Making career decisions can seem daunting as you ponder where the path will take you. Questions about employment prospects, salary, advancement opportunities and job satisfaction will always be uppermost in your mind. This is true whether you are looking for your first position, fresh from college or are considering a new direction later in life. Finance is a career path that many consider and with good reason. It’s a vast global industry that is changing all the time. There are several reasons why this sector is excellent for career opportunities.
A dynamic industry
A career in finance is unlikely to ever leave you feeling bored. The industry is forward looking and constantly changing due to the development of new markets, laws and legislation. Technology is also changing how the world of finance works, making this an ideal career for those with good technical skills. In finance, there will always be more to discover, making it an exciting sector to work in.
A fast-paced world
Many who work in finance report how much they enjoy the fast-paced world where no two days are the same. It particularly appeals to those who know how to rise to a challenge and is ideal for anyone with good problem-solving skills.
Good long-term job security
Finance is one of the most stable sectors in terms of long-term job security. The financial industry is growing larger all the time, and as it does, it needs ever more people to work in it. For finance graduates and professionals, there are many job opportunities, with companies often hiring numerous new recruits at a time. If you hold a degree or any other qualification in finance, you are likely to find yourself in demand, often with an offer of above average wages.
There is no single path in a finance career. Instead, there are many routes, allowing you to aim for one that suits your lifestyle or locality. Investments, retail banking, the law, accounting and financial services are just a few of the opportunities that are available. Additionally, there are many finance jobs that are not in the financial sector – insurance broker, finance officer in the public or private sector and purchasing administrator are all alternative career paths, with employers keen to have those with good financial know-how to fill them.
Finance is a career path that can take you all over the world. Many businesses are global entities with offices in many different countries, so if you have always liked the idea of living elsewhere in the world, a financial career could be the thing that makes that dream come true. Even if you take a position where you are based in your home country, that does not mean you will always be there as travel is part of many finance jobs as they meet clients or attend conferences elsewhere in the world.
In addition to demand for people in entry level positions, there are also many opportunities for climbing the career ladder to positions that have greater responsibilities, more influence and better wages. As an example, someone in an entry level finance position in a company could aspire to one day be the Chief Finance Officer either in that company or another. For those eager to seek promotion at the earliest opportunity, there are ways that can help you get ahead.
Gaining qualifications is a sure way to show prospective employers how eager you are to develop your skills and there are opportunities for this at all levels. If you are concerned about taking time off from employment to attend a university, you may want to consider an online course. For those whose next educational step is a doctoral one, the DBA online at Aston University is a good option to consider. Designed for the executives of the future, it helps students build their abilities to solve complex business problems, deliver research and perform in-depth analysis on a relevant business topic.
Boost other skills
Most financial positions involve more than finance, so strength in other areas can help you get ahead in your finance career. Good technical skills are ideal as so much work is now done online and using software programs. As the financial world is global, foreign language skills are also an advantage. If you get the opportunity to gain fluency in an additional language, you should certainly take it.
Soft skills should not be ignored either. Good communication, organization and management skills, excellent time keeping and quick thinking with the ability to thrive under pressure are all skills that employers will be looking for.
Is it what you know or who you know? The first is a must, but the second definitely helps! Take advantage of any opportunities for social or professional events that can help you develop contacts in the financial world. Also look at what contacts you can make online. LinkedIn is a popular tool for building contacts. When you apply for promotion, you may find that you have already impressed your prospective employers, or you may even find yourself headhunted for your dream job. You may also find a mentor who can help guide your career to where you want it to be.
When applying for positions, highlight all your relevant experience. Before you get your first job in finance, it will help if you have had work experience or an internship that has already introduced you to the financial world. Once you have your first job, work hard and volunteer for any additional responsibilities to demonstrate to your employers what you are capable of. Whether they are considering an internal promotion or are writing a reference, impressing them is essential.
Is the financial world a good career option?
A career path is a personal choice and only you can determine if it is the right path for you. However, if you are already drawn to a financial career, the challenging fast-paced world, job security, varied lifestyle and possibilities for promotion should definitely lead you to find out more.