In the global competition for IT talent, JPMorgan Chase has embarked on an innovative initiative it hopes will give it an advantage. The New York-based bank will invest $30 million in a partnership with New York's Syracuse University to develop a financial technology education program that includes a financial services technology curriculum and a corporate technology center on the campus.
"Through this partnership with Syracuse University, we are ... building a pipeline for future talent," said Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase's chief administration officer and a member of the bank's operating committee, in a release announcing the partnership. "We can combine our knowledge and resources to create a diverse workforce focused on financial services technology and infrastructure in upstate New York."
The plan is to launch the curriculum in fall 2008 and begin construction on the corporate technology center shortly thereafter, says Kevin C. Quinn, VP of public relations for Syracuse University. In the meantime, the university will make temporary space available for program participants in another technology center on its campus.
The technology center, which will be staffed by JPMorgan Chase ($1.4 trillion in assets) employees, will collaborate with university students on a wide range of financial technology research and initiatives, according to Quinn. "The research will focus on technology utilized by JPMorgan," he explains. For example, research could be conducted on voice recognition, real-time market-tracking and green technologies, Quinn relates, adding, "Details are still being worked out."
Eventually, the tech center could add as many as 100 new jobs to the university, according to Quinn.
Details of the financial technology curriculum also are being worked out, according to Darlene R. Taylor, spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase. Representatives from the bank and Syracuse University will meet in August to discuss details of the curriculum, she says.
Learning From the Pros
While the core teaching staff for the financial technology courses will be composed of Syracuse University faculty, JPMorgan Chase employees will co-teach and guest teach some courses, the university's Quinn says. Opportunities for financial technology internships at the bank will be made available to university students and related scholarships are likely to be available in the future, he notes.
There also will be a significant distance-learning component of the program, Quinn adds. Students enrolled at Syracuse University, as well as other public and private colleges and universities across New York State, will be able to participate in the program through distance learning opportunities and other classroom and research projects.
According to Syracuse's The Post-Standard, the partnership emerged when JPMorgan Chase's Kimberly Davis, SVP of global philanthropy, contacted Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor. "This university-industry partnership expands our commitment to education and job creation in New York State," Davis said in a release.
"Together we will build a new path-setting curriculum that draws on an array of disciplines -- from information studies and management, to engineering and computer science, to law and public policy -- and integrates the on-the-ground expertise of JPMorgan Chase technologists," Cantor added in the release. "This partnership will put scholarship into action to solve real-world problems in global financial services technology."