What you need to know about landing a tech job on Wall Street now, from the hottest roles to the most important skills

  • As AI fuels a talent arms race, financial firms are hiring more technologists.
  • Techies who understand data, cloud, AI regulations and ethics, as well as business acumen, are in high demand.
  • Recruiters, hiring managers, and executives discuss how Wall Street’s technology skills and roles are evolving.

Artificial intelligence is reviving Wall Street’s tech hiring scene. However, finding a software job in finance is proving to be more difficult than in previous years.

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence has captured the attention of Wall Street’s decision-makers. Financial firms ranging from Goldman Sachs to Deutsche Bank have been experimenting with AI breakthroughs that can generate human-like content such as text and images. However, most businesses are still unsure of how they intend to use the technology.

“Most banks you talk to have a hundred use cases that they want to do, and they’re testing 10,” said Zac Maufe, Google Cloud’s head of financial services industry solutions. He expects five of the ten to be deployed. “It’s still early.” People are still learning and testing, but they are beginning to discover things that add value.”

Even if companies aren’t sure how they’ll use it, they recognize the need to hire people to build and operate AI-powered products, services, and tools. A recent Google Cloud survey of bank executives found that nearly all (99%) are hiring talent to support their generative AI initiatives. More than half of national bank executives reported that they are hiring “significantly” or “extensively.” The survey of 350 IT decision-makers and senior executives from national, regional, and local banks was conducted for the report.

As the AI arms race heats up, banks have begun recruiting efforts. According to Revelio Labs, an employment data provider, there have been 475 new AI-related job postings among the nation’s six largest banks this year. According to the data, JPMorgan is hiring the most AI-related positions, with 239 job postings between January and October.

Despite the need for new hires with AI and data skills, according to a half dozen recruiters, tech leaders, and hiring managers, banks and hedge funds are being more selective in who they hire. Furthermore, the qualities and skills that finance firms seek are changing, with some firms prioritizing technologists with business acumen and knowledge of financial markets.

“Finance wasn’t necessarily on everyone’s radar five, six years ago.” “They now see all of the best candidates, including recent graduates, seeking positions with the upper echelons of trading firms rather than big tech,” said Jayson Bevacqua, a technology recruiter at Solaris Search Partners. “This was not the case a few years ago. As a result, the market is more competitive than ever, and companies can afford to hire only the best candidates.”

For technologists already on Wall Street or those looking to break into the industry, here’s what you need to know to stay ahead as tech executives chart the AI roadmaps that will shape Wall Street’s technology for years to come.

Here are the top positions that finance firms are looking to fill.

On Wall Street, the AI boom is creating new, specialized tech jobs. Unlike traditional software engineering jobs that require technologists to write code and integrate systems, AI applications at banks require specialized skills and benefit from industry knowledge. Because generative AI is still in its early stages, the technology’s security, privacy, and ethical implications — particularly in a highly regulated industry like financial services — are still being worked out.

Data security issues, such as leaking confidential company data to an AI model, were cited by more than half of national bank executives polled by Google Cloud as their top concern in adopting generative AI.

And because governance, privacy, and security work is at the crossroads of business operations and technology, the in-demand roles reflect this. According to the survey, the most popular roles for bank executives to hire for are AI quality assurance testers (to ensure the AI software is running correctly), AI strategy consultants, and AI product managers.

The two latter positions highlight a growing trend in finance where hiring managers want people who can wrangle data while applying industry knowledge because “now you can kind of talk to your data,” according to Maufe, who works with Google Cloud’s financial clients, which include powerhouses such as Apollo and Goldman Sachs.

The following are the most in-demand skill sets:

Data experts, such as those who understand data systems and can interpret large data sets, will be in high demand.

“All roads lead back to data,” said Maufe. “It’s still trash in, trash out.” So if you point these really sophisticated things at unreliable data sets, you’re not going to get a good result.”

Many of the assignments that come across Recruiter Ben Hodzic’s desk at Selby Jennings, which is hired by top investment banks, hedge funds, and asset managers to fill open tech positions, are due to data.

According to Hodzic, nearly half of all roles that the managing director works on in technology have arisen as a result of the organization’s desire to better utilize data. Clients, he says, prefer to build their own data platforms and systems rather than rely on outsourced solutions.

“They see a lot of value in continuing to invest in data and recognize that the only way to do that is by hiring people” who can understand the systems, how they’re built together, and extrapolate the data, he said.

Finance firms are still looking for engineers who can work with the cloud, with roughly half of those polled by Google Cloud saying it is one of the most desired skill sets. Public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have a presence in the generative AI plans of financial institutions. It is common for Wall Street firms to store data in the cloud, and many are designing new applications based on where their data is stored.

According to the survey, understanding AI ethics, regulations, and compliance is another popular skill banks are looking for, as is understanding the intersection of AI and business. Citadel Securities and Millennium Management have previously told Insider that they are looking for and prioritizing candidates with business acumen and an interest in capital markets.

“What we’re looking for is a deep understanding of technology, but more importantly, at least for me, a passion for learning about financial markets,” said Olga Naumovich, Millennium’s head of technology in Miami.

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