There has been an encouraging level of growth in jobs being created within the financial sector over the last few years, so a career in finance is definitely feasible for graduates and anyone looking to make the most of their newly acquired skills and qualifications.
There are so many areas in finance where you can focus your attention on developing a successful career, which can make it difficult to identify where to focus your attention and identify a niche that is best suited to your skills and personal attributes.
Setting out on the right path
You can find a range of courses to complete that will give you the right qualifications on your resume and one avenue to consider is completing your finance management training online.
An online course can give you a fair amount of flexibility in terms of the courses that might be suitable for your existing qualifications or interests, such as Finance for Non-Financial Professionals, which is at beginner level, or maybe Financial Modeling with MS Excel Advanced, which is an intermediate course.
Some might consider the financial industry to be relatively easy to break into at some sort of level, but it is definitely much more of a challenge to succeed in carving out a sustainable long-term career niche, which is a fundamental reason why you should aim to set on the right career path.
The right attributes and credentials
Having the right credentials in order to be considered for certain finance jobs is just one part of the equation, there are a number of key attributes which will help you to succeed in the industry.
You will need to be able to demonstrate a good level of discipline and understandably, you will also have to show that you possess a reasonable amount of intelligence too. An ability to be relatively impervious to criticism but a willingness to listen and learn where required, are other attributes that will stand you in good stead.
A good fit
An honest appraisal of your character traits will help you to find the right niche in finance which is best suited to the type of person you are.
Working for a brokerage as a registered representative will be a job that is ideally suited to someone who is a knowledgeable and persuasive personality who is not adverse to working long hours and meeting ambitious targets.
If you have more of an analytical brain and enjoy number-crunching, revel in math challenges and working with spreadsheets and would enjoy the prospect of reading between the lines of a set of financial accounts for a public company, a career as an analyst beckons.
If you think that you have all of these characteristics within you in equal measure, it could well be that a position as a financial advisor would be a good fit.
Not set in stone
A fair number of us end up carving out a career in an area of work that we didn’t envisage doing at the beginning of our journey.
A good example of this in practice would be the fact that a fair percentage of people who start off working for a brokerage don’t end their career in the same position that they started in.
The finance industry offers a myriad of opportunities to progress and if you find something that appears better suited to your interests and there are openings to pursue, you should always be prepared to accept that your career path is not set in stone and explore different job options.
Working in corporate finance
Although there are sometimes crossroads in your career path where you could deviate in a more unconventional way if the opportunity presents itself, there are some common paths in the financial services industry for instance, which you could find yourself following as your develop your skills and experience.
The general premise of working in corporate finance job is that you will likely be working for a company in a position where you will be expected to assist in sourcing and then managing the capital needed for running and developing the business.
You can expect to be closely involved in creating and then implementing a viable financial strategy for the business. The work will also involve being able to produce profit and loss forecasts, sourcing and negotiating lines of credit as well as preparing financial statements and liaising with external auditors.
Opportunities to progress
As your skills develop through experience and you develop a reputation for diligence and competency amongst other things, this should present you with opportunities to develop your career and progress up the corporate ladder.
A deeper corporate finance job would involve tackling tasks like acquisitions. If this appeals as the type of work you want to be involved with in your career, this is one niche that you could concentrate on as a way of developing your career.
Other positions that come under the genera banner of corporate finance include becoming a financial analyst or you consider becoming an auditor or a treasurer.
Career in banking
Commercial banking is another career path than can open up for you if you display the necessary talent and desire to progress.
Working for a commercial bank can involve working for a local branch or a large multi-national organization. The opportunities in this sector are varied and promotion can see you quickly advance from a local branch job to a high-flying position in a corporate HQ, if you demonstrate the right qualities and desire to succeed.
Investment banking is often viewed as the glamorous area of finance and a career in this sector could see you providing sophisticated financial advice to a healthy mix of corporations as well some high-profile and wealthy investors.
You could also consider a career in financial planning or maybe you feel that working for an insurance company or a firm of accountants might appeal, especially as there are some very large accountancy firms who tend to offer many chances to further your career if you want to take them.
A financial career can mean different things to different people and can depend on how ambitious you are, but if you work out how to narrow your niche, it could be a smart move for your future success.
Siva Kumar is a growth hacker, blogger, social media marketer, content strategist and content manager for Simplilearn. He enjoys sharing his research and ideas online.