If you are into math and numbers, the finance field should be your go-to career. A finance career is the best match for your passion and strength in these areas, and when you have a bachelor’s degree in finance, there’s a good chance you’ll find a good job after that. Due to the vastness of the finance field, this career generally has low unemployment rates. There is a wide range of jobs for people who have degrees in finance, ranging from financial analysts to financial managers, and projections show that finance and business careers are expected to increase by 10% by 2026, an addition of 773,800 new jobs in the market.
The field of finance can be aggressively competitive to break into. Essentially, it is a renowned lucrative and high-paying industry, most times paying a salary up to six or seven figures, and there are many opportunities for bonuses for the elite in the field. Those at the bottom rung are not left behind; they get a good starting wage compared to other fields.
Finance jobs are ideal in modern times because they pay well. To better understand this field, let’s dig in on the following critical aspects of finance jobs.
- The educational requirements for finance jobs.
- The valuable skills for finance jobs.
- The average salary and benefits in the finance industry.
- The future of the financial industry.
Educational Requirements for Finance Jobs
Finance graduates, as well as MBAs, largely dominate the finance field. This extensive field houses many career opportunities that require at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related program. To start a career in this field, you need a degree that is accredited and relates to finance in. some way. Here are some of the reputable degrees which can help you get a career in finance.
- Finance Degree
A bachelor’s degree in finance is the usual prerequisite to chase a career in finance. This program requires four years to complete, and it equips you with the fundamentals to become a finance professional. This degree also teaches you basic communication and leadership skills, which supplement your professional finance skills.
- Economics Degree
A bachelor’s degree in economics is another program for people wishing to find a finance field career. Economics is a field with a lot of disciplines that thrive in the finance field. As an economist, you handle aspects such as banking, investment, credit, and many more. These are crucial disciplines that are a backbone in the finance industry.
- Accounting Degree
The field of finance values accountants because of the important role they play. They are experts in financial reporting, carrying out financial audits, and handling taxation needs, among many other roles. These are equally essential services in the financial field as they can help you secure a finance career such as a certified public accountant.
- Financial Engineering
A financial engineering degree is a unique and highly sought after program by people who wish to join the finance field. This degree prepares you for financial structuring and quantitative research in large financial institutions such as banks.
- Computer Science Degree
Computer science professionals are a must-have for most financial institutions. Finance deals with money, and money needs to be secured. Computer scientists in the finance field ensure that all financial systems are secure and running effectively to guarantee safe money transactions and storage. A degree in computer science is therefore useful in this field.
- Corporate/ Business Law Degree
A bachelor’s degree in law can be very beneficial in finance. Law graduates offer essential services in the financial field by ensuring financial procedures are compliant with the set regulations. This profession is not a walk in the park, especially with the existing laws and regulations requiring expert interpretation.
What Internships Can Help You Get A Career in Finance?
Landing the right internship can be a stepping stone to you getting a lucrative job in the finance field. Internships are essential in areas that are tough to break into. Financial professionals, such as financial managers and financial analysts, often use internships to gauge the potential of graduates who are chasing a career in finance. As a recent college graduate, your best bet to secure a job in the finance field is to start as an intern in a reputable company. This approach will train you on your industry demands and expose you to a broader range of career opportunities.
Here is a list of the top-rated financial internships:
- AT&T Financial and Leadership Development Program.
- Blackstone Group.
- Credit Suisse.
- Deutsche Bank.
- Goldman Sachs
- J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank.
- Morgan Stanley.
- Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
- UBS Investment Bank.
These are some of the top financial internships that can propel you to get a career in finance. However, these are not the only available internships. There are more internships out there.
What Continuing Education Can Help You with Your Career in Finance?
Another essential factor that can help you in your financial career is continuing education. Getting only a bachelor’s degree in finance will limit your opportunities in the field. Advancing your education to the next level opens up more lucrative career opportunities in high-end positions. Here is the continuing education that can help you achieve this:
- Master’s Degree in Finance
A master’s in Finance degree is open to all graduates who have completed their bachelor’s degree in finance. It will take you two years to complete it, and you will leave with expanded skills in the fundamentals of finance after specializing in an area of choice.
