The Georgia Fintech Academy is the first in the country allowing high school students to gain college credit for FinTech courses and fast-track their job opportunities

 The Georgia Department of Education (GaDoE), the University System of Georgia (USG), and the American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) partnered on a first-of-its-kind opportunity to help K-12 students pursue a financial technology (FinTech) career.

Starting immediately, the effort allows students to develop skills necessary for one of Georgia’s emerging high-tech industries. The college course now available to students from Georgia’s 481 public high schools allow them to earn both college credit and the credentials valued by FinTech employees. Students interested in the dual-enrollment program should contact their academic advisor or guidance counselor.

“FinTech is a high-demand career field, and we are committed to preparing the state’s workforce to meet that demand,” said Tristan Denley, the University System of Georgia’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “We were delighted to work with our colleagues at the Georgia Department of Education to create this terrific opportunity for Georgia high school students.”

The courses are part of a statewide FinTech core curriculum already embedded in a variety of four-year degrees at 23 of USG’s 26 institutions and vetted by both the ATPC and companies affiliated with FinTech Atlanta. They build upon the success of USG’s Georgia Fintech Academy (GFTA), through which more than 1,900 college students have already taken at least one FinTech course since September 2018.

“The GFTA is the largest FinTech initiative in the U.S. higher education ecosystem, and now offering an on-ramp at the high school level makes this a first-of-its-kind initiative that can potentially inspire similar programs across the country to feed our growing industry’s workforce demand,” said West Richards, ATPC Executive Director.

The high school FinTech program includes three courses modeled on those in the GFTA college degree program. The courses may be offered as a standard high school pathway or for dual high school and college credit. Students through dual enrollment may also take additional FinTech college courses to more quickly earn additional credits toward a college degree.

“The mission of our Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program is to respond nimbly and strategically to workforce needs so students have the best possible opportunities for a successful future,” Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This is a perfect example of a partnership that expands options for students while strengthening the local workforce in our state.”

Georgia is an emerging leader in FinTech – the industry which uses technology to offer various financial services to consumers – and home to America’s payments processing “Transaction Alley.” Seventy percent of all U.S. financial transactions pass through Georgia companies annually, establishing an immediate need for skilled employees who are aware of and excited about this critical industry.

“The more students who know what FinTech is only increases their opportunity to access one of the fastest growing industries and have a great job opportunity where they can make a difference and change the world,” said Scott Meyerhoff, Chair Emeritus of FinTech Atlanta and former ATPC Chair.