Have These Tech Skills? Banks Need You

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If you work in financial technology do you have a skill-set that will set you apart from the competition? After all, while the job market for IT professionals has held up relatively well, banks and financial services organizations are still being incredibly picky about who they hire.

Previously, we looked at the most searched for IT skill-sets and how they compared with the reality of the top investment banks’ recruitment plans. Now, we’ve decided to examine the areas where candidates are in relatively short supply.

We’ve compared the number of jobs requiring specific skill-sets being advertised on our IT in Finance website against the number of candidates with those skills on our resume database. We’ve only included people who have updated their resume in the last three months as these are more likely to be active job-seekers.

The charts below are segregated into the common asset classes banks hire technologists into for trading platform creation, job roles and programming languages often used in the financial sector.

Here are some conclusions.

Commodities product knowledge remains an elusive skill-set

Even as recently as July, a large number of software vendors specializing in commodities trading platforms and larger commodities trading houses were building their tech teams. Our figures suggest that there are more commodities jobs than any other front office asset class, making up 18% of live roles, and that there’s a shortage of skills, with just 2.1 candidates for every vacancy.

Both equities and FX remain relatively healthy in terms of job numbers, but there’s no shortage of available candidates with the relevant domain knowledge.

Banks want doers, not strategists

At the beginning of this year, as banks grappled with the technological challenges posed by a raft of regulation, they were recruiting business analysts in relatively voluminous numbers to assess what needed to be done. Now, it seems, they want people to carry out the work. Development accounted for 44% of vacancies, compared to 26% for business analysts and 23% for project managers. And, with just 3.3 candidates per job, developers are not exactly in plentiful supply currently.

Java is hot, but it pays to know the new kids on the block

Java accounts for 21% of all jobs requesting programming languages, which makes it the most desirable skill-set. This is not hugely surprising; we’ve pointed to its popularity previously as well as the fact that it needs to be combined with other programming skills in order to make candidates stand out. There’s definitely not a shortage (with 7.6 candidates for every role), but there is a lack of people with financial sector experience able to boast Scala on their resume – just 2 for every role to be exact. Python, which is also being used by an increasing number of investment banks, faces a skills-shortage.

Meanwhile, demand for Visual Basic expertise has dropped off a cliff; it’s not that there’s a huge proliferation of people on the market, but that there are hardly any jobs for them. Just 3% of vacancies asked for it.

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