Thinking about a career in finance? There are several reasons why you might want to consider it. The finance sector is one of the key drivers of the UK economy and offers an incredibly diverse range of career opportunities. Just look at how many different jobs the finance sector encompasses from potential careers in banking, insurance and accountancy to more niche positions such as a financial analyst or financial adviser. Despite it’s many upturns and downturns, the finance sector continues to be one of the most sought-after careers for young and ambitious professionals, currently employing 2.2million people in the UK. Not only is it a highly rewarding career choice but it can often provide potentially lucrative salaries for people in high level positions.
Unlike many jobs where you can get by on past experience, qualifications are seen as crucial for a role in the finance sector. Employers often tend to use them as a screening process to prove you have the discipline, dedication and intellect to take on what is a high pressure role.
You don’t necessarily need a degree in finance to get a job in the finance sector, however qualifications of a similar standard are often looked on favorably. Maths graduates are always popular with banks and investment managers whilst a qualification in other numerate subjects such as physics and engineering is also desirable. Business and management graduates are quite common in the industry, as are Language students who are often highly sought-after due to the global nature of the business.
If you don’t have a degree, you will most likely need a qualification from one of the industry’s recognized institutions. These provide courses to help you gain the many skills required for a role in the finance sector and include the the ICB (Institute of certified bookkeepers) as well as the institute of banking. The AAT (Association of accounting technicians) also now offer short courses in London which help you gain the skills needed to pass an AAT exam quickly and the qualifications required for a position in accountancy.
Landing your first job…
Finding a job in the finance industry can be tough and the competition is incredibly fierce. If you’re struggling to get the position you’re looking for, you shouldn’t give up. There are several things you can do to ensure you stand out from other candidates and land your dream job. Getting an internship at a top institution is a great way to gain hands-on experience as well as the chance to impress potential employers. A lot of the major banks now offer internships as do accountants. You should also swot up on your industry jargon as most employers will expect you to already know terms such as PE Ratio’s and Peg Factor’s.
Networking can also help you get your foot in the door, particularly if you have friends or family already working in the industry. Otherwise contacting fellow alumni,or building professional relationships with people in the sector that your interested in, is a great way to learn about the industry and get yourself noticed.