• An exploratory study of the FinTech (Financial Technology) education and retraining in UK

      Sung, Anna; Leong, Kelvin; Sironi, Paolo; O'Reilly, Tim; Mcmillan, Alison; University of Chester, IBM Industry Academy, Sage Qualifications, Glyndwr University
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore two identified knowledge gaps: first, the identification and analysis of online searching trends for Financial Technology (FinTech)-related jobs and education information in UK, and second to assess the current strength of the FinTech-related job distribution in terms of job titles and locations in UK, job market in UK and what is required to help it to grow. Design/methodology/approach Two sets of data were used in this study in order to fill the two identified knowledge gaps. First, six years’ worth of data, for the period from September 2012 to August 2018 was collected from Google Trends. This was in the form of search term keyword text. The hypothesis was designed correspondingly, and the results were reviewed and evaluated using a relevant statistical tool. Second, relevant data were extracted from the “Indeed” website (www.indeed.co.uk) by means of a simple VBA programme written in Excel. In total, the textual data for 500 job advertisements, including the keyword “FinTech”, were downloaded from that website. Findings The authors found that there was a continuously increasing trend in the use of the keyword “fintech” under the category “Jobs and Education” in online searching from September 2012 to August 2018. The authors demonstrated that this trend was statistically significant. In contrast, the trends for searches using both “finance” and “accounting” were slightly decreased over the same period. Furthermore, the authors identified the geographic distribution of the fintech-related jobs in the UK. In regard to job titles, the authors discovered that “manager” was the most frequently searched term, followed by “developer” and “engineer”. Research limitations/implications Educators could use this research as a reference in the development of the portfolio of their courses. In addition, the findings from this study could also enable potential participators to reflect on their career development. It is worth noting that the motivations for carrying out an internet search are complex, and each of these needs to be understood. There are many factors that would affect how an information seeker would behave with the obtained information. More work is still needed in order to encourage more people to enter to the FinTech sector. Originality/value In the planning stage prior to launching a new course educators often need to justify the market need: this analysis could provide a supporting rationale and enable a new course to launch more quickly. Consequently, the pipeline of talent supply to the sector would also be benefitted. The authors believe this is the first time that a study like this had been conducted to explore specifically the availability and opportunities for FinTech education and retraining in UK. The authors anticipate that this study will become the primary reference for researchers, educators and policy makers engaged in future research or practical applications on related topics.
    • Thriving at Work (Integrated Learning): An investigation into adult learners’ experiences of vitality and learning when successfully engaging with work integrated learning

      Wall, Tony; Foster, Scott; Weston, Philippa J. W. (University of Chester, 2021-08)
      Higher Education (HE) has a key role in re-educating an aging UK workforce through part-time programmes aimed at older (30+) working adults. However, since 2010 HE enrolments have plummeted further compounded by high attrition rates. As such, there is an urgent need for HE to research this important but overlooked student category in order to attract and support them. As a HE lecturer in work integrated learning, the researcher has a vested interest in addressing this gap as well as contributing to the thriving at work literature. Taking a social constructivist stance, narrative inquiry has been applied to explore eleven adult work integrated learners’ experiences of thriving to gain a deeper understanding of what positively influences their vitality and learning and how HE can facilitate them. Her findings show learners’ vitality towards work integrated learning mirror their vitality towards work. The opportunity to shape and share learning helps elevate and maintain vitality levels as well as deepen the learning experience so enabling them to thrive. Further, attitudes are not only influenced by the current context but also experiences and events from childhood. However, although HE tutors can positively influence learners’ experience of work integrated learning, most of HE appears to have little impact. As well as exploring thriving in the context of work integrated learning, this study contributes to the thriving at work literature by providing insights which suggest vitality exhibits state-like and trait-like qualities. When vitality combines with work integrated learning, it creates a virtuous circle where one construct builds on the other to enable the learner to thrive. This is further enhanced by learners’ shaping and sharing their learning experience with others. However, learners’ ability to engage with HE successfully in the present is also influenced by their experiences from the past and can impact on their needs and expectations. To attract and retain this important learner category, HE must understand and respond to learners’ needs and expectations not just via interactions with specific tutors but through the HE systems and processes laid down to support them.