Career opportunities in the BSFI sector is predicted to rise and employers will be looking out for how up-to-date an individual is
The pandemic has had a two-pronged effect on the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector. Firstly, the lockdown affected the economy drastically and liquidity issues cropped up for many companies. Low-interest rates made it difficult to convince customers to invest, and capital flow went down. On the other hand, the insurance sector saw a tepid response with people spending on health insurance, but pay-outs have also been more on the negative side.
However, this does not mean that a prospective candidate should lose hope. The digital boom that the pandemic has compelled also means that the BFSI sector will soon need a more polished workforce. The sector promises to bring 1.6 million jobs by 2022, but hiring trends will slowly change.
Graduates who want to a career in the BFSI sector have a lot on their plates, but the organisation is the key. The first step towards making an entry into the sector is research; identify your core strengths and then look for a position that you want to fill. Then comes the preparation; opting for courses and specialisations that will open doors.
Challenges in the sector
Recruiters today face many challenges when looking for the right talent. First, the problem of skill gap has consistently widened in the BFSI sector and is glaring now. A point has come when the sector’s highest rungs also find themselves grappling with new-age tools and formulae. The digital thrust in the sector has given birth to new roles like data scientists, software and AI engineers. There are not many who are well-versed with the sector.
The other problems are the lower number of mid- and upper-level employees who are required to boost a firm’s growth and retain the millennial workforce, which always looks for better options and a good work environment. When the sector starts hiring, it will look at quality rather than quantity. Therefore, a candidate must have thorough knowledge of the sector and be skilled enough to familiarise themselves with the changes and new concepts thrown into the mix daily. A person with analytical skills and the ability to adapt to change will be the first preference. Apart from this, familiarity with the latest technological trends like coding, Data Science and AI will be a plus. They will also need to be fast communicators with the power to market policies and convince customers to buy.
The topmost employable quality will be familiarity with fintech. App developers, data analysts, and AI experts will be in high demand because the BFSI sector depends heavily on a digital dashboard for most of its services. Then comes the need for compliance officers, who have to be well-versed with the changes in laws and the political and economic changes of the post-pandemic period. Data analysts will need to chalk out patterns from the huge mountains of data that the sector deals with daily to frame policies and services for customers. Banking and finance professionals will need to be fluent in the latest software like Python, Microsoft Office, Java, SAS and others. This is the section that is highly sought after by the management. Design thinking to drive product innovation and enhance user experience has also become crucial today.
Enrolling in fintech-specific programmes and getting hands-on experience will prepare you to succeed in the real world. Students and professionals need to take the time to brush up existing skills and learn newer ones to stay relevant. Explore opportunities where you can not only learn from specially curated programmes but look for those that can give you real world experience and perhaps even job assurance.
The writer is Chief Business Officer of Manipal Global Academy of BFSI