Dive Brief:

  • Wake Forest University will open a center for financial services and technology education in Charlotte, North Carolina, a growing fintech hub. 
  • The program, developed in partnership with Kaplan, is designed for working professionals and will offer noncredit courses that lead to industry certifications and designations.
  • Courses will cover topics including data science, analytics, cybersecurity and financial services licensing, which are growing areas of interest among postsecondary and postgraduate education providers.

Dive Insight:

The number of jobs in the financial services industry is increasing, with particularly large growth in the Charlotte region, according to S&P Global.

But turnover is a problem for the industry, according to one 2019 survey. Among other factors, surveyed workers said they place great value on the potential for growth. That’s something Wake Forest’s program, and others like them cropping up at colleges and universities nationwide, could help provide.

And it follows the broader trend of colleges offering short-term courses to help learners develop technology skills, either to augment students’ current courseload or to give working professionals an opportunity reskill. In some cases, colleges are looking to the latter cohort as a new source of revenue as state funding lags and enrollment projections threaten income from tuition.

Online education companies are also taking steps to address demand in the financial services sector. Adtalem Global Education, for instance, acquired the financial services business of OnCourse Learning last year, bolstering its professional education offerings.

Employers in the financial services sector appear interested in offering their workers ways to continue their education.

For example, BMO Capital Markets, New York Life and PGIM, Prudential’s global investment management businesses, make use of a return-to-work program for people with some experience in the industry who have been out of the full-time workforce for at least two years. In addition to beginning work again, they also receive support for relevant coursework or certifications and mentoring.

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