6 top fintech jobs in Belgium and what they pay

Belgium’s growing fintech industry is looking for tech talent, from chief architect to front-end developer.

Team members collaborate / discuss / communicate in a data center.
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Fintech is redefining financial services and emerging as one of tech’s most exciting industries for job-seekers with IT skills, particularly in Belgium, with its business-friendly regulatory regime and strategic geographical position.

Fintech is essentially technology that is applied to financial services or the management of transaction operations within businesses. There are 321 fintech start-ups operating in Belgium, offering services and products ranging from digital lending and investment platforms to payments services and trading tools, according to Tracxn, a website designed to connect investors and start-ups.

With over 100 major companies belonging to the Fintech Belgium trade association and new start-ups emerging regularly, hiring in the industry is on the rise.

Fintech developments in Belgium reflect global trends. 2021 saw the highest level of funding for fintech companies ever recorded, and Europe led the pack with 180% quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1, higher than any other region, according to a report from CB Insights.

Meanwhile, the global workforce, grew 47% in 2021, with 61% of fintech companies making zero redundancies, according to a report by payments industry recruitment firm Headcount. Hiring ranked as executives’ second-biggest concern, so applicants can expect inflated salaries as recruiters scramble to find talent with critical programming, data, and analytics skills.

“The war for talent is prevalent everywhere in Belgium, and fintech is no different,” says Dave Remue, Head of Fintech at KPMG Belgium. ”Two out of three companies have problems finding skilled candidates. Especially those sectors where digitalisation calls for skilled professionals in new and emerging technologies. Specialists in data science and artificial intelligence or cybersecurity, for example, are high in demand.”

Belgium is often considered to be the crossroads of Europe, with 80% of the continent’s purchasing power within an 800 kilometre radius, according to an HSBC business guide to Belgium. Its strategic location makes it no wonder why Mastercard, Eurocard, MoneyGram, TransferWise, and SWIFT have based their regional headquarters in Belgium, where financial services have long been regarded as one of the country’s speciality industries.

The local fintech ecosystem faces an array of unique opportunities and challenges: while the potential of the sector might ultimately be limited by the fact that Belgium is a densely populated but relatively small country divided by three languages, encouraging a mostly internal growth of the industry, business-friendly regulatory frameworks like its low-cost payments model and the Digital Belgium policy that creates a tax shelter for fintech companies bode well for the future­ of the industry.

As the fintech sector continues to grow, recruitment for tech talent like developers, project managers, technical business analysts, and devops engineers is also on the rise. Many opportunities don’t require previous experience in the financial services industry, so now is the perfect time for tech talent from other industries to secure high-paying roles in Belgium’s growing fintech scene. Read on for some of the top fintech jobs and salaries in Belgium below, based on data from sources including LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Devops engineer

€45,000-€80,000 (US$51,000-US$92,000)

Devops engineers form the bridge that links software development and software deployment, using a time-saving and agile approach to executing code releases. Devops methodologies are built upon continuous integration and continuous delivery to create an infinite feedback loop that helps users get better updates faster. Common responsibilities of a Devops engineer include making improvements to IT infrastructure, project management, saving time by automating key processes, performing systems tests, and monitoring and reporting errors. They are familiar with using a wide array of different tools for automation, configuration and source code management, containerisation, repository hosting, and monitoring.

Many fintech companies in Belgium are looking for candidates with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science or 4+ years of equivalent work experience in IT. In addition to programming languages like shell script, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript, familiarity with cloud platforms like Azure and AWS is becoming increasingly important for DevOps engineers. Applicants may find ICAgile and Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certifications to be an asset while applying for DevOps roles.

Front-end developer

€40,000-€52,000

The role of front-end developer (FED) requires a blend of creative vision and technical prowess to design the part of fintech businesses that customers see. Creating web design that is both functional and appealing is a key part of customers’ user experience, so FEDs ensure that web pages are informed by UX/UI principles to guide users through the customer journey. Working closely with web designers is an important part of the role, as FEDs bring design ideas to life in the form of efficient and responsive interfaces that drive customer interactions, like enticing landing pages and attention-grabbing call-to-action buttons. Responsibilities also include writing and installing programming language, implementing on-site SEO, and configuring server software.

