Financial Career Options For Professionals
A career in finance isn’t all about money, but it’s close to it. For the business graduate, obtaining a degree is just the beginning. What’s left is to take a closer look at available career options and avenues, 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. Financial services have multiple sub-industries surrounding 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 and that’s make your working style comfortable. The same is true for professionals seeking a change in scenery and who want to give a new sector a shot.
Read on to learn how to tell which new opportunity is best suitable for you.
Considering Career Paths
Here are some common career paths you may pursue 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. This is one for the most exciting jobs in the finance field.
The functions you may put into practice while in such a position include the following:
- Setting up the company’s overall financial strategy.
- Forecasting profits and losses.
- Negotiating lines of credit.
- Preparing financial statements.
- Coordinating with outside auditors.
More sophisticated corporate finance jobs might involve mergers and acquisitions activity which is another interesting field you would want to see yourself, such as calculating the value of an acquisition target or determining the value of a division for a spinoff (a type of corporate transaction forming a new company or entity). Corporate finance positions can be found in companies of all sizes, from large, international entities to small startups. This is one such field that has presence in all entities. Additional corporate finance positions include financial analysts, treasurers and internal auditors. (Learn more about a career as an analyst in Becoming A Financial Analyst, and as an internal auditor in An Inside Look At Internal Auditors.)
• 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. Career options available in this sector include bank tellers, loan officers, operations, marketing and branch managers. Talented professionals can advance from a local branch job to a position in corporate headquarters. Such a promotion would expose you to a number of other areas, such as international finance. (Learn more about a career in institutional marketing in The Marketing Director’s Pitch.)
• 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.
Typically, investment-banking firms have a number of different divisions and groups with many different objectives and responsibilities. Working in a traditional investment-banking firm would allow you to interact with issuers of securities, mergers and acquisitions professionals or the trading desk, which trades stocks, bonds and other securities in the secondary market.
• 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. (For further reading about working for a hedge fund, read 10 Steps To A Career In Hedge Funds.)
Typical hedge-fund jobs include the following:
- Financial analyst.
- Marketing manager.
- Portfolio manager.
• 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. The plan may focus on wealth preservation or investment growth and may even include estate and tax planning. Most financial planners work in either large, nationwide groups or smaller, locally based firms. Some planners charge flat fees, others charge a percentage of assets under management, receiving commissions on the products they sell (such as mutual funds).
Generally, financial planners with the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) designation are the most in-demand, as they must obtain three years of financial-planning experience, pass several exams
• 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. You could begin a career in this sector working as a sales rep selling insurance policies, as a customer service rep working with existing clients or as an actuary computing risks and premium rates according to probabilities based on historical, quantitative data sets.
This will help you research and you will need to self access your strengths and decide which part of finance suits your taste, ability and your freedom of thought.
Its always better to take risk and taking risk is all that you learn in finance .
By Marcelo Azavedo