- Doctorate Degree in Finance
A doctorate in finance is the top education level in the finance field. This program will prepare you to be a financial researcher and instructor, a role that qualifies you for most, if not, all top positions in the finance field. It will take you approximately four to five years to complete a doctorate program in finance, and will enable you to teach at the university level.
Valuable Skills for Finance Jobs
It takes exceptional financial skills to work in any position in the finance field. When companies source finance professions, they look for people who possess all the necessary education and certifications. However, most employers look beyond this. Degrees, diplomas, and other academic certifications are not everything. The ideal qualifications also include excellent interpersonal skills and other general knowledge about the financial industry.
Here are six top soft skills that are a must-have to secure a career in the finance field:
- Business knowledge
Every day, the scope of the finance and business jobs are expanding. Potential candidates require razor-sharp business knowledge to develop strategies, make informed decisions, and work in different departments in an organization. You need to visualize the big picture and evaluate how your skills will impact the entire finance industry.
- Leadership skills
Many employers prefer financial candidates with top-notch leadership skills. Such is seen in you if you are ambitious and can adapt well to any form of change. You should also be able to embrace learning and personal growth. Employers will often gauge to see if you can share new insights and ideas that can benefit the company.
- Technical Prowess
The vast finance field requires an individual that is not only book smart but also a technical expert. With the dynamic finance industry, there is a lot of software and technology continually growing and developing. It would be best to accustom yourself with software such as QuickBooks to stand out above the rest.
- Communication skills
As a finance expert, you need to be proficient in telling the story behind the numbers in a manner that is easily understood. This skill is essential, especially if you are tasked with passing financial information to your colleagues in other departments or clueless clients. You need exceptional written, verbal, and visual communication skills.
- Customer service
As simple as it sounds, this is another important soft skill that can help you in your finance career. Customers in the finance field need to be adequately served to retain them or even bring more on board. Keeping clients happy and satisfied is one of your principal duties, and it narrows down to excellent customer service skills.
The other vital soft skills include planning and organization skills, multitasking skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, and many others.
How Can You Develop The Skills You Need for A Finance Job?
If you lack these fundamental soft skills, you still have an opportunity to grow and develop them. You do not have to watch exciting career opportunities pass you when you can make an effort to grab them. There are several ways you can develop the skills that are necessary for finance careers. Below are some of them:
- Taking up an internship program
Internships are the building blocks of finance skills for fresh graduates. They will help you learn and expand your finance skills in many financial aspects. For instance, you can get the chance to practice small business management in a large company.
- Taking short courses
If you are looking to develop technical skills, short courses are your best bet. You will learn a lot of skills, especially relating to new technology and software. With these skills, you can become a competent financial analyst or financial manager, among other jobs.
- Financial research
If you feel that you lack specific financial skills, it won’t hurt you to research them. Read more about the skills, and in the process, you will learn how to use them in the industry.
How Can You Determine If Your Skills Are A Good Match for A Finance Job?
It is one thing having the skills for a financial job, but it is a different scenario determining if those skills perfectly match your finance job. Here are some of the ways you can determine if your skills are a good match for a finance job:
- Go through your resume: Going through your resume will kick-start your thinking process regarding your competitive skills. You will understand your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you have a financial analysis resume, you will possess excellent analytical skills for a financial analysis job.
- Carefully read job descriptions: When applying for a financial job, you must keenly examine the sought skills. After going through the job description, compare the requirements with your skills to give you a vivid idea if your skills match the job or not.
Average Salary and Benefits in the Finance Industry
You are probably wondering what salary you are likely to get once you get a finance degree and work in the finance industry. Salary is one of the top factors that most people consider when selecting a career path. The finance field is renowned for having lucrative career opportunities that come with a good salary and benefits. After all, you would not take a finance course just to end up making peanuts. With this degree, you should be able to feed your family and meet your needs comfortably.
