If you have completed a degree in financew what you will quickly find when you start searching for employment is that there are many career options available to you, and they span a range of difference industries. This is because it is said that finance is the universal business language. Within the industry, you will find sub-industries, and many different niches as well. This is why it is so important that you spend enough time researching all your different options, culminating in you finding a job that is best matched to your personal abilities, skills, knowledge, and interests.
List of Finance Careers
The table below highlights just some of the career options available to you in the world of finance, and the employment demand outlook for those jobs.
|Sector||Jobs||Functions||Average Annual Salary||Job growth projections (2014-2024) Avg. is 6%-8%|
|Corporate Finance||· Financial analyst· Internal auditor· Treasurer||You will manage the capital that is necessary in order for the business to run properly. The goal is to minimize risk and maximize profitability. You will achieve this through forecasting, negotiating credit deals, making financial statements, assisting auditors, and more. Depending on your personal knowledge, you can also become involved in mergers & acquisitions (M&A) efforts.||$78,620||12% growth|
|Commercial Banking||· Loan officer· Bank teller· Branch manager|
· Marketing manager
|Working on savings and checking accounts, loans, IRAs and other banking services.||$62,620||8% growth|
|Investment Banking||Investment banker||Being an investment banker is possibly the most glamorous financial career around. You will work on corporate securities, as well as personal investing. You will often also have responsibility over M&A efforts, although most aim to work on the trading desk, dealing in securities, stocks and bonds.||$72,070||10% growth|
|Hedge Funds||· Regulatory compliance officer· Trader· Financial analyst||This is often used in conjunction with investment banking, but there are notable differences. There is an air of mystery surrounding hedge funds, because they are unregulated. Hedge fund management is seen as very glamorous.||$72,070||10% growth|
|Private Equity and Venture Capital||Venture capitalist||Your role will be to help others find the financial means to run their existing operations, or expand on them. Additionally, you will help with restructuring and buyouts. Sometimes, you will have to come into a struggling business to help them either rejoin the road to success, or dismantle completely. Usually, you will find employment as a ‘venture capitalist’, working in startup and fast growing businesses. The goal is to help the business go public. Failure rates are high, but the rewards can be huge as well.||$72,070||10% growth|
|Financial Planning||Certified Financial Planner (requires certification)||You will help individuals plan for their financial future. You will help them to set realistic future goals, and then develop a plan to ensure that they are able to achieve them. This includes working on investments, tax and estate planning and more. Often, you will receive commissions on products that you recommend. This has given some financial planners a bad name, however.||$81,060||30% growth|
|Insurance||· Investigator Examiner· Appraiser|
· Claims adjuster
|Your goal is to make sure businesses are able to avoid risks and are protected should losses occur. Usually, you will be employed by a large insurance firm, helping them determine premium rates based on historical data.||$96,700||18% growth|
|Public Accounting||· Certified Public Accountant (requires certification)· Tax manager· Audit manager|
· Accounting partner
|In this role, you will ensure that the business you work for follows the GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles). This means that you have to keep records, prepare statements for both financial and tax purposes, and help with various consultancy services. Generally speaking, you will work for an accountancy firm, with the so-called ‘Big Four’, namely KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. However, smaller firms also exist.||$65,940||11% growth|
|Accounting and auditing||· Accountant Auditor||In this role, you will be responsible for the preparation of financial records. A strong focus is on taxation, but also on increasing the efficiency of organizations.||$65,940||11% growth|
|Real Estate||Assessor Appraiser||You will help people find the best price for land or buildings, and assist them in all the finances involved in this.||$52,570||8% growth|
|Human Resources||· Job analyst Compensation analyst· Benefits analyst|
· Labor relations specialist
|You will work closely together with human resource managers in order to make sure that the financial side of the human capital is managed properly.||$60,600||4% growth|
|Fundraising||Fundraiser||You will work closely together with organizations, usually voluntary or not for profit, to help them to raise funds to support their services. You may be involved in the more physical elements of this, including designing promotional materials and being out in the street doing outreach.||$52,430||9% growth|
|Taxation||Revenue agent Tax collector Tax examiner||You will be responsible for making sure that citizens and businesses pay the taxes that they are due. You will conduct audits, review tax returns, collect overdue payments, and determine taxes due.||$51,120||6% decline|
The above is just a small sampling of the types of jobs available within the finance industry. It highlights the variety of fields that you could get involved in. Generally speaking, obtaining a master’s degree in finance will enable you to earn significantly more. In fact, the salaries listed above are, by and large, for those with bachelor’s degrees. On average, obtaining a master’s degree will boost your salary by as much as $15,000 per year. Obtaining a better education, however, is not just about earning more money. It is also about increasing your personal knowledge and skills, and the personal satisfaction you can get from being the best you can be.
Finding finance careers can be done online and offline. Industry conferences, for instance, are excellent places to find these types of jobs as well. Do, as much as possible, attend networking events, where you can also make personal contacts. In the world of finance, who you know and what you know are often equally important.
Resources and References:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Business and Financial Occupations – Job outlook for business and financial work. (BLS.gov)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Financial Analysts – Job outlook for financial analysts. (BLS.gov)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents – Job outlook for sales agents for securities, commodities and financial services. (BLS.gov)