Finance careers salary

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Is Finance A Good Career Path?

With high salaries, bonuses, and opportunities for progression, high-paying finance jobs are some of the most sought-after for business school grads. But is finance a good career path?

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), prospective business school students seem to think so, with 35% interested in a career in finance when they graduate. 

Finance Careers | Pros & Cons

Many MBA and business master's grads choose a career in finance because of the attractive salaries and the chance it gives you to make a big impact on an organization early in your career.

“It’s a career path where you get access to senior individuals, have exposure to different companies, and see deals from start to finish,” explains David Capaldi, director of career services at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business.

Before he came to Johnson, David himself worked in investment banking for 20 years, making him well-placed to advise would-be finance professionals. 

For grads with the right set of skills, he says, finance is a good training ground to develop expertise in analysis, decision-making, and communication that are equally applicable in other industries. 

“Finance remains an essential part of an executive’s career,” adds Catherine Karyotis, professor of finance at NEOMA Business School in France. “Finance is the oil in the economic engine—no finance, no growth.”  


If you’re not passionate about finance, though, you’re likely to struggle with the long hours and pressure that often come with the territory. According to a survey from finance jobs platform, e-finance careers, many big banks expect employees to tackle 70 to 80 hour working weeks on a regular basis. 

When asking yourself is finance is a good career path for you, it's important to consider whether you can get used to this lifestyle, David says.

“Some graduates do get burned out, so it’s important to make sure you pursue a career in finance because you want to do it—rather than because your peers are doing it, or you think you can make a lot of money,” he reflects.  

Finance Salaries

Careers in finance come with considerable compensation. In the US, according to data from Glassdoor, financial analyst roles command $72,000 or more, while accounting managers, financial managers, and account executives can earn in the $80,000 to $90,000 range.

For business school graduates, salaries are even higher. According to GMAC, the median salary for new MBA grads in the finance sector sits at $115,000. Among the highest 25% of earners, this rises to an average of $145,000.

MBA Finance Jobs

Jobs in finance are varied, but the three primary areas where grads enter the industry are investment banking, corporate finance, and equity or debt research.

In banking and equity or debt research, MBAs usually enter as associates, while roles in corporate finance are more diverse.

“In corporate finance, you might be hired as a manager, or directly into a treasury group to a role such as assistant treasurer,” David says. 

At Cornell, employers hiring MBAs in finance roles include Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Citi Bank, and JP Morgan. But big banks are not the only employers to consider. The rise of sustainable investing and fintech innovation is also creating some new opportunities in finance. 

Grads with an interest in emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence are well-suited to roles in areas like fintech, neobanks—banks that offer online-only financial services—cryptocurrency, and crowdfunding. 

Meanwhile, sustainability-focused funds attracted a record-breaking amount of capital in the first quarter of 2020, with an inflow of $45.7 billion. This shift toward sustainable investing is creating opportunities for green-minded business school graduates.

“Sustainable finance is becoming one of the most attractive sectors for recruitment,” Catherine notes.


Finance Career Progression

Whichever area of the industry you enter, there are plenty of opportunities for long-term progression in a finance career path.

“In both investment banking and equity or debt research, many people eventually want to be a portfolio manager,” says David. 

Careers in these areas usually follow clearly defined structures, moving from associate, to vice president, to managing director. 

In corporate finance, though, there is no ‘typical’ path. The most ambitious grads might aspire to be CFO one day, but this isn’t the only option.

“You sometimes see people from corporate finance go into corporate development, and internal mergers and acquisitions is a popular avenue,” says David.

“I’ve even seen people step into the sales or general management side of the business—once you get in, there are doors that can be opened and there isn’t necessarily a defined path.” 

 Corporate finance can also be a good route for future company leaders, thanks to the broad analytical and communication skills they develop. “Many CEOs are former CFOs,” Catherine says.

Key Skills for Finance Careers

A career in finance can be hugely rewarding, but it’s a notoriously competitive field, and standing out during applications and interviews can be tricky.

To give yourself the best chance of landing finance jobs, David recommends making sure you have a good mix of technical and soft skills.


“You have to have at least an intermediate understanding of accounting, and to have taken a number of classes that teach you to navigate and understand financial statements,” he advises.

“Analytical abilities are also in high demand. Financial professionals often have to draw conclusions form large volumes of data, so being able to manipulate and analyze that is important.”

