Is finance a good career path for you? | Careers

For a job with stamina, consider a financial career. While technology is helping people manage their money in new ways, such as through online banking and digital wallets, no app can replace the expertise of a wealth advisor, accountant or financial analyst.

“The banking sector may look very different in the future, but finance is not going away anytime soon,” says Arjun Kapur, chief executive of Forecast Labs, a venture group within Comcast NBCUniversal.

This makes finance an attractive industry for those who want a high-demand career with good income potential. And forget the stereotype of being a world of men. Many women also find success in the field.

“It’s not just analytics,” says Judi Leahy, senior wealth advisor at Citi Global Wealth. Finance professionals need to be able to hear and share information in an accessible way. “I think women have a much greater advantage (when it comes to) customer communication.”

If you’re considering a career in finance, here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons, average salaries for financial jobs, and whether you need an MBA or postgraduate degree to stay competitive.

Pros and Cons of Financial Careers

A large payout is one of the reasons financial careers can be so attractive. The median annual wage for all business and financial occupations was $ 76,570 as of May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly higher than the median annual wage of $ 45,760 for all occupations. And many financial jobs can earn a lot more.

“You have the ability to make a decent income pretty early,” says Logan Allec, a CPA and owner of Choice Tax Relief. For those who work in public accounting firms, he says it’s not unreasonable to earn a six-figure salary within four or five years.

However, that income comes at a price – public accounting jobs can be stressful. Private accounting roles, such as being an internal accountant for a company, can be less stressful but may not have the same upward mobility and salary.

For Leahy, one of the benefits of working in finance is being able to work in a dynamic field where no two days are alike. She adds that his work has also provided an opportunity to connect with others, saying that she has made many good friends over the years thanks to his work with him.

The downside might be that this isn’t a career path that lets you shut down your computer and quit your office job, at least not if you’re employed as a financial advisor, according to Leahy. “This isn’t 9 to 5. It’s 24/7,” she says.

Skills needed to work in finance

Finance is not for everyone and you will need the right combination of hard and soft skills to be successful.

“You have to be a numbers person for everything in accounting and finance,” says Kapur.

Depending on their role, finance and accounting professionals can use math and statistics on a daily basis. Their jobs may involve creating spreadsheets, developing budgets, forecasting revenue, and reconciling accounts.

Many jobs also include working directly with clients, and being able to communicate effectively is essential for these roles.

“My biggest asset with clients is listening,” says Leahy. “You have to listen”.

Attention to detail, problem solving, and critical thinking are also the key to success in many of the best jobs in the financial industry.

Is finance a difficult career?

Whether finance is a difficult career depends on your particular skills and preferences. While there is room for innovation in some financial jobs, others don’t leave much room for creativity. After all, as Kapur says, bookkeeping is bookkeeping.

Some people enjoy the challenging and dynamic work of many financial occupations, while others may find it stressful.

“You have to be able to multitask. You have to have the will to learn, “says Leahy. Stagnation isn’t really an option, particularly for financial advisors. The stakes are too high, according to Leahy:” As a wealth advisor, you’re managing more than just their money. You’re managing their lives. “

Before pursuing a career in the financial industry, it can be smart to discuss job duties with industry professionals. They can provide a more complete picture of what an occupation entails and how you might spend your days working in that position.

How to get a financial job

Most financial jobs require at least a college degree, typically in a business or finance field. However, not all successful professionals have taken that path.

“I walked in the back door,” Leahy says. “My degree was in geology.” In 1984, when jobs in that field ran out, she got a job as a sales assistant in a finance company and was fully licensed in 1985.

Today, there may be more competition for jobs. “It’s gotten tougher if you’re not the cream of the crop,” Leahy says. However, she adds that it remains possible for those with a degree in a different field to enter finance. “From the counselor’s point of view, it’s helpful to work with a training counselor,” she suggests.

Entry-level jobs may not necessarily be ones where you envision your long-term career, but they can be stepping stones to better opportunities in the future. “I started my career in the startup world as an analyst,” says Kapur. “You have to feel comfortable starting from the bottom and going up”.

For some positions, particularly those at a managerial or executive level, an advanced degree such as a Masters in Business Administration may be required. However, it may be best to gain some work experience to determine how much you enjoy the field before putting in the time and energy needed to earn an MBA.

For accountants, Allec says having a Certified Public Accountant license can open the door to new jobs, but you don’t need to become a CPA to work in the field.

What is the highest paid financial job?

Jobs in business and finance, taken together, pay more than other occupations, and here’s a look at the median salaries of some of the financial occupations that have made the Top 100 Jobs list by US News:

“Within finance and accounting, the demand for skilled professionals is so high,” says Allec.
This can help increase the salaries of some professionals. Personal financial advisors, financial examiners, and financial analysts are among the careers that are expected to have faster-than-average growth between 2021 and 2031, according to the BLS.

Is a career in finance worth it?

If you are looking for a career with high income potential and many job opportunities, finance can be a rewarding field. Many people who excel in this industry find that it fits their interests and skills perfectly.

“I’ve always loved numbers,” says Allec. “I liked to put things in spreadsheets as a kid, so it seemed like a natural direction to take.”

Finance is probably not worth it if the numbers put you to sleep, but if you like to create budgets, calculate investment returns, or plan your retirement income, a career in the financial sector could be a great way to earn some money. money doing what you love.

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