Career Opportunities in Finance: What you can do with a Finance Degree

The best things in life may be free, but money powers the world. How do you choose what to invest in? How can you gauge your financial decisions when conditions are constantly changing? These are some of the crucial questions of the finance industry. The three main categories of finance are public, corporate and personal finance. Because most businesses realize the value in mindfully managing their assets, there will always be work for financial planners, analysts, managers and executives. Their expertise and guidance can pave the way for a company’s or an individual’s fruitful future.

So let’s start with the ground work.

Education qualification and certification

A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, mathematics/statistics, or business administration is the minimum academic background for financial managers. However, many employers increasingly seek graduates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, economics, finance, international business, or risk management.

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Let’s look at the job descriptions of the three main areas of finance, to learn about the daily concerns and tasks of each.

In personal finance, decisions are made about paying for education, financing goods such as real estate and vehicles, buying health and property insurance, and investing and saving for retirement.

  • Financial position: understanding what resources are available by looking at the net worth and cash flow of a household
  • Adequate protection: the analysis of how to protect a household from unforeseen risks
  • Tax planning
  • Investment and accumulation goals
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning

Corporate finance is all about providing the funds for a business’ activities. Finance managers:

  • Balance risk and profitability
  • Study and forecast economic trends
  • Review company reports and suggest efficiencies
  • Work to maximize stock value
  • Manage funds, including choosing a portfolio of investments
  • Apply principles of financial risk management

Public finance is concerned with the financial dealings of states, as well as related public entities such as school districts or government agencies.

Some typical arenas for working in finance include in actuary (insurance), corporate finance or real estate, financial planning, investment banking and money management. Many of the skills and abilities needed for each area overlap and can benefit you as you move further in your field, or decide to change your focus.

Skill Set

Aside from a possessing professional qualification and desired certificate/degree/diploma, the various skills and proficiency required to be a financial planner include; interpersonal skills, convincing personality, patience, strong Commitment to client, effective communication, positive attitude, strong analytical ability, problem solving skills, latest information about environment and legislations related to tax, business or profession, initiative, creativity, relationship management, soft skills on computers, logical mindset, presentation and knowledge of local dialect for establishing better connectivity with the clients and time management skills.

Career Opportunities

Rapid growth in the industry definitely calls for a huge workforce throughout the nation. It mainly looks for graduates having commerce, economics, finance, mathematics and a management background.

Here is a brief of the most common career opportunities in the finance market of India:

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.

Commercial Banking: 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.

 

Money Management: Money managers are an integral part of the finance industry. They typically buy and carry corporate bonds and other fixed-income investment products. Their specialization lies in small stocks, and large-cap funds. Some of the common job options include Portfolio Manager, Mutual Fund Analyst, and Hedge Fund trader.

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.

Insurance: You can either make a career with insurance companies or also have a career in the corporate sector, stock broking firms, finance companies, and shipping companies. Privatization of insurance sector has led to increasing the number of employment opportunities.

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.

Private Equity and Venture Capital: Private-equity professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for a number of corporate business transactions, such as managed buyouts and restructurings. Venture-capital professionals (VCs) spend most of their time with startups or small, fast-growth companies. Venture-capital firms evaluate pitches by founders and small-company leaders to determine if the firm will make an investment.

Financial Planning: With more and more people becoming rich and going in the millionaire club, the demand for financial planners is increasing by the day. These financial planners assist people with disposable wealth to make advance provision for financial needs that may arise in future. Just like a family doctor takes care of the biological health of the family, a financial planner ensures good financial health for a sustained period of time in present and future.

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.

Public Accounting: The field of public accounting is broad, with many opportunities. Public accountants help businesses and individuals keep track of their finances according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Public accountant’s record business transactions help prepare financial statements, audit financial records, prepare income tax returns and provide related consulting services.

Choosing the Right Direction for You

It is always wise to consider the direction of the market before seeking a financial job. To effectively pursue jobs with the highest probability of success, you must measure the demand for the position. Different financial jobs require different skills and present vastly different work environments, so it’s wise to select one that aligns with your long-term interests and abilities. The time spent uncovering the most interesting possibilities for you can be time saved working in a job that just doesn’t fit.

As this sector continues to expand, deserving young candidates with a background in finance will have a diverse range of new job opportunities coming their way.

Careers in banking, finance and accountancy are not for everybody. They are often highly demanding and fast-paced but if you have a mind for money, a flair for finance and the thought of a challenge excites you then you can bank on this being the sector for you!

 

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