Opportunities for those interested in careers in finance are arguably more abundant than ever. Along with traditional college programs, ambitious young people can pursue finance careers by taking advantage of non-profit programs, finance student scholarships, online classes, and similar resources.
However, it’s important for those considering a job in finance to understand how fintech (financial technology) is changing the way some finance professionals work.
Specifically, innovations in artificial intelligence are driving the development of fintech “financial advisors” that can offer services similar to those a human financial advisor would offer.
The rising popularity of such apps and programs may not be a fad. Research indicates young investors are quite willing (and even eager) to use “robo-advisors” to manage their money.
None of this is meant to suggest that human financial advisors will no longer be relevant. To the contrary, while millennials and Gen Z’ers are more likely to embrace AI fintech advising services than members of older generations, the same research that indicates young people appreciate the convenience these services offer also indicates they still want to work with real people when making financial decisions.
They prefer a hybrid model, using human advisors and AI advisors to complement each other, rather than compete with each other.
This means a student considering a career as a financial advisor doesn’t need to worry about a robot making their dream job obsolete by the time they graduate.
Instead, they need to understand how they can benefit from using these innovations instead of perceiving them to be threats.
For example, one of the reasons young people still appreciate the value of coordinating with an actual person when seeking financial advice relates to the way in which humans can contextualize their recommendations.
A human can understand someone’s financial goals in a personal way an AI can’t. They can also clearly explain how their recommendations will help a client achieve their goals.
In fact, AI-based financial advisors may actually allow traditional financial advisors to spend more time focusing on the personal needs and plans of their clients in the coming years.
Currently, AI’s greatest strength in financial advising is its ability to analyze large amounts of data nearly non-stop. If it was programmed carefully, AI is less prone to human error as well.
This type of analysis plays a critical role in financial advising. It’s also a task that can be very time-consuming for a human advisor.
By taking over the bulk of data analysis work, as well as various administrative tasks, such as addressing basic customer support requests, AI financial advisors can free up large portions of human advisors’ schedules.
Financial advisors wise enough to adapt to such developments will plan on using that additional time to work directly with clients on a one-on-one basis to a greater degree than they could have in the past.
With that in mind, students dreaming of careers as financial advisors should focus not only on developing technical skills and knowledge, but also on cultivating the interpersonal skills that promote trust in clients. Most importantly, they should remember that AI and fintech don’t need to be their adversaries; they can be allies.