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  3. Wondering if finance is a good career path? Here’s what to consider
Wondering if finance is a good career path? Here’s what to consider

Wondering if finance is a good career path? Here’s what to consider

Artwork by: Katya Vakulenko

  • Are finance majors in high demand?
  • Benefits of majoring in finance
  • Top 5 finance careers
  • 1. Financial Manager
  • 2. Financial Planner
  • 3. Financial Analyst
  • 4. Actuary
  • 5. Accountant
  • Tips for breaking into finance with no experience
  • Will AI eventually replace finance workers?
  • How stressful is finance
  • Key takeaways

Job security, high earning potential, and flexibility are all possible when you work in finance. But is finance a good career for you? Let’s explore some of the things you should consider if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in finance.

When it comes to career paths, finance has some strong benefits. Not only is it a career path that offers a lot of opportunities, but it often comes with higher earnings potential. On the flip side, finance can be challenging, and it requires continuous learning as you progress to new roles. If you’re wondering whether finance is a good career path for you, there are several things to consider before making your final choice.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the benefits of choosing finance as your career, learn what it takes to be successful, and discover some of the drawbacks of the career. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Are finance majors in high demand?

  • Benefits of majoring in finance

  • Top 5 finance careers

  • Tips for breaking into finance with no experience

  • How stressful is finance?

Are finance majors in high demand?

Currently, the number of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by around 6 percent through 2031, which means over 80,000 jobs will be added to the industry. With this type of growth, it’s easy to see why finance is a good career choice for many people.

There are many reasons the finance industry is such an important part of the business world, as well. Consider the following four reasons:

1. Data. To make effective decisions, business leaders need to have accurate data that shows them how financial decisions, marketing, and other aspects of an organization will affect their bottom line. Those working in the financial industry are responsible for providing thought leaders with data and analytics that shape the way businesses function.

2. Risk. Another area where finance managers help improve businesses is in the area of risk management. From operational risks to credit risks, finance experts can help assess where institutions can improve to minimize significant losses. 

3. Technology. Technology is constantly changing and adapting, especially in the finance world. So, it’s important to  stay up to date on the latest financial, analysis, and programming technology to keep companies at the forefront of their industries. 

4. Compliance. Finance is one area of the corporate world that is heavily regulated. Companies must adhere to strict rules regarding finances, and it takes knowledgeable employees to ensure regulatory compliance is maintained. They’re responsible for setting up internal controls, while understanding legal and regulatory frameworks to keep companies compliant.

Benefits of majoring in finance

Along with a healthy job growth market, there are several great benefits associated with finance careers. For help deciding if finance is a good career path for you, take a look at these benefits.

First, whether you work in the private or the public sector, finance jobs pay well, and salaries for finance employees tend to be higher than in other industries. Finance positions also bring a lot of value to an organization, and employees have a great sense of fulfillment because they are providing value to their company. Next, when working in finance, you can work in just about any industry, which means your job is versatile and likely in demand. Finally, there are many opportunities to expand your skills and to specialize in a particular area with certifications, such as CFP, CMA, and CPA.

Top 5 finance careers

If you’re considering  a finance degree, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options. To help you narrow down your options, check out these top five finance degrees:

1. Financial Manager

The main role of a financial manager is to analyze data and find trends that help an organization or department streamline its expenses. This role is instrumental in a company’s long-term growth strategy.

2. Financial Planner

Financial planners typically work with individual clients to help them plan for retirement and find investments that allow them to grow their wealth. Investors also rely on the assistance from financial planners to determine whether a potential investment, property, or business is worth their attention.

3. Financial Analyst

As a financial analyst, you will have different career options. One option is to work with a company or individuals as a buy-side analyst. In this position, you will help your clients invest in things like hedge funds. Another option is a sell-side analyst. In this role, you work with an investment firm and make recommendations to the firm’s clients.

4. Actuary

You will need to be a strong mathematician to work as an actuary. Your goal will be to calculate how likely it is that certain financial situations will occur. You will also need to produce data to back up your findings and present them to thought leaders within your organization.

5. Accountant

For people looking for more of a general career in the finance industry, becoming an accountant may be the perfect option. You can work with organizations or individuals on many financial tasks, such as tax planning, financial statement preparation, and financial operations assessments. Certain certifications, such as certified public accountant (CPA), will allow you to audit financial documents, assess transactions, and participate in budgeting procedures.

Tips for breaking into finance with no experience

One challenge you may face when trying to break into the finance industry is that you’ll be competing with seasoned finance workers. If you lack experience in the field, it can be hard to land the job you desire. Here are some things you can do to break into the finance industry with little or no experience.

First, consider an internship. If you’re still working on your degree or have recently completed it, you can gain valuable experience by becoming an intern in a position related to your dream job. Not only does this give you valuable experience to add to your resume, but it also can help you determine which skills you need to build.

You could also look into financial certifications.  Not every finance employee has a certification, so doing the extra work to earn yours can make you more attractive as an applicant. Having a certification can make finance an even better career path for your future because you will have more opportunities for growth. Similarly, look into growing your skills. Take some time to review the job descriptions you are most interested in to discover the skills required to be successful in those roles. You can then make sure your skills align with those jobs.

Finally, having a great cover letter and resume can help you stand out in a crowd of other qualified candidates, regardless of the type of job you are seeking, 

Will AI eventually replace finance workers?

AI allows many of the repetitive tasks that are typically completed by finance workers to be automated, which can eliminate some of the work they do. However, AI still cannot make highly-complex decisions.

Therefore, finance is still a good career path for the foreseeable future. Companies will always need data and people to analyze that data, as well as people who can make decisions that drive a company forward based on strategic analysis. If you plan to go into the finance industry, you should strive to continually build your skills so that you are more valuable to an organization than an AI.

How stressful is finance

Stress can be a big part of any career, but it can be especially stressful when making financial decisions that can change the trajectory of an entire company. There are times when working long hours may also be necessary. However, a finance career can also be rewarding, interesting, and exciting.

If you worry that you will struggle with the stress that comes with a job in finance, check out this list for six ways to lower stress while working in a finance: 

  1. Prioritize. Make sure you set up your priorities in advance of taking a position. Understand where your work/life balance needs fall, and take steps to protect those boundaries. 

  2. Stay healthy. Spend time taking care of your body. When you aren’t feeling your best, it’s difficult to perform well. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. 

  3. Ask for help. Build a network of co-workers, colleagues, and peers who can provide you with advice when you’re facing difficult situations. 

  4. Be organized. Work on your time management skills, and try to be as organized as possible.

  5. Spread the love. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others instead of taking on all the work yourself.

  6. Remain optimistic. Keep a positive attitude, and try not to spend too much effort regulating the things you can’t control. 

If you decide finance is a good career path for you, we are here to help you be successful. Take a look at our services page to learn how we can help you build your career path.

Key takeaways

  1. Finance majors are in high demand, and the number of jobs available continues to increase, which makes the finance industry a good career path.

  2. There are many types of finance jobs available, and some of the most popular are financial managers, financial planners, actuaries, accountants, and financial analysts.

  3. AI is shaping the accounting industry by automating some tasks, but the industry still needs finance workers to analyze data and make effective decisions.

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