A career in Finance isn’t all about money. It’s important to look at the available career options and then measure which industry sectors have the greatest need for new professionals.

The finance industry is multifaceted, offering a variety of positions that cater to several skills and interests. The financial industry has multiple sub-industries that provide niche opportunities. The key individual to success is to research, locate and secure the job that has the greatest compatibility with yourself. The same is true for people seeking a career change other than graduates.

Below are some common career paths you can take in the financial industry…

Employment opportunities in this sector can be grouped into:

Accounting – This covers financial accountants who are responsible for managing and reporting a business’s accounts and managerial accountants who perform functions on behalf of the company itself. Roles are available with firms of all sizes, as well as not-for-profit organisations.

Banking and finance – The sector’s biggest employers, banks and building societies enable individuals and businesses to manage their money and access products such as loans, mortgages and insurance.

Financial planning – Jobs focus on the provision of advisory services, and support people and organisations looking to plan their financial futures.

Insurance – Employees in this area work closely with other professionals, including doctors, lawyers and fire officers, to gather evidence, assess risk and resolve claims against insurance policies.

Investments and pensions – Professionals research the likely performance of funds and look to mitigate financial risk and liability for their clients, with the key functions of investment companies including performance measurement, investment support, risk assessment, data management, and trading and stockbroking.

Tax – Often regarded as a subset of accounting, tax specialists can either work as advisers to their employer’s clients or take up governmental positions.

Who are the main graduate employers?

Many well-known high street brands can be found among the UK’s retail banks and building societies, including:

Lloyds Banking Group
Nationwide Building Society
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Santander UK

For Non-Graduates

The most common route of entry for non-graduates into banking is working as a Bank Cashier before taking the next step up into a Senior Cashier then Bank Manager role.

From here you will move into a specialist role such as card services or operational management before reaching the top of the banking tree as a Vice then President of Chief Executive.

On the financial services side, one of the most popular career options is that of Financial Adviser. Advisers can move up to Senior level and various management position within the organisation. Account Clerks can qualify for Accounting Technician status before choosing from a number of different career paths, such as Internal Auditor, Finance Controller, Tax Analyst or Senior Auditor.

Another popular choice is that of an Actuary. Upon completing professional qualifications, Actuaries can then progress relatively quickly into a managerial role with some opting to specialise in key areas of life insurance, healthcare or risk management, for example.

Choosing the Right Direction for You

In conclusion, it is always wise to consider the direction of the market before seeking a financial job. To effectively pursue jobs with the highest probability of success, you must measure the demand for the position.

Different financial jobs require different skills and present vastly different work environments, so it’s wise to select one that aligns with your long-term interests and abilities. Someone with solid interpersonal skills, for example, might do well as a financial adviser, while someone who enjoys crunching numbers might do better in public accounting.

Do the research first to discover your options. The time spent uncovering the most interesting possibilities can be time saved working in a job that just doesn’t fit.