners, showing that Duke remains at the forefront when it comes to developing solutions for the real world.”

Most financial technology programs in the US are run by business schools, however, Duke’s program is markedly distinct. Emphasizing on developing solutions with tools like blockchain, machine learning, and secure software development, Duke hopes to expand rather than imitate other courses.

“Our grads will understand business needs, but they will also understand the range of technologies available, and how to deploy them to address the evolving financial transaction landscape,” said DFE teaching director and Department of Economics faculty member Emma Rasiel, a member of the Duke FinTech steering committee.

The program is now accepting applications for 2020.