Essential Employers of Finance Professionals
To the outsider, finance seems to be an impenetrably complex field where only the smartest and hardest working professionals can achieve success. However, the truth is that almost anyone can work in finance — as long as they are willing to put the effort into learning the ropes. Perhaps the first and most important lesson an aspiring financial professional needs to learn is that there are many different places where they might find employment. Here is a tour of the most popular places finance professionals work and the roles they might assume there.
Investment banks tend to be among the most attractive employers for most finance majors, who are often eager to put their degrees to work earning the sky-high salaries seemingly depicted in films glorifying the investment industry. Indeed, investment banks do promise glamorous careers in finance — for the select few fiancé professionals who can secure employment with them. Competition for open positions with the largest investment banks are fierce, with banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase accepting less than 2 percent of the applications submitted to them. Finance majors interested in pursuing jobs at investment banks need to do as much as possible to distinguish themselves, from acquiring an online master’s in finance to completing internships and gathering other credentials and accolades for their CVs.
After investment banking, the corporate sphere is the second-most sought-after employment destination for finance majors. Large companies make good use of the knowledge and skill of finance professionals, who are paid handsomely to perform various types of financial analyses to help business leaders improve their decision-making. Some of the largest international corporations have vast in-house teams of finance experts, and competition for these positions can be as fierce as the job market for investment banks. In addition to a graduate degree, finance professionals interested in the highest levels of corporate finance might begin their careers at business consulting firms, where they will interact with a wide variety of business professionals and gain a deeper understanding of what companies need from their finance teams.
Commercial banks are institutions that primarily provide services to the general public. Though not as dazzling as investment banks, finance careers with commercial banks are nonetheless essential for the proper functioning of modern society. Finance majors can have several important roles in a commercial banking institution, from helping clients plan their finances to supplying various credit products, like mortgages and business loans. Almost all commercial banks and credit unions are eager to hire anyone with experience in the finance field, so this could be an excellent career choice for those looking for a straightforward job close to home.
Insurance companies are engaged in all sorts of complex calculations to ensure that they can balance risk and reward for both themselves and their clients. Actuaries are the professionals employed in completing these calculations, and while some actuaries have degrees in math or statistics, many come from a finance background. To build a career in actuarial sciences, finance majors should pursue additional certification processes in this field, which take an additional two or three years but can be accomplished while on the job.
Private Equity Firms, Venture Capitalist Firms, Hedge Funds and More
For the risk-seeking finance professional, there are a variety of smaller companies that are dedicated to engaging in somewhat risky investment strategies that could earn workers and their clients surprisingly high sums. Different types of smaller investment firms have different cultures and strategies, which can make them more or less attractive to different finance workers, so finance majors should explore the differences between potential employers before applying. It is worth noting that some of the most prestigious firms, like Sequoia Capital or Millennium Management, are as difficult to find work at as major investment firms or corporations, so finance majors might also look into improving their credentials in various ways before applying to these types of employers.
Anyone can enjoy a rewarding career in finance — if they know how to get the best jobs at the best employers. Beginning with a degree in finance and with a few critical certifications, finance professionals can achieve the success of their dreams.