5 Common Career Tips in Finance

The following is a guest post. Enjoy! 

Even in an unstable jobs market, finance jobs remain an appealing option, with careers in the financial sector promising attractive starting salaries, quick promotion prospects and of course, big bonuses for the key players. 

However, times are tough, and there are often hundreds of applicants per job, at entry level and above. If you want to start or progress your career in finance, you’ll need to do some serious research to beat the competition. To start you on your way, here are five top tips.

Starting Out In Finance

Tip 1: Do the right degree.

In times gone by, there were many routes into a career in finance. New starters came from a variety of academic backgrounds, with new starters with degrees in the arts and humanities common place. In the boom times, a degree wasn’t even always strictly necessary, and many a wily 18-year-old was able to talk their way into a trainee position. However, times have changed and nowadays, employers are looking for targeted degrees. While mathematical and engineering degrees are still attractive, finance, accounting, economics and business degrees are best.

Keep in mind that it is not even necessary to set foot on a university campus to earn the right Master’s degree. Most of these degrees are available through online institutions, so you can take your courses in your spare time without worrying about commuting or finding parking before class. A Masters in Business Intelligence, for example, is a degree program offered online that brings mathematical concepts and technology together, and is definitely needed in today’s business world. A Masters in Organization Development and Leadership is another excellent choice because it provides you with the skills necessary to take a leadership role in the business world. While searching for the right degree program, also don’t forget to explore what options you have available to you regarding financial aid.

Tip 2: Choose the right job for your personality.
There are a huge number of different careers within the financial sector, and if you want to succeed, it’s important to choose the right one for you. If you’re gregarious and money-driven, for example, you may well want to pursue a career in financial sales. However, if you’re more of the shy and retiring type, the cut throat world of sales may not be for you. That doesn’t rule you out of a career in finance though – why not explore options in accounting or underwriting?
Tip 3: Look for local companies.
Massive, multi-national firms may have more jobs available, but they’re also likely to attract a higher number of applicants for every position, and you’ll have a fight on your hands to outshine the others. If you target smaller, local companies, however, there may not be as many finance positions available, but the competition is likely to be substantially less. This may be the way to go if you don’t have a great deal of experience to put on your CV – smaller family firms are often more willing to mentor new starters.

Starting Out and Moving On

Tip 4: Network Network Network.
This is one for graduates and executives alike. If you’re still studying or pursuing a BS in finance, you should join finance and business-related groups and societies, particularly ones that host visits from figures in the industry. This stands for successful executives seeking promotion and new opportunities too. Join organisations for financial professionals and aim to build professional relationships with people in other companies, so you’ll be the first to hear about new positions coming up.
Tip 5: Expand your knowledge


It’s very well-known all there is to know about your specific department or role, but when it comes to battling for promotion to the top jobs, bosses will be impressed by employees with the widest knowledge of how the company operates as a whole. Make it your business to understand what your colleagues actually do – this will improve your demonstrable people management skills and foster better communication will make your job easier, and make it easier for you to succeed.

How about you all? Do you have or have you ever thought of embarking on a career in finance? If so, what do you think is the best way to get started?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

Jacob’s Thoughts – Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.

  • One thing I have noticed throughout the years is that in the world of finance, the school from which you earn your undergraduate/graduate degree in finance really does matter more so than in other professional fields.
  • Therefore, if you’re really interested in getting the best start in finance, you might want to try to your best to go to a top-tier MBA school.

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