Finance is an excellent degree choice that offers challenging work in a variety of industries. Finance careers generally pay well, bonuses and commissions for some finance professionals can reach into the tens of thousands. In addition, a job in finance frequently offers diversity in your day-to-day duties.
If you're a student or recent graduate, your finance skills will help you get hired for these professions. In this article, we will discuss the jobs you can pursue after earning your finance degree.
● The financial sector consists of firms that offer financial services to consumers, businesses, and governments.
● Most finance jobs require four-year or advanced degrees, especially in business, math, economics, and statistics.
● Some of the highest-paying finance jobs are investment banker, actuary, portfolio manager, quantitative analyst, and securities trader.
Types of Careers in Finance
A variety of careers in finance are available. Among them are:
● Bank manager
● Budget analyst
● Business banker
● Chief financial officer
● Chief investment officer
● Insurance agent
● Financial analyst
● Financial examiner
● Financial planner
● Hedge fund manager
● Insurance underwriter
● Loan officer
● Investment banker
● Investment manager
● Real estate agent
● Investor relations manager
● Tax examiner
● Venture capitalist
Generally, these jobs fall into one of seven buckets: asset management, commercial banking, corporate finance, insurance, investment banking, personal financial planning and real estate.
A bachelor's degree in finance is typically required to enter this career field. To advance in the finance sector, somebody might need to earn a master's degree in finance or an MBA.
Some other entry-level finance jobs are:
● Bank teller
● Budget analyst
● Payroll clerk
● Credit analyst
● Financial analyst
● Insurance underwriter
● Insurance claims adjuster
● Compensation and benefits specialist
● Personal banker
● Personal financial adviser
● Tax associate
Finance-sector jobs pay higher than the median salary, even at entry-level positions. You don't need an Ivy League background to get in on the finance action, but an undergraduate degree is required at the very least, and economics- or math-oriented majors are preferable.
Jobs You Can Get with a Finance Degree
The financial field of work offers a variety of career paths that goes beyond simply managing money. Here are some options to consider as you explore careers related to a finance degree.
1. Financial Analyst
Being a financial analyst is a very important and privileged role. Analysts at financial-industry firms are typically responsible for researching potential investments and offering opinions and recommendations to help guide the traders and portfolio managers. Financial analysts also work at non-bank corporations, where they analyze the financial position of the company and help to formulate budgetary plans.
To be a financial analyst, you must have strong analytical, math, and communication skills—and be able to endure high stress. You must have a four-year degree in finance or a related field, and you'll eventually need a CFA certification or other FINRA license and, likely, an MBA.
● Financial analyst average salary: $72,303
2. Financial Planner
Finance majors learn about a variety of investment vehicles, and this knowledge can help financial planners to advise clients about how to manage their finances. Finance majors can decipher trends in the securities markets and apply this perspective to their planning sessions.
Financial planners must crunch numbers and apply principles of accounting in order to devise plans suitable for individual investors. They also need to inspire trust in people and promote their services. Therefore, finance majors with strong interpersonal skills and persuasive abilities will be most likely to succeed in this profession.
● Financial planner average salary: $87,850
3. Financial Managers
A financial manager primarily employs cash management strategies and directs company investments to reach the organization's strategic and economic goals. You'll regularly direct preparation of financial reports according to company and industry standards as a financial manager. You'll also use your research and analytical skills to find future growth opportunities. The ideal results of your work should be optimized company resources and robust financial performance.
Financial managers need to know how to prepare budgets, understand financial statements, and analyze budget variances. Financial managers need excellent written and verbal communication skills since they regularly present and defend capital investment initiatives to company board members, executives, and colleagues. All industries need financial managers.
● Financial manager average salary: $127,990
4. Budget Analyst
The typical role of a budget analyst is to analyze budgets and evaluate the financial feasibility of existing and proposed investments. Budget analysts use their financial training to study various projects from a financial standpoint in domains like business, government, education, and not-for-profit sectors. These professionals also use their skill to train staff to keep various projects within the allocated budget. You will be qualified for this role after earning a bachelor's degree.
As a budget analyst, you'll have opportunities to work in many industries such as information technology, engineering services, defense, and education. If you work in the private sector, you'll help companies to save money in specific business areas and improve profits through data analysis initiatives. As a public sector budget analyst, your work will optimize budgets for improved program performance. A budget analyst's job duties usually vary with experience. Seasoned budget analysts in corporations give reports to C-suite executives while their peers in government service often present financial information to law makers.