According to PayScale, a fresh graduate with a degree in finance will take home approximately $63,844 every year. Depending on your specific job, the salary may be higher or lower. Several careers offer a higher starting salary for fresh graduates. These include:
- Financial planner: $87,850 annually
- Corporate finance professional: $76,540 annually
- Wealth manager: $75,641 annually
- Financial analyst: $85,660 annually
- Investment banker: $70,000 to $80,000 annually
- Loan Officer: $64,000 annually
As a fresh graduate, you desire to have your salary increased within the shortest time possible. It is possible; however, work experience highly contributes to this. Here are some of the few pointers that can help you have a salary increase within the first few months at work in the finance industry.
- Get certified by a professional financial body
- Work for customer satisfaction
- Advance your education with online courses that will not interrupt your work.
- Put in more effort at work
How Do Salaries and Benefits Increase with Experience in The Finance Industry?
In the large finance industry, experience plays a critical role in shaping salaries and benefits. One person cannot possess the experience to handle every finance sector; therefore, it calls for specialization. Some of the most common specializations in finance include:
- Personal financial advisor
- Financial advisor
- Financial analyst
- Financial manager
- Financial planner
- Investment banker
- …and many more.
All these fields offer financial professionals an opportunity to work and grow their experience and expertise, increasing salaries and benefits every year. For instance, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average gross weekly wages for employees working full-time in the finance, real estate, and insurance industry rose by 11%. For instance, a financial planner with a starting salary of $87,850 annually is expected to earn approximately $97,514 annually.
There is a wide range of benefits that financial experts receive in their jobs. Their level of work experience also influences these benefits. For example, there has been an increase in the house allowance of financial managers who have served for more than a year, which is also expected for other benefits in the industry.
How Do the Benefits Look in The Financial Industry?
The financial industry is one of the leading industries that has high-end benefits to their professionals. As a financial professional, you are entitled to numerous benefits, depending on your chosen career path. Whether you fall in business management or financial planning, the benefits will be there, though they will vary from one position and one company to the next.
Here are some of the common benefits that cut across a majority of the finance careers:
- Free training
A lot of financial institutions invest heavily in their employees. These companies sponsor their employees for job training and education advancements. If you work in this field, you may find an opportunity to get your master’s degree in your specialty, e.g., business management. Once completed, you will be entitled to a salary increase as well as possible promotions.
- Flexibility and satisfaction
The finance industry is a leader when it comes to job satisfaction. In a survey, most finance professionals rated their job satisfaction between 9.6 and 10. If you are not satisfied with your job, you have a wide range of similar jobs in the large field to settle in, which is a massive benefit for financial professionals.
- Global opportunities
Opportunities in the finance field keep growing every year. These opportunities will not limit you within your borders. Financial experts can relocate and work across the world because many financial firms are global organizations.
- Interactions with professionals
As mentioned earlier, the finance industry is a worldwide industry that houses many professionals from all corners of the world. When you work in this industry, you get the opportunity to meet and work with some of the globally renowned figures, giving you the chance to learn from them and a chance to share your ideas with them.
- Never a dull moment
Finance is a unique, dynamic, and challenging industry that constantly presents new problems that need practical solutions. As a finance professional, you will find it interesting to tackle new and advanced problems using your skills and experience in the field. As a bonus, this will also earn you recognition in the organization.
Future of the Financial Industry
The world of finance is dynamic and changing at a breakneck speed because of tech advancement and big data. Consumer demands coupled with technology keep changing every day, influencing the next generation of the finance sector. This advancement brings us to the question, where is the finance industry headed in the future?