Employers request that applicants have three or more years of experience in front-end development and a degree in computer science. In-demand skills are proficiency in ReactJS, Redux, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for web developers or Swift, Kotlin, or Java for app developers. All applicants should be familiar with using version control system software and should understand responsive design principles to be successful in the role.

Senior back-end developer

€32,000-€57,000

While front-end developers handle the part of a platform where users interact, back-end developers are in charge of a platform’s server-side data logistics, drafting reusable code, and optimising servers and back-end architecture. Back-end developers are strong problem solvers that can easily translate ideas into code. Rather than being deeply specialised in one area, back-end developers should have a wide range of technical knowledge and an interest in continuous learning about programming languages, servers, and APIs.

Most employers ask for at least three years of back-end development experience. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in IT or computer science is preferred, but not required. Applicants should have extensive experience with Java, PHP 7, Node.js, or Ruby and knowledge of tools like NPM, Git, Atom, PHPstorm, and Selenium.

Candidates with a deep understanding of continuous integration, unit testing, and database systems are likely to stand out from the pack.

Lead /chief architect

€80,000-€140,000

In tech companies, key decisions about infrastructure design can determine a business’ success from the start. The lead/chief architect is a senior technologist who develops and drives architectural vision to meet business needs and is adept at communicating vertically with the entire technical team from developers to CTOs. Whereas a CTO is focused on the outward long-term vision of a fintech company, the lead architect looks inward to bring the details of the technical vision to life by leading software, cloud, and system teams to implement architecture and technical strategy. In smaller fintech start-ups in Belgium, the roles are sometimes combined. In larger companies, there are several lead architects for different areas of the business, including solution, enterprise, data, and technical architects with their own specialised training requirements. Chief architects are excellent communicators who are comfortable creating proof-of-concept and presentations to introduce new technology and methodologies to their organisations.

Most employers request five or more years of experience in IT architecture roles, preferably in the financial services industry or with business critical applications. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in applied computer science or informatics is a plus. Experience in EA tooling, SDLC process, legacy modernization, agile development methodologies, and architecture frameworks are a plus. Candidates can gain the competitive edge with certification from The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), IASA CITA-Foundation (CITA-F), and cloud certifications like Azure and AWS.

Project manager

€44,000-€60,000

The project manager (PM) is a master of organisation, juggling the responsibilities of planning, managing, executing, and completing key milestones of IT projects within the confines of strict budgets and deadlines. PMs must be able to effectively manage resources and be able to identify risks and other roadblocks associated with the project, responding and pivoting efficiently while reporting information to team members with varying levels of technical expertise.

While an IT background is a huge asset in technical PM roles, it’s the soft skills that set great project managers apart from their peers. PMs need to know how to build and motivate harmonious teams, facilitate communication between a diverse array of stakeholders with different perspectives, and deal with any conflicts as they arise. Project managers are key liaisons that communicate the needs of users into actionable tasks, always remaining laser-focused on the goals of their business.

Project managers should have three-to-five years of experience in similar roles, preferably in the financial services, e-commerce, or payments industries. Project Management Institute (PMI) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications are advantageous for applicants seeking senior-level positions. Many start-ups and companies in the fintech industry also list agile or scrum certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) as an asset.

Business analyst

€48,000-€67,000

In the fintech industry, business analysts are a critical link between the product and business teams. They are to communicate a very clear image of the company’s business model, including its unique business proposition, and convert goals into achievable tasks for developers. The business analyst is responsible for choosing KPIs (key performance indicators) and deciding on a customer acquisition strategy that shapes the activities of the technical team. In order to be successful in the role, candidates have to be flexible problem solvers that can approach an issue from the perspective of upper management, the end user, and the technical team in order to recommend innovative solutions that meet the needs of all stakeholders. With excellent research skills, they find growth opportunities and estimate the scalability and potential business value of proposed products.

Business analysts should be familiar with using documentation and modelling tools in order to effectively communicate with their teams, and familiar with compliance with regulatory frameworks for financial institutions in Belgium in order to be effective in the role. Employers usually ask for a university degree in finance or a related field, or equivalent work experience in an IT, analyst, or project management role. Certification such as Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and IT Information Library Foundations Certification (ITIL) can help business analysts align the work of technical teams with business needs.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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