● Budget analyst average salary: $80,789
5. Commercial Banker
The commercial banking industry has gone through large shifts in recent years, adopting digital technologies to enhance their services while evolving to accommodate new players in fintech. But commercial bankers still play a crucial role in communities. As gatekeepers to financial products like business loans or mortgages, commercial bankers play an active role in the economic health of local areas.
As a banking relationship manager, loan officer, or development officer, you'll work with customers directly to assess their financial situation and offer them appropriate financial products. If you're interested in how finance can touch the everyday lives around you, commercial banking remains a relevant and important piece of the finance world.
● Commercial banker average salary: $63,996
Actuaries analyze the monetary consequences of risk by using math, statistics, and financial theory. These professionals gather, assemble, and analyze data to estimate the probability and likely costs of such events as injury, sickness, disability, death, and property loss. As the Society of Actuaries states on its website, "Actuaries are experts in evaluating the likelihood of future events—using numbers, not crystal balls."
Actuaries work for entities that need to manage risk, including insurance companies (the most common employer), pension plans, banks, investment firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, governments, and hospitals. Their input and expertise are vital in helping these entities manage their assets to minimize risk and maximize returns.
● Actuary's average salary: $108,350
7. Chief Financial Officer
A chief financial officer (CFO) is responsible for tracking the profits and deficits of a company, then developing a strategy to maintain successful financially. One key aspect of a chief financial officer is their managerial skills and often oversee a team of employees.
Chief financial officers track all the financial dealings of a company and offer their expertise when the organization makes new decisions. These professionals also need to have a very good understanding of local financial laws, as they also have to make sure the organization complies with IRS guidelines.
● Chief financial officer average salary: $128,468
8. Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors ensure that an organization's finances are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations. An accountant also might prepare financial statements or file taxes. Accountants and auditors can work in-house within a company, or at an accounting company that contracts their services to clients.
Accounting professionals are needed in virtually every industry, including health care, governance, and entertainment. This versatility should make accounting a stable career choice even as factors like the economy or technological change might upend some sectors.
Auditors have a critical job in the finance market as they investigate the accuracy of the data provided on records. Auditors work for companies, governments or freelancers. This job also comes with significant responsibilities because an auditor is usually the last checker of said financial data. You can pursue an auditor position with a bachelor's degree in finance.
● Accountant's average salary: $71,550
● Auditor's average salary: $68,724
9. Securities Trader
Securities traders work at commercial banks, investment banks, asset management firms, hedge funds, and more. Wherever they work, traders buy and sell securities on behalf of the assets managed by that firm. Traders work in different markets (e.g., stocks, commodities, or crypto) and may specialize in one type of asset class or investment.
It used to be possible to work your way up as a trader even without a college degree. While the career path still tends to be somewhat less defined than for, say, investment banking, most traders have a background in a finance-related field from a strong university, and many have advanced degrees in statistics, mathematics, or related fields.
Traders who perform well will typically be allocated increasing amounts of capital. It's not uncommon for top traders to break out on their own to form hedge funds.
● Securities trader average salary: $72,612
10. Portfolio Manager
A professional who is involved in financial management, a portfolio manager oversees investment portfolios for their clients. They discuss different strategies and the overall performance with their clients and work alongside a team of financial analysts to identify the strategy for their client's particular portfolios.
In fact, portfolio managers often start off as financial analysts and many have a master's degree in business administration or finance, though it isn't necessary for the position. In short, much of their work revolves around exchange-traded, mutual or closed-end fund assets.
● Portfolio manager average salary: $88,035
Why Get a Finance Degree?
A finance degree will equip you with an understanding of accounting, statistics, and economics, and prepare you for a career in managing money in various forms. Finance is a key aspect of most any public or private sector organization, making the field versatile and steadily in-demand across many industries.
Studying finance can lead to careers with significant financial rewards, but that's not the only draw. Finance powers the economy—banks can provide crucial loans to small business owners, financial planners can set up plans for young families to save for college, and smart investing allows people to retire without worry. Finance in the right hands can be a powerful force for innovation, prosperity, and social benefit.
All of these careers require a finance degree, usually a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, business or any other related field. Short courses may be needed to increase your employability prospects along with the proper work experience. In addition, Take a little time to polish your professional resume and cover letter for finance jobs that interest you. Be sure to highlight the skills and experience that make you unique as a candidate.