Careers in Finance – All You Need to Know to Get Started

Avadhut |
July 29, 2020

Are the finance careers you always see so pleasurably advertised the right path for you?

In case you have been asking yourself this question for quite a while now and haven’t been able to find a suitable answer, there’s no need to worry.

This piece is here to detail all you need to know.

Read through and see which types of careers in financial analysis there are, what are the top jobs in this field, finance internships, and which kind you can get after you’ve earned your degree in finance.

Last, but not least, we’ll provide you with a comprehensible list of all the careers in finance available on the job market as we speak.

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Apart from that, most importantly, we have also shared an easy-to-understand and follow ‘how-to’ guide for securing one of these positions. Let’s get started!

Read this first: How to choose a career?

How Important Is Your Education?

Here’s another tipStart thinking about your prospective jobs in banking as early as possible.

If you can, high school is a perfect place to begin.

Take the appropriate finance degree, such as mathematics, economics, calculus, and everything in between and ace them.

This action needs to be underlined – ace them.

The higher your grades in high school, the better your chances of getting into an Ivy League college are.

You will have the opportunity to start networking, persuade one of your teachers to be your mentor, and learn what it honestly feels like to be a part of this world.

Later on, when you apply for a job, you will discover just how much your path was smoothened out by these actions.

And one more tip –while at the Ivy League college of your choice, graduate first of your class.

As stated above, all the jobs in investment banking require an immense degree of responsibility.

All the employers will be keen on hiring only the best people they can find.

Graduate top of your class and make a big deal out of it!

Professionally speaking, you have to put this achievement on your resume and spread the word everywhere you can.

It is your greatest accomplishment to date, and it is also the exact thing for which all the big banks are looking.

A flawlessly trained individual, with the class, sobriety, and work ethics only an Ivy League college can teach you.

Read this detailed list of finance courses.

Top 10 Ivy League coleges and boarding schools

Types of Careers in Finance and Banking

Apart from deciding on a course of action, such as a good college, you also have to take a decision on a segment of the financial market you want to work in.

Different parts require different sets of interpersonal skills and knowledge.

Therefore, once you’ve decided, you can start training to become the best in that respective financial niche.

Here are the types of careers in finance available for finance majors.

Careers in banking

When it comes to banks, seeing as they take center stage as far as the financial market goes, the choice is almost endless.

These are some of the options you have.

  • Customer services
  • Legal work
  • Managing processes
  • Advisory positions
  • Accountancy
  • Human resources
  • The IT department
  • The Treasury, also known as the foreign currency management
  • Trading
  • Investment management
  • Audit
  • Compliance
  • Transaction supervision
  • Financial control
  • Prevention of money laundering and sponsoring terrorists.

Careers in insurance

As far as this branch is concerned, you can focus on the following roles.

  • Underwriting
  • Compliance
  • Insurance manager
  • Legal advisor

Careers in financial advice and investment

The investment sector is witness to an abundance of career options.

A part of them is focused on the clients while the other part refers to the administration.

Either way, you will have to support the companies and other customers in your portfolio in their attempt to transact.

You must advise them as well as make sure they meet their statutory requirements.

You may also do some research, to help them decide what set of assets they should invest in, do some risk management for them, and lastly, explain the entire process to them.

Roles in fiduciaries and trust

Some financial specialists focus on establishing trusts for their clients.

They will require a whole set of services which include legal, audit, accounting, tax and business advice, and simple support to ensure the estate management runs smoothly and according to plan.

Roles in leasing and credit finance

The type of careers this niche encompasses translate into administration, legal counsel, banking, risk management, accounting, financial analysis, auditing, customer service, compliance and regulations, and credit risk assessment.

If you’re into working with people, this is the right track for you.

Roles in financial institutions other than banks

Non-banking institutions do approximately the same thing and offer the same financial services as traditional banks.

The only difference is they do not accept deposits.

