Universities Banking on FinTech to Make Their Graduates More Employable

A Canadian university will sell books for bitcoins and has installed BTMs to get students accustomed and more involved with financial technology services (FinTech).

Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada, has announced it is to install three BTMs across its campuses, alongside accepting bitcoin payments for purchases of books and university branded equipment in their bookshops.

By giving their students direct experience and knowledge of how the digital currency works, SFU could be helping these individuals include on their future CVs important know-how about modern FinTech. The growing importance of having experience with FinTech and digital currencies can be seen in the rise of job listings seeking talent in this field.


Back in May Cointelegraph reported on a job listing from J.P. Morgan seeking a Product Developer with “an opinion on Bitcoin” to work on new technological solutions for the investment firm.

Speaking in October 2014 about the employment prospects of graduates from SFU, President and Vice-Chancellor Andrew Petter has drawn attention to the university's efforts to produce graduates that ready to enter the current job market, explaining: 

“Today’s employers are also looking for graduates who can adapt and respond to labor market trends, and who possess the critical thinking and communication skills taught in universities. At Simon Fraser University, we equip students with the knowledge, skills and experiences that will help them fulfill their potential in whatever field they choose.”

SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Andrew Petter

The Canadian university is not alone in the promotion of FinTech at the university level, however. Across the Atlantic in the UK, the government has highlighted the importance of increasing students' exposure and knowledge of the subject, stating that “the UK should build academic and technology leadership in the FinTech sector,” as part of the UK£10 million (US$15.4 million) the government pledged to digital currency research earlier this year.

Back in Canada, Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s Executive Director of ancillary services, also had the following perspective to offer about why the university wanted to bring digital currencies onto campus. He said:

“It is our mission to challenge and engage students and provide them with learning opportunities not only inside the class