Options for a Career in Finance

A career in finance isn’t all about money, though it’s closely related. For the business graduate, obtaining a certificate is just the beginning. What’s left is to take a closer look at available career options and then to measure which industry sectors have the greatest need for new professionals.

Individuals who are interested in a career in finance typically have a number of options available to them. These positions usually require candidates to have advanced experience with numbers and money management.

Below are some common career paths in the financial services industry that one can choose on.

Credit analyst

The goal of this position is to help businesses and individuals determine their credit worthiness. Using different factors and techniques, their job is to see how likely it is that a borrower will be able to reimburse another individual or corporation if they take out a loan. These professionals should be able to effectively use credit analysis to assess the financial history and the current market state to decide if loan repayment would be a realistic option for a particular borrower.

Finance officer

Finance officers are also known as financial managers, and often act as supervisory leaders. These professionals typically work with a fair amount of technology, as the finance industry relies more on computers and other software. Finance officers also often work with data analysis and often act as advisors to senior managers.

The exact responsibilities of each vary from company to company, but, generally, job duties include the same daily tasks. The difference will appear, for example, in the government, where individuals will be asked to focus more on the budget process and government appropriations, in contrast to those who work in healthcare, where one vital skill includes understanding healthcare finance.

Financial advisor

The responsibilities of this individual usually land between a combination of investment advisor and financial planner. Their main task is to provide financial services to their clients.

Loan officer

A loan officer acts as a guide through the loan process. Loan officers, similar to financial advisors, will assess creditworthiness to see if certain borrowers are eligible for a loan. Other skills that would be useful in this position include experience with computers and various banking applications.

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.

The functions one may implement while in such a position include:

  • Setting up a company’s overall financial strategy
  • Forecasting profits and losses
  • Negotiating lines of credit
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Coordinating with outside auditors
  • Commercial Banking

Commercial banks, which include large entities to local institutions, offer a range of financial services, from checking and savings accounts and loans. Career options available in this sector include bank tellers, loan officers, operations, and marketing and branch managers.

Investment Banking

Some of the most glamorous and intense financial careers are jobs in investment banking. Investment banking jobs deals 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.

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds are primarily unlimited 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.

Typical hedge fund jobs include:

  • Financial analyst
  • Trader
  • Regulatory compliance officer
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Portfolio manager
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital

Individual equity professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for many corporate business transactions, such as managed buyouts and restructurings.

At times, a private equity job may involve working as an interim executive at a struggling company, where your success helps determine the fate of the company.

Financial planning

Financial planners help individuals develop plans that will ensure their present and future financial stability. Typically, they review a client’s business goals and generate an appropriate strategy for saving and investing that fits the client’s individual needs. The method 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 a percentage of assets under management, receiving commissions on the products they sell.


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. Public accountants record business transactions, help prepare financial statements, financial audit records, make income tax returns, and provide related consulting services.

Finding Financial job Opportunities.

Financial jobs exist at almost every company in virtually every industry. There are two ways to find openings online and offline and it’s a good idea to use both methods. Keep in mind that financial jobs are highly specialized, so generic job boards are not the best places to seek such positions.

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 careers with the highest probability of success, you must measure the demand for the position.

Individuals and persons wishing to take or further their studies on financial sectors, the discussed above in this article can help you to choose wisely on what suits your career based decision.

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