This distinct trait means they usually lend money rather than take it and practice foreign exchange.

What Are Your Options in Corporate Finance?

So you’ve decided that, as far as roles in corporate finance go, you must follow the yellow brick road towards corporate finance.

A sound decision if there ever was any. Here are your options and how you can secure a position like this.

  • Treasurer – as treasurer, you must supervise the Treasury Department. It’s a very challenging and sought-after job, so you must be very skilled to get it. It’s also an upper management position that will require analytical thinking, management expertise, and the ability to motivate the people working for you. Log on to job sites and search for jobs in the treasury department.
  • Financial analyst– Are you wondering what does a financial analyst do?It’s one of the most ambitious jobs for finance graduates in the field, especially if you want to make a career in firms like Goldman Sachs, as it requires you to have a thorough understanding of the entire finance domain. More often than not, companies like to assign their financial analysts to a distinct field, the likes of planning, revenue, capital budgeting or project financing.
  • Credit manager – you are expected to draft policies to grant credits to suppliers, to establish guidelines for collecting said credit, and to decide whether receivables should be securitized or not. You are required to have customer knowledge and the science of analyzing accounting statements.
  • Cash manager – what you need to do as a cash manager is to create relationships with banks, make sure your institution has enough money on hand on a daily basis and manage the needs related to short-term credits. All of this means you must have strong negotiation skills, as well as an eye for detail.
  • Benefits officer –you must learn how to handle 401(k) employee plans, how to manage pension funds, how to work with the human resources department to create benefits for the employees that are truly cost-effective, and how to establish health care policies. This is yet another branch referring to jobs in finance for which you need excellent social and interpersonal skills. You will also need to understand how the human resources department works and all the ins and outs of its organizational behavior.
  • Real estate officer – where you must find real estate for your clients negotiate their lease, make the acquisitions, and evaluate the properties themselves.

How do you get these jobs? You have two ways:

  1. Start networking as soon as possible, as pointed out above or Apply online
  2. If your writing skills are top-class, you can even become a financial writer

When you network, get to know as many people as you can.

Befriend them, professionally speaking and make yourself known.

It is very likely that when the people you connected with, hear about an opening at their personal company or otherwise, they will recommend you.

Financial institutions put a great price on hiring people out of recommendations rather than picking online resumes.

However, that doesn’t mean they don’t do it, so you have nothing to lose if you apply online as well.

It will only improve your chances of securing a job. When it comes to applying online, remember – quantity matters! Apply as much and as often as you possibly can to maximize your shots.

Here are some amazing websites for you to try.

What Can You Do After You Get Your MBA in Finance?

First of all, you must congratulate yourself, because that is quite an achievement.

The Master of Business Administration in Finance will work wonders as far as a career in finance go.

It prepares you for mid-level and senior positions, and it creates the potential for higher wages.

Therefore, if you have the chance, get your MBA in Finance!

Once you do, there are several paths you can follow to achieve your goal and the salaries you can earn given your high degree.

Here they are.

  • Finance Managermarket reports showed that, in July 2019, the best part of all graduates already working in the field and who had an MBA under their belt were paid between $71 000 and $123 000 per annum.
  • Financial Analyst–One thing that’s good to know as far as the combo between MBAs and salaries goes is that financial analysts are among the lowest-paid people in finance. The same report shows that, at the beginning of 2019, their average salaries were somewhere between $65 000 and $101 000. That was for the upper positions. It’s also good to know here that you don’t need an MBA to become a financial analyst, in fact. However, it does aid you in getting the job a lot easier if you have done an MBA or CFA.
  • Executive Officer–As far as salaries go, you’ve hit the jackpot with this one, especially if you have the degree to help you along. Among all the executive officers, vice presidents earn the most, with a reported salary between $96 000 and $215 000 per annum. Chief financial officers are pretty nifty themselves. They receive between $88 000 and $239 000.

