We address the scarcity of skills in the fintech industry by training the next generation of students and innovators. Through blockchain workshops, online courses, and opportunities for collaboration, we aim to nurture a mindset shift amongst students, encouraging them to become creators of job opportunities rather than job seekers. This educational element also creates a talent pool that financial services companies can tap into, accessing the expertise and fresh perspectives of our students, faculty members, researchers, and other stakeholders.
The Master of Philosophy specialising in Financial Technology is an interdisciplinary degree convened by the School of Economics in close collaboration with the UCT Department of Statistics. This is the only dedicated Fintech Master’s program in Africa. The program started in 2018 by Prof. Co-Pierre Georg and is currently convened by Dr. Allan Davids. It continues to be one of the most selective programs UCT offers with admissions rates usually ranging between 5-10%.
The core idea of the degree is to teach students hard (coding) skills in order to empower them to start their own company or make a meaningful impact in the financial services industry. Graduates from the program have gone on to start their own companies (e.g. FoodPrint, Mandla Money, Wildcards, Axone), join fintech startups (e.g. UMA, LUNO), and entering industries such as financial services (e.g. Standard Bank, RMB, Investec) or management consulting (e.g. Bain & Co, BCG, Eighty20).
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Led by Gary Lu, these Algorand Developer Workshops were held in April, 2023 for six sessions over two weeks in both online and in-person formats. These are entry-level, highly-practical sessions where the aim is to bootstrap potential hackathon participants and beginners looking to get coding on the Algorand blockchain.
Links to the slides used in each session are included each video. See this GitHub repository for instructions on how to access the practical components of the workshops. Participants were expected to code along to complete the smart contracts with the workshop lead in GitLab.