Investopedia – Financial Career Options for Professionals

Financial Career Options for Professionals

A career in finance isn’t all about money, but it’s close. For the business graduate, obtaining a degree is just the beginning. What’s left is to take a closer look at available career options, measuring which industry sectors have the greatest need for new professionals. The finance industry is multifaceted, offering a variety of positions catering to a number of different skills and interests. The financial services industry has multiple sub-industries encompassing niche opportunities. The key to individual success is to research, locate and land the financial job that has the greatest compatibility with your skills and interests. The same is true for professionals seeking a change in scenery who want to give a new sector a shot.

Here are some common career paths in the financial-services industry:

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance jobs involve working for a company in the capacity of finding and managing the capital necessary to run the enterprise. This is done while maximizing corporate value and reducing financial risk.

Commercial Banking

Commercial banks, from large entities to local institutions, offer a range of financial services, from checking and savings accounts to IRAs and loans.

Investment Banking

Some of the most glamorous – and intense – financial careers are jobs in investment banking. Investment banking jobs deal with facilitating the issuance of corporate securities and making these securities available for investors to purchase, all while trading securities and providing financial advice to both corporations and wealthy individual investors.

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds are largely unregulated private investment funds whose managers can buy or sell a wide array of assets and financial products. Because of the mystery that surrounds this type of entity, hedge fund jobs are also considered by many to be somewhat glamorous.

Private Equity and Venture Capital

Private equity professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for a number of corporate business transactions, such as managed buyouts and restructurings.

Financial Planning

Financial planners help individuals develop plans that will ensure their present and future financial stability. Typically, they review a client’s financial goals and generate an appropriate plan for saving and investing that fits the client’s individual needs.

Insurance

Finance jobs in the insurance industry involve helping businesses and individuals anticipate potential risks and protect themselves from losses. Most insurance jobs are with large insurance companies.

Public Accounting

The field of public accounting is broad, with many opportunities. Public accountants help businesses and individuals keep track of their finances according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Finding Financial Job Opportunities

Financial jobs exist at almost every company in almost every industry. There are two ways to find openings – online and offline – and it’s a good idea to use both methods. Keep in mind that financial jobs are highly specialized, so generic job boards are not the best places to seek such positions.

Choosing the Right Direction for You

It is always wise to consider the direction of the market before seeking a financial job. To effectively pursue jobs with the highest probability of success, you must measure the demand for the position. Different financial jobs require different skills and present vastly different work environments, so it’s wise to select one that aligns with your long-term interests and abilities. Someone with solid interpersonal skills, for example, might do well as a financial advisor, while someone who enjoys crunching numbers might do better in public accounting. Do the research first to discover your options. The time spent uncovering the most interesting possibilities can be time saved working in a job that just doesn’t fit.

Check out the video on this topic and read more details about each career at Financial Career Options For Professionals from Investopedia

By Troy Hopkins
Troy Hopkins Director, Undergraduate Career Counseling Troy Hopkins