Are you ready to start your finance career? Welcome on board.
The finance industry is a well-known industry with lots of opportunities to showcase your financial abilities and also sharpen your skills in everything that has to do with finance.
The industry is constantly flooded with new faces daily, making it highly competitive. With its daily popularity, you might wonder why everyone is trooping into it. Well, truth be told, a financial career is noble and fulfilling, with many advantages and perks.
If you love to solve mathematical-related problems and have a flair for making financial plans, then the finance sector will be a great place to hone your skills better.
However, before enrolling in any of the financial institutions, you must first do a background check so you know if it’s worth it.
That is why in this article, I will be taking you through all you need to know about the finance career and answering your question – “Is finance a good career path?”, you can trust my article to be your ultimate guide to the world of finance.
Is Finance a Rewarding Career to Follow?
First of all, for you to succeed in the financial industry, along with finance degrees you should possess some set skills like numeracy skills, analytical skills, and communication, amongst others which you will learn about later in this article.
That being said, society today can not do without the financial industry because everyday businesses are springing up, and they need the money management services of the industry in areas of investment banking, accounting, and insurance, so you see why opportunities abound there.
Now back to your question-
Is Finance a Rewarding Career to Follow?
Absolutely yes! And why is that so? The finance industry is home to many finance professionals because it’s a place to build a solid and rewarding career where you can make a lot of money.
Study research published by the Bureau of Labor estimated the average salary of finance and business workers to be $78,670. There’s no department of the finance and business world that earns less than an average of $70,000 per year.
Can you beat that?
When the average salary range of financial jobs is compared to other job types, it’s quite huge.
However, this salary range might vary based on the area and company but in all, expect advancement in your career. As you go higher in your career, you receive higher pay and other juicy associated incentives.
As the financial industry grows and more innovative ventures, new areas of interest and bigger industry opportunities arise, so expect more future rewards.
Entry-Level Finance Jobs
In the finance industry, there is lots of competition because of the number of people entering the financial sector. To stand a better chance, you must familiarize yourself with the industry’s happenings.
If you want to start your career in the finance sector, you should start with these entry-level positions in finance jobs. Jobs like these involve you as one of the financial professionals handling administrative duties like company policies and client relationships.
Some of these entry-level finance jobs are listed below with their estimated average salary and the projected growth rate.
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Estimated Growth Rate|
|Insurance underwriter||$76,390||-2% Drop|
|Bank teller||$36,310||-17% Drop|
|Tax examiner||$56,780||-4% Drop|
|Insurance claims adjuster||$64,710||-3% Drop|
|Payroll clerk||$44,760||-2% Drop|
6 Must-Have Skills for a Successful Finance Career
There is no hard and fast rule if you want to venture into the finance sector. Apart from earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, to have a successful finance career, there are some essential skills you must develop to shoot the roof and make a flourishing career.
What are these skills? Take a look at them.
1. Numeracy Ability
For you to be good at finance, you cannot take away the importance of having numeracy skills.
This is because you will be handling lots of financial calculations that have to do with statistics and data, financial budgets, financial statements, and the like.
So you must have a good knowledge of how to use mathematical theories like algebra, calculus, and probability to help you in your job.
2. Analytical Skills
The ability to think analytically and make sound judgments is essential because you will be handling complex financial data.
So you must be able to solve complex problems, make logical and sound decisions as well as interpret data correctly.
If you are not an analytical thinker, you can take a course on improving your analytical skills and practice with your finance too, and you are good to go.
Paying attention to details will help you in your finance career. As you know, you will be analyzing and calculating the company’s financial data, so you must know when the account is not balanced and be observant enough to know when a mistake is made in the accounting calculations.
This is important because a company will appreciate a meticulous staff with data so the company does not run into some financial deficit.
4. Communication Skills
Remember that you will not be working alone. There are other professionals also working in the same field as you.
You must be able to communicate well and in a transparent manner with other team members to do a proper analysis of financial data, plan budgets, identify any discrepancies in the account and work together to create a solution.
5. Risk Estimation Skills
You must be able to look at the company’s financial records and identify the risk factors that are posing a threat and plan how to mitigate these risk factors.
If you are in the executive finance department or risk management department, this will be a handy skill for you to have.
6. Income Management Skills
You will need this skill to oversee the cash flow of the company. Income management skills will help you to scrutinize the income and expenditure of the company properly, keep a track record of how much the company has as well as a give a prognosis of the company’s income in the nearest future.
If you are working in an accounting firm or loan company, you will need this skill.
9 Career Paths in the Finance Industry
The good thing about the finance industry is that it’s versatile with different areas where you can specialize.
If you want to get a finance degree, there are many places you can fix yourself. Let’s look at the nine finance careers that are available for you after you graduate.
1. Financial Analyst
As a financial analyst, you are tasked with critical financial decisions that involve researching and making financial investment recommendations for the company. This recommendation involves analyzing the potential of the investments and market trends to ensure maximum profit.
- Make a market survey for the best business opportunities
- Oversee buying and selling of stocks for a company
- Financial analysts review market trends and make proper deductions
Estimated average salary ($82,320)
2. Equity Research Analyst
Your equity research analyst career will offer you the opportunity to study and analyze financial information and trends for an organization or an industry.
As an ER analyst, you will review stocks, bonds, and other instruments and write an unbiased, honest equity research report and help your clients in making good investment decisions based on your reports.