The List of Finance Careers

As promised in the introductory paragraph and without further ado, here is the full list of jobs in banking and finance. Read it through and choose the perfect one for you!

Commercial banking:

  • Credit Analyst
  • Loan officer
  • Branch Manager
  • Trust Officer
  • Mortgage Banker
  • Additional positions in advertising, accounting, marketing, private banking, cash transfer, loan servicing, personnel, communications, operations.

Corporate finance:

Financial analysis and personal advising

Insurance:

  • Actuary
  • Agent and broker
  • Claims adjuster
  • Service Representative
  • Underwriter
  • Loss control specialist
Finance Careers

Investment banking

Loans and Counseling

Money management

  • Portfolio manager and portfolio manager marketing
  • Investment advisory
  • Financial Planner
  • Mutual fund analyst
  • Hedge fund trader or principal

Real estate

  • Real estate broker for residential or commercial
  • Real estate appraisal
  • Property management
  • Real estate advisory
  • Investment banking
  • Construction and development
  • Entrepreneur

The stock market, commodities, and sales agents

What Are the Top Finance Jobs?

We’ve made it all the way to the bottom of the article, and you’ve made it all the way up the ladder that brings you to your dream as far as finance jobs go. All you need now information wise is a small list of the best and most coveted jobs in this field. Here they are.

#1. Financial Analyst

You will be working in a consultancy firm or a bank, and you will be helping the clients in your portfolio make the right decisions regarding their investments.

Here's the detailed guide on financial analyst job description.

You need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or statistics to get this finance job.

One tip here – get a post-graduate degree as well. You will become much more marketable and receive a considerably higher salary.

#2. Personal Financial Advisor

You will have to advise your clients, mostly individuals, on laws, taxes, investments, and insurances.

They have both short-term and long-term financial goals, and you need to help them achieve these aims in a beneficial manner.

On average, a personal financial planner earns approximately $66 000 annually, but bonuses and benefits may take it up to $85 000.

Read these detailed guides: How to become a financial advisor and financial advisor career path.

#3. Accountant

This position is one of the most dreaded jobs out there.

By non-finance people, that is.

Because for people who shoot for finance jobs, being an accountant is a godsend. The scope of IFRS has increased the demand for accounting professionals.

You will be busy all the time, but make most of your income during tax season, January through to April.

As far as education goes, you will need a degree in accounting or a field related to this one.

The same as for all the other positions, having a master’s degree in finance will benefit you greatly.

The average salary is somewhere around $43 000 while bonuses and benefits stretch it to $53 000. It depends a lot on your local clientele as well.

#4. Buyer

A buyer simply buys all the services and goods his or her client needs to function properly. It’s a different job from all the others.

That’s why it’s so coveted in the first place.

The reason it’s distinct is the fact that you get to break away from the computer, unlike your colleagues and meet with sellers and producers to buy what you need.

As always, job openings advertise different requirements in education and finance certifications for this career in finance.

However, an insider will be able to tell you that employers usually require a master’s or bachelor’s degree in finance, engineering, economics or business, as an industry standard. Any of the other applied sciences are also accepted.

Salary expectations are somewhere around $44 000 while the bonuses and benefits everyone is entitled to under certain conditions can take it up to $54 000 every year.

#5. Treasurer

If we’re talking about the Treasury, that’s where the money is.

As already pointed out above, it is possible for you to achieve this position with only a bachelor’s degree in finance.

However, seeing as times are changing, most employers require advanced degrees, so make sure to get one!

Don’t stop studying because it will reflect in your salary, which can go as high as $130 000 per annum after bonuses and benefits.

After reading all the details on financial jobs are you ready to embark on this journey?

If so, you are about to go on the ride of a lifetime.

The people you’ll meet, the places you’ll go, the things you’ll learn, and the money you’ll earn will turn it into the best choice you could’ve possibly made.

As long as you study and work hard, of course!

Have questions? Write a comment below.

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