Your Guide To Careers in Finance

Do you want to work in Finance but are unsure of the best type of job or where to begin to prepare for it? We cover you!

Managing money to support the financial success of people, businesses, or other institutions is the main focus of careers in Finance. Financial industry professionals typically have a strong track record of encouraging creativity, critical thinking, and communication. They also frequently monitor and anticipate changes in the economy to deliver insightful advice. There are lots of options to consider if you want to work in Finance. We’ll walk you through ten financial careers in this article.

Your Guide To Careers in Finance

Finance Career Paths

There are three broad categories of finance careers:

Personal Finance

This route helps people make decisions about how much to spend on major purchases like cars, real estate, and higher education. Additionally, they assist clients in understanding their financial situation by evaluating cash flow and household net worth. Personal Finance can also include planning for taxes, retirement, and investments, among other things.

Business Finance

Managing money for companies and businesses is the primary responsibility of those working in Corporate Finance. Finance specialists in the business world may forecast economic trends, manage a portfolio of investments, or strike a balance between risk and profitability.

Public Finance

Public finance professionals often carry out corporate finance-like duties for public organizations like states, government agencies, or school districts. Public institutions require professionals to manage their real estate holdings and financial planning, just like individuals or corporations do.

Despite the fact that each of these three industries requires working with a distinct type of client, the abilities you develop in one can frequently be applied to another, giving you a variety of experiences as your career progresses.

Educational background needed for a career in Finance

The majority of finance career paths require a bachelor’s degree. Even though a degree in Finance is not required, having at least a bachelor’s in a related field, like business administration, accounting, or economics, can be beneficial. Students enrolled in finance programs typically graduate with a thorough understanding of financial management, along with pertinent technical know-how, social skills, and professional insight.

People in the finance industry typically pursue two advanced professional degrees in addition to their undergraduate degree.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Students who complete this graduate program will have a wide range of business-related skills. Finance, applied statistics, business law, management, and entrepreneurship are among the core courses in an MBA program. Students pursuing an MBA may decide to focus on Finance.

Master’s Degree in Finance

This option for a graduate degree is highly focused on skills related to Finance. Mathematical coursework is typically prioritized in these programs. It may be possible to offer some non-quantitative electives on subjects like corporate governance and business strategy.

In addition to master’s degrees, several certifications may be relevant for particular roles, including:

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Common Careers In Finance

The finance industry offers a wide range of career options that can match your interests, core values, and financial goals while also paying well. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 financial career opportunities, which includes both entry-level positions and options for seasoned professionals:

1. Finance Intern

National average salary: $13.78 per hour

Principal responsibilities: During the summer or academic semester, a finance intern usually works either part-time or full-time. Interns may work on cash flow management, estimation, or budgeting, depending on their role. One excellent way to learn more about the financial industry is through an internship. Numerous internships are compensated and can assist in covering educational costs.

Requirements for education: pursuing an MBA or bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as economics, accounting, or Finance

2. Collection Agent

National average salary: $15.39 per hour

Principal responsibilities: Businesses occasionally struggle to collect loans from debtors who are unable to make timely payments. Finding corporate loan repayments is the area of expertise for collection agents. In order to guarantee loan repayment, collection agents may meet with clients and assist in reorganizing their debt. This could imply, for instance, that the person or organization is able to repay a loan over time in instalments of one month.

Educational requirements: No degree is required, but it often helps to have a bachelor’s degree.

3. Finance Coordinator

National average salary: $18.92 per hour

Finance coordinators’ primary responsibilities include maintaining the company’s financial records. They keep an eye on outgoing vendor payments and make sure that payments are made on schedule, in addition to managing accounts payable and accounts receivable. To manage unpaid invoices from clients and customers, they might also draft payment plans.

Educational requirements: Some companies require candidates to have a Bachelor’s in Finance or a related field, while others only expect a high school diploma or equivalent work experience.

4. Financial Planner

National average salary: $58,242 per year

Financial planners’ primary responsibilities are to assist individual clients in making plans for their future and current financial security. They create an investment and savings plan based on the goals, needs, and income of the client. The majority of persons in this position work for larger national organizations or smaller, locally-owned businesses. Some financial planners charge a fixed fee, while others get paid commissions on the products they sell or a percentage of the assets they oversee.

