Digitalisation of the Finance Sector: NEOMA adapts its pedagogy
Published on 06/16/2021
Technological innovations have disrupted the finance sector like no other industry. How does NEOMA teach its students to work in this rapidly changing sector? Sami Attaoui, director of the Finance department, explains their teaching strategy.
Digital technology has revolutionised the world of finance. To prepare its students, NEOMA constantly updates its programmes. That is why the school developed the MSc in Finance & Big Data in 2019, and in 2020, an excellence track in Financial Markets & Technologies for the Masters is Management programme was added.
But regardless of the programme, NEOMA’s pedagogy in finance is organised on three levels, as Sami Attaoui, director of the Finance department, explains.
“The first level uses actual cases,” the professor said. “We present the Fintech companies and the technologies they use. We explain how they have shaken up the sector and the opportunities they offer. My colleagues regularly invite their founders or executives to share their philosophies, positioning and potential with the students.” It’s then up to the students to look for new ideas and propose new projects to be pitched in the courses.
The second level of NEOMA’s pedagogy transforms students into experienced users of new financial tools (machine learning, Big Data, Blockchain, etc.) and bases the learning on real data. These represent indispensible skills used today to leverage all the available data in the most relevant way possible.
The third level involves “complementing these skills with a programming approach,” Sam Attaoui said. Since 2020, all of our students studying Finance in the MSc and MiM programmes learn Python. Through our Coding School, which was launched in 2021, the learning experience has been optimised. This greater awareness allows students to broaden their knowledge of machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, and data visualisation.”
“We think that the use of these technological advances must be accompanied by a strengthening of the human aspect involved in finance”, Sami Attaoui said.
Of course, while students need to learn the latest digital technologies, they can’t forget the human angle. “In the finance courses, the relevance of classic financial decisions is examined in the light of progress made by behavioural finance. We study how cognitive biases such as motivation, fear, regret and overconfidence affect the rationality of decisions.”
NEOMA also reinforces the ethical aspect of its education. It promotes its students’ critical awareness of all the issues concerning standards, practices and inherent rules in the development of these financial technological innovations.
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