As you get closer to your graduation you might find yourself getting more anxious about what to do with your degree and which career path to take. Luckily finance majors have a great many options when it comes to career choices. There are many jobs in the financial industry so hopefully securing a job that you enjoy won’t be too difficult.
While a degree in finance can open up a lot of different opportunities, you should consider your specific skills, interests, personal tastes, and aptitudes before deciding on your career direction.
Career Paths You Should Consider
Choosing a career path that utilizes your finance degree should be done after careful consideration. You can work in any number of fields with a less traditional finance-focused capacity too. You can also work for a company or work for yourself.
If you like dealing with global businesses, you might consider a job that involves international clients and travel. This means that you can reach customers and clients all around the world. Even if you don’t speak another language, it is possible to utilize translation applications or use a global translation services agency available in different parts of the world to help you with your documents and communications as you reach out to global customers.
Below are 5 career paths you can follow with your degree in finance.
Finance majors learn a lot of critical skills during the accounting component of their studies. These skills include developing, interpreting, and analyzing financial statements and data. Accountants prepare financial reports that include revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities that must adhere to accounting standards and government regulations. Other functions might include preparing taxes and audit functions. Accountants use software applications to help them perform these activities.
If you like working with numbers and are good at problem solving and communication, this might be a good field to get into. Public accountants are required to complete a Certification in Public Accounting (CPA) and pass the exam. The job outlook for accounting positions is currently good and it is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median annual salary for accountants is $71,550 in 2019 according to BLS.
Actuaries have a vital role in several types of businesses. This includes insurance, banking, and accounting firms. This area is best suited for finance students who have strong mathematical skills. In this position, they perform complex calculations to determine the probability of certain outcomes such as accidents, illnesses and investments. They also use various software to calculate, analyze and present these possible outcomes. Once they have reached a sound decision based on the data, they make recommendations, for example the pricing of life insurance policies.
Majority of the actuaries work in insurance industries, consultancies, or pension companies. The median annual salary is $101,560 according to BLS.
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Finance majors with strong verbal, presentation, sales, and customer services skills can find a lucrative career in commercial real estate. A Commercial real estate agent analyses the plans and financial status of clients and makes valuation estimates for different properties. On the buyer side, their main responsibility is to advise and recommend to clients the best options in terms of property acquisitions for launching new businesses. On the sales side, they price and the attempt to sell or rent commercial properties. Agents can spend a significant amount of time outside the office to pursue leads and to understand different listings.
The agent’s salary is primarily based on commission and will typically receive a 3% fee on all sales and leasing transactions. Commercial transactions can be extremely complex and time consuming. This can be a fast-paced and stressful job but can be also rewarding.
The financial analysts’ job is to evaluate financial opportunities in order to help firms or individuals generate profits. They can research stocks, bonds, companies in various industries and geographies.
There are two categories of analysts, sell-side or buy-side. Buy-side analysts develop strategies for companies and individuals to invest such as retirement funds, hedge funds, non-profits with large endowments, private equity firms, and money managers of all kinds. Sell-side analysts work at investment banks and help companies to sell stocks, bonds and find investors. The job titles can vary a bit and include investment analysts, securities analysts, ratings analysts, fund managers and portfolio managers.
Beyond a degree in finance, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification is recommended. The medial annual salary is $83,660 according to BLS, however there is a great opportunity for advancement and bonuses that are based on performance.
The financial planner advises clients on how to manage their finances and achieve their financial goals. These can include short-term goals and long-term retirement planning. They are required to assess trends in different markets, especially risks to a clients portfolio and use this information in their planning strategies for their clients. It involves crunching a lot of numbers to create a plan that is achievable and reflects a client’s risk tolerance. Private bankers and wealth managers are financial planners that advise high net worth individuals who have a lot of money to invest.
Students with great interpersonal skills tend to do well in this profession as this requires them to build relationships rooted in trust with their clients.
The median average salary is $89,330 in 2020 and the predicted job growth is 4% growth from 2019-2029 according to BLS.
Whether you’re on the verge of graduating or just deciding on pursuing a degree in finance, there are many different finance-related jobs that can take you down a different career path. It is important that you go through each one in order to see what is the best fit for your skills, interests and qualifications. Keep in mind that a finance degree can be enhanced with other certifications or a master’s program in order to advance in your area of expertise, but these can often be best pursued after a few years of working in that specialty.