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Smith launches Canada’s first Master of Financial Innovation and Technology

​New program addresses a gap in formal education in a quickly-evolving industry.

Master of Financial Innovation and Technology

Smith School of Business at Queen’s University has launched the Master of Financial Innovation and Technology program, the first program of its kind in Canada designed to address the significant gap in financial technology education.  

Technology is transforming the financial sector on multiple fronts – including the management of vast amounts of data and customer intelligence, mobile as a dominant payment channel, the impact of non-traditional fintech providers, and block chain currency – at an explosive rate. According to the latest EY Global Fintech Adoption Index, consumer adoption of fintech services has increased by 64 per cent since 2017. Further, a PwC global fintech report found that 28 per cent of the banking and payments sector, and 22 per cent of the insurance, asset and wealth management sector were considered at disruptive risk due to technology. 

Designed for professionals already employed, the first Master of Financial Innovation and Technology (MFIT) program will begin in November (pending approval by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance) and will be delivered in evening and weekend sessions so students can earn a world-class degree without taking a break from their careers. Graduates will receive training in finance, data science and machine learning technologies that will equip them for success in the constantly evolving industry of finance. Applications are now being accepted. Learn more at smithqueens.com/mfit.

“Until now, employers hiring in the financial technology sector have had to choose between candidates who specialize in either finance or technology; it’s been a challenge to find talent with strengths in both who understand how one impacts the other, including the opportunities and risks,” says Ryan Riordan, Director of the New MFIT program, as well as Distinguished Professor of Finance and Director of Research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance. “With the launch of this new program, we’ve created a unique educational path that bridges both sectors and equips graduates to succeed in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

MFIT will expand Smith’s program offerings for students who focus on finance but also want a professional footing in the industry’s ongoing digital transformation, or for technology specialists who want to build their career in the finance sector. The new program will be supported by Smith School of Business faculty with active research agendas in financial innovation, analytics and financial technology.  

Before developing the MFIT program, Smith School of Business surveyed more than 2,500 alumni of its existing finance and analytics masters programs to better understand the demands of today’s job landscape. Eighty-five per cent identified a need for a program like the MFIT.  

“Smith has a strong history of recognizing the changing needs of business in Canada and around the world, and quickly developing programs to help fill the talent pipeline with qualified candidates,” says Brenda Brouwer, Dean of Smith School of Business. “The new MFIT program is the latest of our new programs that address the changes taking place in how business is done including the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence in 2018 and the Global Master of Management in Analytics last year.”  

The new MFIT program will take 12 months to complete and will consist of 12 courses delivered through a mix of remote and in-person sessions. Courses will be offered one evening per week and on alternating weekends to allow for the demands of a fulltime career. Classes, collaboration and course work will be managed online through the Queen’s Learning Management System, Brightspace.