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The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) segment has undergone a massive digital transformation as more financial transactions have moved online. This field offers a wide range of career opportunities in roles related to risk management, financial technology, banking services, investment, insurance and, now, information technology.

Given the market conditions, it’s important for candidates looking to create a career in this sector to know which roles and skills are in high demand, and the key trends and opportunities.

In-demand roles in BFSI for early career professionals
Upasna Nischal, HR Head-India, Fidelity International, an investment solutions and retirement expertise provider, says that organisations are looking to hire talented individuals who are keen to work through the continuum of cyclical changes. They should be flexible to unlearn and learn new ways of working and operate with a degree of comfort in a disruptive environment.

Beyond core functional roles, in her opinion, roles related to cloud software development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber security, data science, and business analysis and operations, to name a few, are in demand in the BFSI sector.

Yadhu Kishore Nandikolla, Head of Human Resources, MassMutual India — a provider of life insurance, retirement, and investment solutions — has a similar opinion. He lists data science, data analysis, data engineering, full-stack development, and cloud infrastructure/development roles as those in high demand. On the operations side, voice and non-voice support roles from a core business support standpoint are registering significant hiring demand, he adds.

The BFSI sector also offers apprenticeships as career pathways that allow you to earn money while acquiring skills.

Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta, Vice President and Business Head, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, says, “Apprenticeships offer the ideal opportunity to excel in roles like sales and relationship executives, credit officers, financial analyst, data analysts in the junior to mid-levels, microfinance executive, insurance agent, credit processing officer, mutual fund distributor, debt recovery agent, and banking assistant, while simultaneously offering the joinee education that could range from certificate to diploma.”

Courses individuals can take up to excel in these roles
Mahanta says individuals can choose certificate courses in banking management, commercial banking, rural banking, bank analysis, and diploma in banking and finance, among others, to meet the skill requirement of the employers. Online courses offer another way to upskill via entry-level courses.

For tech roles in the sector, Nandikolla says multiple courses are available in online and in classroom settings. Although the course preference may varFor tech roles in the sector, Nandikolla says multiple courses are available in online and in classroom settings. Although the course preference may vary based on the role one intends to pursue, some popular courses are AWS, Azure, DevOps, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Python, RPA, VBA and Vertica.
y based on the role one intends to pursue, some popular courses are AWS, Azure, DevOps, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Python, RPA, VBA and Vertica.

Average pay structure for entry-level roles
Mahanta says that depending on the educational background, the pay structure for entry-level candidates may vary. “Tier-1 educated graduates can expect upwards of Rs 4.5 lakh per annum, apprentices who have passed Classes X or XII can get upwards of Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.”

Must-have skills to flourish in the BFSI sector
Beyond the core domain understanding of banking, insurance, payments, lending and wealth management, Nischal from Fidelity International says that technical skills have relatively shorter shelf lives, unlike soft behavioural skills that are often fundamental to building long-term careers.

The most important skill in her experience is to build a mindset of “forever learner”, implying self-discipline, initiative and resourcefulness. In addition, it is imperative to be adaptable, learn how to navigate ambiguity, be a team player embracing diversity, and develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Lastly, she says that although often underrated, effective communication can help early career professionals exude confidence in the workplace.

Nandikolla says in tech-facing roles, the preferred traits of new graduates are strong communication and interpersonal skills, good fundamentals in programming and analytical abilities. Mahanta adds skills in analytics, numerical ability, learning agility, progressive knowledge, and competency in AI/ ML and blockchain to the list.

Hiring demand for freelance and contractual opportunities
Mahanta says that freelancers are typically employed to reduce fixed overheads for roles in graphic designers, web developers, content writers, temp recruitment teams, business development executives and so on. At the same time, the availability of skilled talent in the gig market has opened opportunities in AI/ ML/deep learning skills, blockchain implementation and backend technological implementation, among others, he adds.

Being in the financial services industry with certain regulated guidelines, one would typically work closely with various partners, such as systems integration partners, who can bring talent as professional services to support projects for a limited timeframe, says Nischal. “This allows these companies the flex as well as the subject matter expertise for specific needs to deliver efficiencies at scale.”

Contrary to their opinions, Nandikolla adds that many BFSI companies are not interested in hiring freelancers because of their staunch focus on data security and privacy, which is easier to manage with internal hires.

  • Published On Nov 27, 2023 at 02:37 PM IST

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