For software professionals who are also interested in specialising in a specific sector to distinguish themselves from the generalists, the finance industry offers some good options.
Jignesh Maheshwari, a veteran in the intersecting domains of finance and technology, helps us gain more clarity on the various IT career options in finance, the growth path, starting salaries and responsibilities.
IT careers in financial services sector | India
by Jignesh Maheshwari
We all know how IT has dramatically changed the Indian job industry and created millions of jobs for software and hardware engineers. However there’s more to IT than just software and hardware. Professionals from other domains can also build their career here.
Finance is one of growing fields in IT for the past few years. It will be in demand for many more years to come, as most of the banks or financial giants are migrating to automated processes.
They are ready to make huge investments in the state-of-the-art technologies. Software (IT) companies in India have a good pipe-line of Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI) related projects. This has pushed up the demand for maintaining and growing a skilled work force.
Companies generally recruit people with 3+ years of experience for roles at the entry level. However there is no strict criteria of experience or education to get into these roles.
List of IT roles and opportunities in the Finance Sector
Qualifications required: Typically BE, BCA, MBA (Finance), PG diploma holders with few years of relevant experience are need for finance application testing roles.
Generally BPO/KPO/ IT organizations have vacancies for quality analyst (QA), testing engineer, business analyst roles where an engineer is required to do manual testing / automated testing of various financial applications processes.
As an example, for a payment application this would involve testing the end-to-end payment flow from payment generation to disbursement to the right account. It would include all required validations like ensuring if the payment script has all required details about ‘from’ and ‘to’ account numbers, payment disbursement, holiday validation, minimum required balance and cross-country compliance requirements among many others.
Likewise for trading applications, the test engineer will have to see whether the trade has been generated with all the required information like broker details, security details, quantity, settlement instructions, margin, trade booking date, clearing house or exchange details and how it is settled on T+1 or T+2 days depend upon regions.
Salary offered at entry level is typically 2.5 L to 4 Lakh Rupees per annum in India and grows with the years of experience.
Financial Application Developer
Qualifications required: Typically BE (IT), MCA, PG diploma holders with few years of relevant experience are invited for this role.
For an financial application developer/programmer role, the right candidate would have a good command over one or more of the popular programming languages (Java, .NET, C++) or a UI framework. One need not to be a master or a hardcore techie for this role, but programming knowledge, OOP (object oriented programming) concepts, framework / database awareness is definitely a must.
The typical job of a developer is to go through the functional documents and prepares Entiry-Relationship (E-R) diagrams, Use Cases, Classes for various processes, preparing technical document which describes relation among various entities of front-end and back-end processes.
A few organizations have separate teams of Business Analysts (BA) to interact with clients and gather the requirement. Often the team of developers handle this task as well and take the help from BA to crack only the complex business processes. Developers and analysts work hand-in-hand in the initial phase to complete the requirement analysis cycle.
Developers are also involved in Unit Testing and Deployment process.
Salary offered at entry level is typically INR 4L – 6L per annum in India.
Qualifications required: Typically MBA (Fin.), CA, BE/MBA, NCFM certification holder, MCA are requirements for this role.
The BA plays a crucial role in IT companies as he acts as the bridge between end users (from the business) and developers.
The BA’s main task is requirement gathering from client/user and prepare various documents like BRD (Business Requirement Document), HLD (High Level Document), LLD (Low Level Document).
As an example, for payment processing applications, the analyst would need to understand the client’s business flow, relevant entities like the end user, payment gateway, validations, holiday impact, various charges. The analyst works in tandem with the application developer to arrive at the best possible solution for the client’s business requirements.
Salary offered at entry level is typically 5L to 6L per annum in India and increases on experience level.
Qualifications required: Generally B.E., MCA, BSc (IT), BCA profiles are a good fit.
Typical role of Support Engineer in finance domain is to log L1/L2 type defects like for payment application payment not credited to payee’s account, Payment not stopped on holidays etc.
L1 support typically just to log the issue details and forward to respective teams for further investigation and resolution however L3 support needs thorough knowledge of application/domain to provide fix.
Salary offered at entry level is typically 3L to 5L per annum in India and increases on experience level.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Finance
Few Banks/Financial companies have flat hierarchies (they don’t follow traditional – Pyramid/Tree structure where Junior people reports to Senior and their work gets reviewed by seniors and every one’s scope is predefined and limited to their modules only) where SME plays mix role of BA and developer and sometimes holds additional responsibilities too.
SME needs to perform various roles, trains other team members, review design developed by others in team and make sure there are no issues with deliverables sent to client.
SME ideally have few characteristics i.e. solid domain/functional knowledge, leader ship qualities, good communication skills and ability to impart the knowledge.
Salary offered is typically 9L to 12L per annum in India and increases on experience level.
Associate Vice President (AVP IT)
In a few organizations, the SME can be promoted to an AVP role over a period of time. Alternatively, the AVP can also be the SME if needed.
The AVP holds a few additional responsibilities along with the SME role like multi-project / multi-team handling, responsibility for end-to-end project execution and the SPOC (single point of contact) for business users (to gather the requirement and provide the solution).
Salary offered is typically Rupees 12 Lakh to 15 Lakh per annum in India and increases with the experience.
Vice President (VP IT)
VP generally take cares of high level activities or any organizations and involves into key decisions about choosing right technology, preparing budget, selecting vendor (the company which outsource the tasks), recruits senior members and most importantly involves in BCP (Business Continuity Plan) activities.
Apart from these typical roles there are various others like Project Lead, Solution Architect, Consultant etc.. but more or less they perform either of the above responsibility.
Salary offered is typically Rupees 18 Lakh to 22 Lakh per annum in India.
Best companies for IT careers in finance
All the big investment banks and financial institutions have their own in-house technology teams to build and support their mission-critical financial applications.
Alternatively, there are quite a few companies which provide either services/support to Financial clients or develop products for them in India and abroad. A few are listed below.
What’s good and not-so-good about IT roles in finance
The good part is to work with multinational companies/clients, getting lucrative salaries and other growth options.
However one needs to be innovative, hard working and passionate about resolving client queries/issues to survive in this field.
Read about other careers in the IT industry.
Author Bio: Jignesh Maheshwari is MCA by qualification and has been working with IT consulting firms for past 12 years on various roles. Since last 7 years he has been working as techno functional professional on BFSI projects. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of his employer.
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