- Studying public records of companies to forecast the organization’s impending financial needs
- Writing reports on the organization’s finances and defining the business’s investment potential by giving ratings, like buy, sell, or hold
- Accountable for analyzing the budget and making a strategy to get out of debt if the organization is in a poor financial state
- Using technical analysis or fundamental analysis to report, which securities or stocks are expected to be profitable and which are not
Estimated average salary ($1,12,821) as per Glassdoor.
3. Personal Financial Advisor
These types of financial advisors are primarily seen in public. They help individuals in personal finance by directing their financial planning and guiding them to proportion their investments to suit their life. For instance, assisting clients with retirement plans, managing their properties, or personal business investment plans. So to achieve this, you must develop good communication and interpersonal skills so you can relate to everyone, no matter their background or level of understanding.
- Client pitching and prospecting to introduce your job to them
- Discussing business and investment opportunities with clients
- Make surveys and intimate clients of the possible risks of these opportunities
- Finally, making recommendations and advice to help mitigate the said risks
Estimated average salary ($95,230)
4. Investment Banker
As an investment banker, your prime function includes-giving expert financial advice to your clients, and supporting institutional clients in capital raising, mergers, and acquisitions. Being an investment banker is a highly challenging job though investment banking is the most rewarding and prestigious finance career.
Investment bankers work a difficult finance career path. Besides finance skills, you need college degrees, extracurricular activities, and determination to make the best out of a demanding job.
- Front office duties include investment banking and market functions like sales, trading, and structuring
- Middle office roles include risk management duties like analysis and evaluating the risk taken by front office employees
- The back office work includes mostly operational roles
Estimated average salary ($1,13,231) as per Glassdoor.
5. Management Professionals
These are expert financial planners in the business that help people revive their dying businesses by proffering practical solutions to help improve the profitability and productivity of the business. They use their experience in the field of business to identify the origin of the problem and give professional advice on how things should be done differently.
- Examine the cash flow and the business financial data to figure out the best way to manage the business
- Research the company’s low-point areas and proffer solutions to improve productivity
- Give professional advice on cash management to reduce wastage
Estimated average salary ($93,850)
6. Financial Manager
This position is one of the top positions in the financial industry. It goes a little further from managing personal investments to managing large companies or being a part of an extended organization. The financial managers evaluate the financial reports of these companies and make some projections that can be applied to take the companies’ investments to another level and remove every unnecessary addition that reduces productivity.
- Oversee the finance of a company or organization
- Research market trends and make propositions, including how to take advantage of opportunities
- Write the financial reports and statements to help the administrative body’s decision-making plans
Estimated average salary ($132,235)
The job of a bookkeeper is to record and keep tabs on all the day-to-day business financial transactions. They record the income and expenditures and give an up-to-date financial report on the business so that the chief financial officer can work with the information to make better financial decisions.
- Responsible for managing the ledger of the company
- Monitor any discrepancies in the account and make a report
- Ensures accurate data entry
- Record all business financial dealings
Estimated average salary ($46,350)
8. Tax Examiners/Collectors and Revenue agents
These are entry-level finance jobs in the sector. These people work for the federal, state, or local government. The people who work under this department must calculate the taxes owed by individuals and collect them and report back to the governments they work for. They monitor the underpayment of taxes, including unpaid taxes, and collect them.
- Liaise with the taxpayers to address any underlying issues with their payment
- Make sure citizens comply with the tax payment methods
- Monitor underpayment and overpayment and make a refund where necessary
Estimated average salary ($56,780)
9. Loan Official
These people work with loan houses and companies to oversee the loan collected by people and make sure they can pay back before approving any loan, so a loan official must vet the borrower to make sure they can repay the loan. They analyze the history of the loan applicants and know if the loan should be given or not.
- Have a one-on-one meeting with the loan applicants for further inquiries.
- Educate the borrowers on the different types of loans, application requirements, and terms and conditions.
- Analyze the eligibility of the loan applicants, which includes past credit scores and income history.
Estimated average salary ($64,540)
3 Downsides of Finance Career
There is no career that doesn’t have certain drawbacks associated with it matter how beautiful or promising it seems, and the same applies to the finance sector, so before you go into it, you should have this thing at the back of your mind.
1. Demanding and Stressful
Yes, working as financial personnel comes with lots of demands. Now assuming you are a financial analyst or a manager, you are saddled with the responsibility of making important financial decisions for the company. Such requires a lot of brain work and can be quite tough.
Another thing you need to take into consideration is that you must be ready to make adjustments because the financial world keeps changing by the day. A new event in the economy might cause a serious issue, so you must be flexible and prepared to handle future changes at all times so it doesn’t affect the company and the staff as well.
Working in finance requires you to spend lots of time in your job that at the end of the day, you might not have much time left for your personal life because the job is so demanding that you have to put in long hours of work to make sure you are punching in the right figures and writing reports, so make sure you make deliberate efforts to have a balanced life.
What’s My Verdict
Pursuing a career in finance can turn out to be not just a noble venture but a rewarding one at that. The industry is a lucrative one with enough space for you to gain expertise and earn huge salaries.
However, also note that with your financial career comes its demands. Because we are talking finance here, you will deal with an ever-changing economy, unstable market trends, and clients with different characters. You must possess all the skills mentioned in this article if you want to succeed at what you do.
If you are a finance enthusiast or one who loves to deal with numbers, the finance industry is a place you can build an amazing career for yourself. What are you waiting for? Go get it!