How to Begin a Career in Finance
If you have a passion for maths and business, a career in finance could help you to land your perfect job! There are many job opportunities within the finance industry, and this article will provide you with an informative guide of how you can start your finance career.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Begin a Career in Finance?
To pursue a career path in finance, it is advantageous to have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline such as finance, accountancy or business administration. Having a finance degree gives you a transferable skill set that will allow you to work across a diverse range of finance jobs in the sector as there is a lot of overlap between different job roles. An excellent way to improve your employability is to have achieved a master’s degree in a subject such as in international finance or finance and management as it shows employers that you have specialised knowledge in a particular area of finance. Having a postgraduate degree also demonstrates that you are dedicated to improving your industry expertise and credibility.
It is, however, also possible to begin a career in finance if you hold a degree in a non-finance discipline such as mathematics, or even start with a Finance A Level. In this instance, it is helpful to secure an internship at a bank or a hedge fund to build up your skill set within the industry.
As a Beginner, Where Should I Start in Finance?
When starting in finance, it is vital to decipher what particular area of the industry that you would like to work in. To gain an entry-level full-time position, recruiters will look for both a combination of academic qualifications and work experience in the field. The three main areas of finance are accounting, banking and insurance.
An excellent way to gain work experience at a financial institution is to enrol in an apprenticeship such as accounting or finance as this will allow you to gain valuable experience of working within the particular area and will enable you to network with individuals that are already in the field as there will be the opportunity to attend various networking events.
It is also essential to seek career advice when it comes to knowing where you start to break into the industry as finance professionals can help to advise what role your skill set best suits.
Building up a body of contacts is also useful for when it comes to gaining insight on interview processes and interview questions.
Making a LinkedIn account documenting your academic achievements and work experience will help you to discover job opportunities and connect with professionals in the particular sector of work that you want to enter.
Skill Set Required for a Career in Finance
The following skill set is required to be successful in a finance career:
Excellent interpersonal skills
The ability to use Excel
Knowledge of IT Software
What Does a Career in Finance Involve?
A career in finance can take you to many places and there is plenty of scope for progression and the opportunity to advance your skills. The specific daily activities will depend upon what area of finance you go into and the particular business/firm that you decide to work for. Typically going into the industry as a recent graduate will require you to work towards getting qualified such as gaining the Chartered Financial Analyst professional credential. Once you are fully qualified you can work for a wider range of employers.
Some areas of finance you may be able to break into include:
Typical Duties Involved in Finance
Though specific duties will depend largely on the area of finance you decide to pursue, there are some that you can expect to come up most frequently; for example:
Popular Career Pathways in Finance
The good thing about finance is that you’re not limited to just one area and type of work. Depending on your strengths and interests, you may be able to gain employment as an investment banker, a financial advisor, a portfolio manager or even a chartered financial analyst. The world is your oyster, so check out our courses and get started today!