Technology specialist

A Technology Specialist is a computer science professional who uses their knowledge of engineering principles and programming languages to build software products and run network control systems.

A Technology Specialist is a computer science professional who uses their knowledge of engineering principles and programming languages to build software products and run network control systems. They can work in Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Fintech (or technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services).

Technology Specialists create new and innovative technology to improve and modernise activities in the financial sector. They seek new markets and innovative ways of working. They use their knowledge and expertise to align financial offerings to existing fintech technology.

Financial technology specialists cover all technology, architecture and infrastructure for the financial industry including Big Data, Machine Learning and even BlockChain Technology. They drive the future of Financial Services by being innovative, novel and adaptive. They thrive in rapidly changing environments, adapting and developing strategies beyond the current way of doing things.

The technology specialist is responsible for innovation, growth and transformation, improving a business from the ground up. You will need a firm understanding not just of the financial sector, but of software systems, security systems and user experience. You will need to be able to spot current trends and predict future ones; designing and implementing new technology based on your research to propel your employer forward and secure their place amongst competitors for the future. You will be responsible for bringing in new and disruptive technologies to help prepare teams for the future of work. 

You will need to be an effective team player to be successful in this role. You will need to coordinate between various teams, locations and time zones, inspiring and motivating others to keep going and keep innovating. Collaboration, knowledge sharing and teamwork are all vital to the role.

While the job requires strong logic and problem-solving abilities, you will also need to be highly creative, adaptive and able to spot unusual solutions. You’ll need strong communication skills to engage internally within the industry and externally with customers, partners and clients.

You will explore new territories, thinking outside of the box and finding creative and unusual ways to solve problems, both existing and potential. You will need to be able to share and explain your techniques and discoveries to technical and non-technical audiences in a language they can understand.

What can I expect?

The financial sector is highly technical and fast-paced. There is little room for error, so you will need to be able to perform accurately and quickly under pressure. While the Technology Specialist is a highly technical person, they also need to be able to work in teams and communicate well. You will have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most high tech and innovative technologies, including AI and BlockChain. Salaries vary depending on experience, positions and specialisation, but typically start at around R750 000 a year.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cyber Security
  • Fintech
  • Software Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Research Analyst

The aspiring Technology Specialist can study any of the following degrees:

  • Computer science
  • Computer software/computer systems engineering
  • Electronics
  • Information systems
  • Mathematics
  • Financial Technology 
  • Physics

These degrees are geared towards developing skills and knowledge that are vital to success in this field.

In the Mathematics field, you will need to understand Advanced Mathematics and Modelling, Calculus, Linear algebra and differential equations, Numerical linear algebra (NLA), probability and statistics.

Computer skills required include Cryptocurrency and digital cash, Blockchain technology, cloud solutions, scripting languages, various programming languages such as Java, Python and C++/C#, machine learning, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security and Blue Prism.

In the Financial sphere, you will learn about Financial regulations, Cyber Risk for financial markets, financial planning, auditing and governance regulations, risk and compliance, knowledge of unbanked/underbanked markets, cybersecurity and financial market intelligence.

  • UNISA
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of Pretoria
  • UCT
  • Wits University
  • Vaal University of Technology
  • Stellenbosch University
  • North-West University
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
  • Varsity College
  • Gibbs
  • FinTech Academy Africa
  • African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management