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Question: I am a software developer working in a financial service company. The company does NOT sell financing software or digital product. My work does involve an understanding about the finance industry. Am I working in software development industry, or financial services industry?

Edit to add clarification: for this question, I'm more interested in IF there is a convention of determining which industry I work in and if there is one, what is it? This is more about "the determination process" than "the determined answer itself".


A little bit of background so you know why I'm asking: I have been getting some recruiter emails asking if I'm interested in jobs in location X. However I'm no longer based in X. Turns out my LinkedIn profile hasn't been updated since I moved. The "industry" on my profile is "financial services" and this makes me wonder...which industry am I working in?

  • 3
    Just to confirm; which of those two 'industries' do you want to continue working in? Is there no way to alter what LinkedIn says under your industry? – user34587 Apr 30 at 8:40
  • So, update your profile then see if the job offers change. – Solar Mike Apr 30 at 10:10
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    @Kozaky Software development. But for this question, I'm more interested in IF there is a convention of determining which industry I work in and if there is one, what is it? I guess in the end, this is more about "the determination process" than "the determined answer itself". And yes I can change my industry on my profile. – Billy.Bob Apr 30 at 10:32
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    @Billy.Bob - that comment makes the question much more clear and useful (we can talk about rules/conventions that would apply to anyone, instead of just telling you what you, specifically, should label yourself as). It might make sense to edit that into the text of your question, since comments are transient and may not persist. – dwizum Apr 30 at 13:08
  • As far as your current job goes, you're in the same industry as your employer. So an easy way to check is to look at which industries your employer lists on LinkedIn. – BSMP Apr 30 at 21:26
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You work in the "Financial Services" industry, and your job title and skill set is "Software Developer".

This will be important later in your career when you're applying for developer roles that want experience in the financial sector.

It won't limit you to only working in software development roles that require financial knowledge however. The skills you've learned as a developer are the most crucial, and the business domain knowledge is an advantage.

I'm more interested in IF there is a convention of determining which industry I work in and if there is one, what is it?

The industry you work in is determined by what your organisation does. Your role and job title are determined by what you do within that organisation.

  • Bingo. You're a software developer in the financial services industry. You'd never hire an accountant who has worked in a software development firm as a software developer. However, their experience with software may come in useful in finding work as an accountant with other software firms. – Stephen Apr 30 at 23:43
15

You asked,

Am I working in software development industry, or financial services industry?

In the comments on your question, you clarified what you were looking for by saying,

I'm more interested in IF there is a convention of determining which industry I work in and if there is one, what is it? I guess in the end, this is more about "the determination process" than "the determined answer itself"

To me, that's a much more valuable question. It sounds like the point you're struggling with is that some job titles can play support roles in other industries, but also have their own industry category themselves - are these jobs a means to an end, or the end result themselves?

Typically, the convention is to express two categories - a job title, and an industry. So, rather than worrying about if you're in the software industry or the financial services industry, make sure you're distinguishing between title and industry. It's possible to be a software developer in the software industry (i.e. you work for Google) but it's also possible to be a software developer in the financial services industry (you're writing software for a bank or other FI company).

This convention works for a single job, i.e. describing where you're working now (sounds like you are a software developer in the financial services industry!) But when you're writing a resume, or updating a LinkedIn profile, you will typically have a summary at the top, and it's important to use that to describe your career path and not just a single position you happen to be holding at the moment. This leads to a decision you have to make, are you interested in focusing on a specific industry and domain knowledge set, or are you interested in focusing on a specific role?

The emphasis you choose for your summary is important. For recruiters, the first sentence or two on your profile is both more meaningful than the title currently under your name, and it's easier to digest than having to read your entire profile and infer a career path. So, while you have some flexibility in how you describe yourself, you want to make sure you're choosing deliberately.

Many people in services roles like IT will bounce between industries, and will care more about their role than the domain they're in. They may end up with a profile that focuses more on their role(s):

Software developer specializing in web application development, universal design, and mobile applications

Others will want to leverage their domain, and may end up with something more along the lines of,

Enterprise banking application developer and implementer, skilled in home banking and mobile banking platforms

Those two summaries may be the same person, just with different goals.

So - ultimately - you need to consider both industry/domain and job title, but when you're describing yourself, you have a choice in which one you emphasize, based on your career goals.

  • This is a fine answer. I add: it's wise to customize your resume when you apply for a new job. The point of the resume is to show your value to your would-be employer, not to show how you fit into some arbitrary classification. – O. Jones May 4 at 14:28
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A software developer frequently has two parts of their job: developing software using a specific language, API, or framework; and their domain knowledge. In some cases the domain of their employer or their division within a large employer is very important.

Software development and other IT positions are not the only positions that face this dilemma. Other positions where domain knowledge can be important: sales, management, law, accounting, hardware support, nuclear engineer....

Now some people do find that the domain knowledge of isn't a big part of their job. They see themselves as a person who can move easily between different companies and industries without needing a large amount of time to gather the domain experience that others require.

It is up to you to decide if your domain knowledge is important to the jobs you want to do in the future.

7

If I'm a network/system administrator for a mining company then I am working in the mining industry. My profession is IT, but my industry is Mining.

Your profession is Software Developer and you work in the Financial Services industry.

1

Development skills will transfer. Don't limit yourself to one industry.

In my case I've got 21 years in financial services, 1 year in commercial printing, 2 years in medical (supporting clinical trials) and now am now working for a hardware distributor.

In each case my development skills transfer as that is what I bring to each new job. The business (or domain) knowledge is something that needs to be learned when moving from industry to industry.

-5

You work in the "Financial technology" sector, known as fintech.

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    In my understanding fintech emphasis adding value to the business; whereas in traditional financial sector, the IT department is more of a cost of doing business. I wouldn't call mine a fintech company. – Billy.Bob Apr 30 at 11:19
  • @Billy.Bob So, you are saying your own job is useless (not adding value) and thus merely a cost for running a business? – SmallChess Apr 30 at 11:34
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    It's not useless, but it's also not as a critical or character defining part in a fintech company. Otherwise every financial service company is a fintech company...then what's the point of the existence of the word "fintech"? – Billy.Bob Apr 30 at 11:37
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    I agree with the point the OP makes here - "Fintech" is a label that applies to FI companies that specifically focus on delivering service via technology, vs traditional models (i.e. an online-only bank vs a traditional bank with branches). There are, arguably, lots of people doing IT work that doesn't really fall under fintech - i.e. people developing or supporting traditional core banking systems. I don't think we really know enough to tell the OP that they work in fintech. If you disagree, your answer could be improved by providing references or explanations vs just a single sentence. – dwizum Apr 30 at 12:40

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