As the financial services industry continues to grow and change at an accelerated rate, many new opportunities continue to emerge. With such a wide variety of jobs available, it’s no surprise that there are so many career paths to choose from. From wealth management to collateral management, financial planning to risk management, finance is one of the most diverse fields you can choose.
And the finance industry certainly offers that. Whether you’re interested in finance, or just exploring the different career paths available in the field, here’s everything you need to know about finance careers.
Finance Careers You Can Pursue with a Digital Advantage
As a result of the increased use of technology in the financial realm, many new careers are now accessible via the Internet. You can easily find positions related to digital marketing, digital innovation, or even cybersecurity. As the nature of finance continues to change, new technologies and job roles are being created, including artificial intelligence and blockchain.
While digital skills are now essential for any job in finance, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, many jobs in the industry used to require more traditional competencies, such as expertise with excel or proper business practices. Digital skills have become more and more important as the financial sector has grown, but they are still not essential for all roles.
Finance Careers With a Physical Advantage
Many finance careers require the ability to analyze and understand numbers and financial data. In order to do this, many professionals need to have a strong quantitative skillset. Those in the asset management industry and the trading sector, for example, are likely to find themselves at least somewhat quantitative. Other industries, like commercial and investment banking, require a more qualitative skillset.
A physical advantage means that some finance careers require the candidate to be physically located in a specific place, such as in an office. These jobs often allow flexible hours and a routine that allows the employee to spend a good deal of time physically present in the office.
Finance Careers You Can Pursue With a Risk-Tolerant Attitude
It’s not exactly news that finance is a field that deals with risk. After all, the capital markets are the most heavily-regulated segment of the economy, and even then, risk is always present. This can be a major challenge for individuals who are less comfortable with risk. If you are one of these people and you are interested in a finance career, be prepared for some pushback from your supervisors as well as your colleagues.
While it’s important to recognize that risk is a constant in finance, it’s equally important to recognize that there are ways to manage risk effectively. If you have concerns about your ability to effectively manage risk, you may want to consider a different career path.
Finance Careers You Can Pursue With a Marketing Advantage
Marketing is a huge part of any business, and it’s a critical skill in the finance industry. It’s used to generate consumer insight, to generate sales and make sure that sales are delivered on time. It’s also used to establish brand loyalty and build customer loyalty.
In the financial services sector in particular, marketing plays a dual role. First, it is used to attract new customers. Second, it is used to keep existing customers engaged. This means marketing must be used throughout the entire customer lifecycle — from onboarding, to onboarding new employees, to driving customer retention.
Finance Careers You Can Pursue With an Operational Advantage
The industry in which you work is going to influence the type of skills you need to be successful in a finance career. As a risk manager, for example, you’ll need to be familiar with regulatory compliance and know the ins and outs of your particular industry. As a financial analyst, you’ll need to be familiar with business analysis and have a strong quantitative skillset.
Operations skills have become more important in recent years as technology has created more automation. In many industries, the financial sector is leading the way by implementing tech that helps with back-office operations. Finance operations are being revolutionized by software such as Bloomberg Terminals, which replace the tedious work of writing reports and managing operations.
Finance Job Profiles
Back when finance was a lot simpler, businesses relied on banks to process their transactions and issue their credit cards. Nowadays, companies use a diverse array of sources to finance their operations, including credit cards, debit cards, bank loans, and even debit and credit transfers.
Since the range of financial services available has expanded, the nature of a job has changed. In order to succeed in finance, you need to be able to adapt. That means being comfortable with ambiguity. Finance is an area where you need to be able to play the long game — to think about the big picture, rather than the next quarter or the next earnings report.
Financial analysts are responsible for analyzing and evaluating a company’s financial data. They often work with the accounting department to help prepare financial statements so that the business can make informed decisions.
Financial analysts may work on developing budgets, reviewing projected revenues and expenses, and helping to determine appropriate levels of capital investments. The analyst may also be responsible for helping to develop rules for financial transactions, such as budgeting, cash flow, and spending.
Financial Risk Manager
In addition to managing risk, financial risk managers are expected to bring a certain degree of creative flair to their job. This is because they are often responsible for developing a range of strategies to manage risk.
Financial risk managers may have a broad range of responsibilities, including creating budgets and risk management reports, managing risk, and providing counsel to management on risk. They may help to ensure that risk is accounted for in decisions about products and services.
Financial consultants are often hired to help solve a specific problem. They may be hired by a company to help them better understand the risks associated with a particular financial decision, for example.
The consultant may also be hired by an individual to help them better understand the risks associated with a particular financial decision they are considering making. In this role, the consultant could be responsible for helping the client to assess the risks associated with a particular financial product and make an informed decision.
Trading agents work on the trading floor of a financial institution. Their job is to execute orders placed by investors or companies that want to buy or sell stocks or other financial assets. Trading agents are required to have a high level of quantitative skills and a thorough understanding of securities and financial markets.
Investment managers are responsible for making recommendations about which financial products, such as stocks or bonds, a client should buy. They are hired by individuals or companies, who typically have a financial stake in the outcome of the recommendation.
Investment associates are typically new hires at a financial institution. They typically have little to no experience as an investment manager or investment consultant, and they work directly for the investment manager.
Wealth managers are responsible for managing the financial assets of high net worth individuals. They are hired by wealthy individuals to help them stay on top of their finances, which often means working with a financial advisor.
The wealth advisor is responsible for providing advice to the wealthy individual hired by the client. Wealth advisors are typically referred to as financial consultants.
Investment officers are senior-level employees at a financial institution. Their job is to make investment recommendations to senior management. They are often hired to work at a major Wall Street bank.
Investment Banking Analyst
Investment banking analysts work on the trading floors of financial institutions, such as hedge funds, banks, or brokerage houses. Their job is to find investment opportunities through research and analysis and then trade those opportunities using capital raised from the bank.
Compliance officers are responsible for making sure that a company is in compliance with applicable laws, such as the rules surrounding risk management, and maintaining proper financial records. They also work to help ensure that employees are compliant with corporate ethics and compliance standards, such as avoiding conflicts of interest.
At the end of the day, most of us are looking for opportunities that will allow us to utilize our skills and talents in a meaningful way.