The ground-breaking MITB Financial Technology (FinTech) Track – the first of its kind in Singapore, and probably the world to be launched this year

In line with industry developments and SMU’s transformative education approach, SMU’s Master of IT in Business (MITB) under the School of Information Systems (SIS) is proud to announce significant enhancements strengthening the postgraduate programme’s edge and raising the bar in cultivating a new generation of IT business leaders.

The ground-breaking MITB Financial Technology (FinTech) Track – the first of its kind in Singapore and probably the world, to blend traditional and emerging disruptive financial technology together with business knowledge and innovation – will be launched in August 2017.

Applications open from January 2017 for the new curriculum that will commence for the August 2017 student intake.

Associate Professor of Information Systems Michelle Cheong, Associate Dean of SMU SIS Postgraduate Professional Education said, “With

the new track, SMU strengthens its position in the FinTech ecosystem to lead the next wave of business and technology transformation.

The postgraduate degree offers unrivalled knowledge, combining the best of both the technology and business worlds, for IT and financial services professionals and entrepreneurs to stay at the forefront of disruptions today and tomorrow. It will also bolster their career options and prospects ahead of the curve.”

Exciting collaborations, internships and capstone projects with regional and global banks, service providers and startups in areas including Big Data and blockchain, provide students with exposure to finance companies. MITB graduates are highly sought after by organisations in financial services and other industries. Students who completed the programme have seen significant career advancement upon graduation.

The curriculum is designed and delivered by SIS faculty members and industry practitioners with more than 150 years of combined finance and technology experience across the business domains. Each course has hands-on components using leading industry tools such as Oracle Flexcube, TIBCO, Serena, Tableau, SAS and Northfield, and introduces new technologies such as Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric and Mobi Swipe.

The course content also has more technical depth in the areas of data analytics, digital advisory, smart contracts and more. In addition to technical depth, the FinTech Track takes a systems view through the “Digital Banking Enterprise Architecture” course which examines how enterprise-wide platforms such as integration middleware and business process management systems enable a bank to become more agile and able to implement digital strategies, as well as to overcome large-scale change scenarios such as core banking system replacements or bank mergers.

A treatment of FinTech is not complete without a discussion on the use of analytics in financial services. The “Big Data Analytics in Financial Services” course co-developed with OCBC Bank explores the power of analytics in a banking context. This course uses tools such as SAS and Hadoop.

The MITB FinTech programme enjoys an excellent SMU FinTech ecosystem with applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship, continuing education and training, and an enthusiastic FinTech student club.

In a new collaboration with HBX, Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative, SMU is the first ASEAN educational institution to incorporate the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) into its master’s programme. Through this collaboration, SMU students will be able to take CORe’s digital courses, which are developed and taught by Harvard Business School’s faculty.

Starting from January 2017, current SMU MITB students from Analytics and Financial Services Analytics tracks can take the HBX CORe programme, which comprises three courses: “Business Analytics”, “Economics for Managers” and “Financial Accounting”.

Students will have the option of multiple durations of study, ranging from 8 to 18 weeks. The median amount of time required for programme completion is about 150 hours, however this could vary widely according to individuals’ learning paces and preferences. There are also highly accelerated versions of CORe – 8 and 10 weeks – for fast-tracking.

“A Harvard-designed course using its signature case-based approach to learning .”

As education institutions worldwide increasingly adopt e-learning, HBX CORe will be an enabler as SMU MITB is poised to offer online Analytics courses in the near future. With this collaboration, students will be able to leverage the flexible yet rigorous CORe programme, coupled with guidance and support from MITB faculty.

Being a Harvard-designed course and using its signature case-based approach to learning, students will find the programme engaging – with powerful, hands-on methodology and an interactive platform that is robust and riveting. As a respected brand in business education, HBX further anchors Harvard Business School’s positioning in digital learning and has gained recognition across various industries.

The Analytics Track launched in January 2011 is the first of its kind in Asia. It introduced training for a new breed of IT professionals who have hands-on skills and in-depth knowledge for using different analytics tools, models and techniques to solve related problems in various industries. Its success prompted other institutions to launch similar programmes. In August 2016, the Financial Services Analytics track was launched to allow professionals to specialise in analytics within the financial services sector, leveraging on the existing curriculum strength of the MITB programme.

“This innovative collaboration significantly strengthens SIS postgraduate programmes’ edge and offering to benefit SMU MITB students. Being the first Asean university to offer online learning in such a big way with highest-quality digital business education is testament of our cutting-edge approach and curriculum. It also exemplifies what business and technology leaders need to constantly work on – mastering knowledge to drive changes and stay ahead of disruptions,” said Associate Professor Cheong.

The MITB programme is constantly being reviewed and updated to remain highly relevant to the industry and leading-edge.

SMU’s School of Information Systems (SIS) is a leader in practice, research and education in the areas of financial technology and analytics. Its unique blend ensures the quality of SMU’s curriculum, research output and teaching in these two areas.