The Ultimate Guide to a Career in Finance

4 min readThe Ultimate Guide to a Career in Finance

Do you get fascinated by solving numbers? Then choosing a career path in finance can be a good choice for you. The finance industry is seeing rapid growth in the past few years around the world. The finance industry extends far beyond investment banks, insurance, risk management, etc. This guide to a career in finance will offer you all the information you need.

If you’re interested in pursuing finance as a career path or want to know more about what various careers finance offers in terms of opportunity and salary, then this guide is for you.

Firstly, you should know that a career in finance is not the same as a career in accounting. Accountants deal with a client’s current financial activity, accurate record-keeping, proper legal paperwork, and fulfilling tax obligations.

While a Finance professional’s role is to deal with investment management and strategy over time, they keep a close watch on the economy and market predictors to decisions on behalf of the organization.

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How is Finance as a Career?

Finance is a vast field and includes not only how money is managed but also the process of how funds are acquired. A career in finance requires understanding accounting principles and a clear understanding of the best tactics for raising and investing capital. There are three categories of finance you can choose from personal finance, corporate finance, and public finance, each of which requires different skills and mindsets.

Corporate Finance

Every business needs money to operate and reach goals. Thus, companies keep financial experts on staff to reduce costs, eliminate waste, bring in more revenue, secure funds, invest, long-term planning, and deal with shareholders.

Banking

Individuals and small businesses turn to commercial banks to maintain checking/savings accounts, secure loans, and provide other essential financial services. Investment banks perform more complex transactions for companies, such as underwriting, helping with mergers, and issuing stock.

A career in finance offers high pay and quick career placement after graduation. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of financial analyst jobs will grow by more than 12% through 2024. This means that there is no shortage of opportunity for people interested in finance as a career

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Qualifications for Finance Careers

Bachelor’s degree

The most common requirement is a bachelor’s degree in a field, such as finance, economics, mathematics, or statistics.

Master’s degree

People aspiring to leadership positions often seek a master’s degree in finance or economics or an MBA (master of business administration).

Certification

Many companies value Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. Reaching this achievement involves a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, four years of work experience, and a passing score on three exams.

Apart from these, you should also have the ability to analyze and interpret figures and should know U.S. and international regulations and trade.

Top Countries to Study Finance [Top 10]

Best Countries to Study Finance

Some countries excel above others in matters of finance education. Below is our pick of the top study destinations for finance degrees around the world.

  • France
  • U.S
  • UK
  • Germany
  • Spain

Top universities

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Top Finance Careers

Have a look at the top finance careers in the guide to a career in finance below.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts analyze financial information. They help their clients make educated choices about investments. Usually, they work in banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and other businesses. Within a corporation, you may be analyzing the financials of your company and its investments. You could be looking for financial issues, running the numbers for new projects.

If you are a financial analyst within an investment organization, you’ll likely be tasked with examining the financials of outside companies you’re looking to invest in, buy and sell.

A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification is often required to become a financial analyst. The median annual salary of a financial analyst is $85,660

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Financial Manager

Financial managers monitor the financial health of an organization. Their responsibilities may include finding ways to reduce costs, producing reports on the company’s financial status, helping other leaders understand data, complying with laws and regulations, and strategizing on the best ways to meet long-term goals. The median annual salary of a financial manager is $127,990. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of financial managers to grow an impressive 16% between 2018 and 2028.

You are required to have at least one of these certificates; Certified Public Account (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Management Account (CMA) certification.

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Financial Consultant/Advisor

A financial consultant or advisor generally works with companies or individuals concerning their financial situation. They consult on topics that include taxes, investments, and insurance decisions. Personal financial consultants or advisors work closely with clients to offer personalized financial advice and direct the buying and selling of stocks and bonds on behalf of the client.

Financial advisors can often set their schedules and meet with clients at a time and mutually convenient place. To become a financial advisor, you are required to have at least one of these certificates, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Loan Officer

Banks, mortgage companies, and auto dealerships are some of the places that hire loan officers. When someone needs a loan, these professionals collect information to determine eligibility and run checks to verify that the customer reported is accurate. They explain the differences between types of loans and carefully go over the terms of the agreement so that people understand the conditions of borrowing money.  The Median annual salary of a loan officer is $63,040

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the American Bankers Association (ABA) offer opportunities for becoming certified, and a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) license is widespread.

As you can see, finance is a broad field covering a range of job possibilities. Before choosing this as a career field, be sure of all the pros and cons. We hope this guide to a career in finance helped you. Contact our experts at Foreignadmits for more!