The universities that will get you a top fintech job

The universities that will get you a top fintech job

You never know who you might meet at university; the next big startup CEO can sleep in your own dorm.

Fintech is no exception, there are commonalities between the universities visited by CEOs of the biggest fintech unicorns in the world today. A few universities appear more than once. One university (no surprises for guessing that) appears five times. Getting into these universities puts you in elite company.

We looked at the CEOs of 42 fintechs worth over $1 billion, where they studied and what they studied. These are our takeaways:

Harvard and Oxford dominate

Harvard graduates dominate the management teams in traditional finance, of course they should do the same in fintech. The first name that comes to mind is Tyler Winklevoss of the crypto firm Gemini.

It is Harvard Business School rather than Harvard University that leads. Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Grab CEO Anthony Tan all attended HBR.

Oxford University graduates are equally common. GoCardless CEO Hiro Takeguchi, MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright, Lendable CEO Martin Kissinger and Tyler Winklevoss (again) are the standouts.

Dropouts exist (but are rare)

For students on the verge of dropping out, be warned that fintech is not high tech. Very few of the top CEOs did not finish the courses they started, but some of them are very remarkable.

Bolt CEO Markus Villig started working with the startup before joining the University of Tartu and dropped out at the end of his first semester. Robinhood CEO and Stanford graduate Vlad Tenev also enrolled to pursue a PhD at UCLA, but left to work on his ventures with co-founder Baiju Bhatt

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You might be surprised to find that the CEO of the world’s largest fintech, Stripe, was also a dropout. Patrick Collison attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but dropped out to start the business.

Fin > Tech when choosing degree

If you want to become a fintech manager, you want to study economics. 21 of the 42 CEOs have degrees in economics or finance, making it the most popular degree by a significant margin. That was far more than the STEM candidates we counted.

Some studied a combination of STEM and economics. Revolut CEO Nik Storonsky studied applied physics and economics for separate degrees at the same time while Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong studied a double bachelor’s in economics and computer science.

Don’t be afraid to express your passions through your studies. iCapital CEO Lawrence Calcano studied a BA in Economics and Theatre while Thought Machine CEO Paul Taylor studied linguistics for a PhD.

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