From recent surveys on the finance industry’s shifting trends, several trends are bound to happen in the coming years. Here is the future of the finance industry:
- Increase in collaborations between corporations and companies
Many financial institutions rely on archaic financial systems in offering their financial service, and these systems have many weaknesses that can be exploited. Many financial institutions struggle to upgrade their systems to the 21st-century level to stay secure and render services efficiently. They do this through collaborations with other companies and corporations with the technical skills and resources to facilitate it. This area is a feasible option for financial institutions that do not have sufficient resources to fund the upgrades. Fintech startups are therefore going to increase in the future.
- Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Technology is the backbone that facilitates the full functioning of the finance industry. Technology is so deeply ingrained in the financial services companies that the industry cannot survive without it. Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are bound to be advanced in the financial industry in the next few years. Artificial intelligence will go a long way in allowing financial companies to automate most of their processes, which will reduce costs and increase efficiency. Artificial intelligence will not take over all the jobs because there will be an increase in the demand for professionals to design and manage the software and new technology.
- The rise of cybersecurity
Financial institutions, including small banks, handle large amounts of money and crucial data across the world. Clients trust that the banks will keep their possessions and personal information safe. We are living in a time when there is a rapid rise in cybersecurity attacks in many financial institutions that lead to huge losses. In the near future, financial institutions will invest in cybersecurity to secure their data and money, if they are not doing so already. As many people adapt to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, cybersecurity will play a vital role in ensuring online transactions remain safe and viable in the financial industry.
How Big Is the Financial Industry?
The financial industry in the US is the largest as well as the most liquid globally. Imagine the rest of the world. For instance, the US, finance, and insurance commanded 7.4% (or $1.5 trillion) of the United States gross domestic product (GDP). Hence, the finance field is very large compared to other industries such as engineering.
With a financial degree, you have the chance to pick a career path in the vast fields that exist in the financial industry. Below are some of the profitable jobs that exist in this field.
- Investment banker
- Information technology auditor
- Compliance analyst
- Financial advisor
- Insurance advisor
- Financial analyst
- Senior accountant
- Hedge fund manager
- Financial software developer
- Private equity associate
Which Finance Jobs May Become Obsolete in The Near Future?
Jobs in the finance industry are some of the most sought-after and highest-paying in the world. For years, these jobs continued to rise in popularity because of the increase in financial activities worldwide. Despite these jobs being lucrative, the sad reality is they may not be there for a very long time. One of the reasons is artificial intelligence, which will substitute humans’ previously handled work in the industry.
Here is a list of the possible finance jobs that may become obsolete in the near future:
- Customer service representative: Most financial institutions will use robots to guide and offer essential customer services to clients, including booking appointments.
- Financial managers: These financial professionals are likely to be wiped out because artificial intelligence can handle most of their managerial duties, such as analytics.
- Loan officers: Bots are now processing loans at the comfort of your home.
- Financial analyst: Analyzing financial concepts such as balance sheets and other essential accounting concepts are now being handled by computer software, which will lead to this position becoming obsolete in the future.
- Budget analyst: Budget analysis is also being processed by AI and computer software.
AI and technology are the main reason why these positions will lose their meaning soon in the financial industry.
The finance industry is one of the leading global industries in salaries and benefits to its professionals. There is a wide range of jobs for people who have degrees in finance, ranging from financial analysts to financial managers. These jobs require basic finance degrees for one to secure a position in the vast field.
Finance is a vast and highly dynamic field that requires both educational and soft skills to excel. Some of the soft skills include leadership and communication skills. You can develop these skills through different means, such as attending internships and carrying out research.
Most of the jobs in the finance industry net the professionals a decent salary. Fresh graduates get to take home approximately $63,844 every year, a dream for many who find themselves in other fields of professionalism. Not only do they get decent salaries, but they also receive tons of benefits in the industry.
The future of finance is unpredictable, but one thing is sure; it will always be a lucrative field. The emergence of artificial intelligence and technology’s growth threatens some jobs in this field, such as financial analyst and loan officer. However, these factors have also led to the set up of new jobs in the technology industry.
You do not have to think twice about pursuing these jobs, especially if you are great at math.