Within the walls of a financial institution, you will find a bevy of different activities taking place: investments, deposits, loans and currency exchange to name a few. But due in large part to the technologies that are expanding the interconnectedness of financial institutions and rise of new threats, from model and execution risk to cybersecurity, the traditional picture of finance is becoming more complex.
While more connectivity creates opportunities in finance, the risk of contagion spreading throughout global financial markets sits nearby. And then there is an added level of unpredictability when political forces are at play; for example, the future impact of Brexit on the global financial markets. But just as markets are in constant flux, roles within the financial community continue to evolve as well.
“More than understanding how financial markets work, professionals in the financial industry need to know how finance is evolving in response to changing technology,” says Dr. Khaldoun Khashanah, professor and director the Financial Engineering Division at the Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises (SSE).
Dr. Khashanah was recently invited by Dr. Maggie Chen, director of the Financial Mathematics program at Cardiff University in the U.K., to give a keynote speech celebrating the launch of a new undergraduate degree in financial mathematics. Future careers in financial engineering following graduation are bright, he asserted during his presentation, giving hope to an audience that included newly enrolled students in the program, academics and industry representatives. Throughout the two-day event, several research talks on modeling of financial systems and a workshop on Hawkes processes in finance were held as well.
Having founded the financial engineering (FE) program at Stevens 14 years ago – currently one of the largest programs in the U.S. – Khashanah understands the important role education plays in preparing the finance and technology professionals of the future to mitigate industry challenges.
"The financial industry seeks talent with practical skills in the intersection of statistics, finance, computing and data sciences," said Khashanah. "There is increasing value of financial engineering curriculum to help prepare students for careers in the increasingly technology-reliant financial industry.”
Stevens currently offers three master’s degrees in FE, a doctoral degree in FE, which is the first in the U.S., as well as several graduate certificates, focused on equipping graduates with quantitative knowledge and skills to prepare them for careers in financial instrumentation, risk, analytics and services with emphasis on financial technology. The Hanlon Financial Systems Lab provides FE and Quantitative Finance students at Stevens with the most suitable environment for financial contextual learning experiences.