Educational requirements: Obtaining the CFP is advantageous for this position and usually calls for three years of professional experience in financial planning in addition to passing multiple exams, one of which is a two-day, 10-hour case study exam. Although obtaining this certification is difficult, financial planners are in great demand for it.

5. Financial analyst

National average salary: $67,377 per year

Financial analysts’ primary responsibilities are to advise companies and private investors on bonds, stocks, and other investment opportunities. They support organizational leaders in choosing investments that are best for the group as a whole. Working with a range of senior leaders, writing reports, and making presentations are all common tasks of this job. A wide variety of organizations employ financial analysts.

Minimum educational requirements: a bachelor’s degree in business or Finance. A lot of financial analysts are master’s degree holders. Professional certification can also be attained by fulfilling experience requirements and passing an exam.

6. Investment Banker

National average salary: $71,366 per year

Investment bankers’ primary responsibilities include trading and issuing corporate securities as well as advising businesses and investors on financial matters. Investment banks are divided into various divisions, each with distinct goals and duties.

These bankers work with a trading desk at a traditional investment bank, which trades bonds, stocks, and other securities in the secondary market, depending on where the role is located.

They might also collaborate with experts in mergers and acquisitions or securities issuers. While some investment bankers work with different securities or advise a variety of clients, others have a specialized role in selling bonds or equity.

Educational requirements: A bachelor’s degree is all that is needed for entry-level jobs, but many investment bankers go on to earn a master’s degree—often an MBA or a law degree.

7. Loan officer

National average salary: $74,560 per year

Loan officers’ primary responsibilities involve consulting with bank customers to ascertain their financial needs and making appropriate loan product recommendations. They guide clients through the lending policies of the bank. Commercial banks provide a range of financial services, such as loans, IRAs, savings and checking accounts, and can range in size from small local businesses to large multinational corporations. Promotions from roles like loan officer at a local branch to corporate headquarters are possible.

Requirements for education: A bachelor’s degree in Finance, business, or a similar discipline is often required of loan officers by banks and mortgage companies. Lender officers must also obtain their licenses. There are also options for voluntary certification.

8. Certified public accountant (CPA)

National average salary: $80,600 per year

Principal responsibilities: A lot of CPAs assist people and companies with money management, income tax preparation, and tax and financial consulting. Typically, a career in public accounting begins with staff accounting and progresses to positions such as audit manager and tax manager. CPAs may advance to partner status at their firm with time and effort.

Requirements for education: A bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours of formal education are the minimum for all CPA candidates. Furthermore, passing the Uniform CPA exam is a requirement for CPAs. Each state has different licensing requirements, so be sure to check what applies to you.

9. Private equity associate

National average salary: $105,924 per year

Principal responsibilities: Private equity associates help companies locate funding to support their ongoing operations and growth. Additionally, they offer financing for corporate business deals like managed buyouts and restructurings. A private equity associate’s responsibilities may include fundraising, portfolio company monitoring, analyzing confidential information memorandums (CIM), and analytical modelling.

Qualifications for education: Candidates for private equity associate positions must hold a bachelor of arts degree in a relevant discipline, such as Finance, economics, or statistics. Typically, private equity firms only consider applicants who have completed private equity internships or who have substantial post-graduation work experience after graduating from college or business school.

10. Quantitative analyst

National average salary: $149,694 per year

Primary responsibilities: Quantitative analysts assist businesses with financial decision-making by applying quantitative techniques. Investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and private equity firms are just a few of the organizations that play this role. Through statistical analysis or programming, these analysts assist businesses in risk management and investment opportunity identification. When it comes to creating algorithms that tell traders when to buy and sell stocks and other financial products, quantitative analysts are highly sought after in the trading industry.

Requirements for education: A Master’s degree in Financial Engineering, Quantitative Finance, or a closely related discipline like statistics or mathematics is usually required to become a quantitative analyst. For senior-level roles, a Ph.D. is also frequently required by employers.

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