Communicating your insights to stakeholders is an equally important skill, which becomes more important as your career progresses. “To be successful, you really have to be able to communicate your ideas and convince others what you’re presenting makes sense,” David concludes.

When you start applying to finance jobs, conducting thorough research on the companies you apply to is equally crucial. Employers need to know why you want to work for them specifically, and generic questions and answers are unlikely to get you very far in the application process.


Succeeding in the finance sector takes hard work and a specific set of skills, from a good understanding of accounting and financial statements, to analytics and communication skills.

Nonetheless, finance is a fulfilling and varied career path, with tech innovation opening up new opportunities for business school grads. In the coming years, a firm grasp on fintech and sustainability will be essential for long-term success in finance.

Whether you choose to stay in the industry long-term, or build skills that you take elsewhere, there are plenty of reasons finance is one of the three most popular post-business school career paths. 

If you want to kick-start your career in finance, studying for an MBA or Master in Finance (MiF) can help you build the broad skillset you need to succeed, while helping you access a network in the industry and expert advice for your job search after graduation.

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What's the Average Salary for a Finance Major?

What is the average salary that a finance major can expect? At first glance, it doesn’t appear that a degree in finance is the ticket to a career with stellar pay. The average recipient of a bachelor's degree in finance takes in $73,000 a year. When you consider all bachelor degree recipients, the median (half earn less, half earn more) is just slightly lower: $61,000.

Dig a little deeper, however, and it becomes apparent just how many finance-related careers pay well above average. Here’s a look at how you can expect to fare in some of the field's more common occupations.

Key Takeaways

  • Graduates with a finance degree can work for a wide range of employers, from Wall Street banks and insurance companies to financial-planning firms.
  • Some finance graduates go on to pursue a CPA license, although it will likely require additional accounting coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Financial analysts are among the better-paid professionals in the field, with many at larger firms making upwards of $100,000 at the start of their career.

Financial Planner

Some people feel less comfortable making financial decisions, such as buying life insurance and investing for retirement, than others do. That's why there’s considerable demand for financial planners, who can help these individuals strategize.

Financial planners often work for insurance companies or brokerage houses, often as representatives who make commissions based on the products they sell. An independent advisory representative (IAR), on the other hand, works for fee-based (i.e. non-commissioned) advisory firms or sets up their own planning business. Often, IARs provide a broader range of services, such as budgeting and tax guidance, in addition to offering investment advice.

A personal financial advisor's median annual compensation is $89,330, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What's more, employment within the field is expected to increase by 4% between 2019 and 2029, faster than average compared to other fields.

Corporate Finance Professional

Major corporations often have entire departments tasked with helping the company raise and manage the capital that fuels their operations. Finance majors can pursue a number of different paths in corporate finance, most of which tend to pay very respectably.

Those who work on the treasury team, for example, help the company manage its cash, develop a strategy for short-term investments, and analyze foreign exchange (forex) transactions. A job as an entry-level treasury analyst pays $57,500 a year on average. However, corporate treasurers, who have more experience, make an average salary of $192,750.

Meanwhile, the median pay for budget analysts—the professionals who examine how the organization spends money—is a solid $78,970.

Wealth Manager

People who work in wealth management roles help high-net-worth individuals manage their assets, with an eye toward maximizing returns and mitigating financial risks.

Junior-level associates may find themselves handling an array of tasks, including helping to research different investment options and preparing presentations. Later in their career, however, they may take on management roles and shoulder greater responsibility for investment strategies.

Individuals who develop this expertise typically make a good living, with the average wealth management professional enjoying a base salary of $75,418, according to the job-search website Indeed.

Financial Analyst

While the responsibilities of financial analysts can vary based on where they work, their basic role is to help large organizations make prudent investment decisions. They may examine economic trends, meet with a company’s management team, and pore over financial statements in order to develop an appropriate investment plan. Typically, they use that information to develop financial models that help predict the potential outcome of different strategies.

The work of financial analysts breaks down into two basic categories: Buy-side analysts often work on behalf of insurance companies, foundations, and other institutional investors, providing advice to the money managers responsible for those clients. Sell-side analysts, on the other hand, are employed by brokerage firms and provide their clients with recommendations on whether to buy or sell certain securities.

The median pay for analysts in 2020 was $83,660 per year, according to the BLS.

Investment Banker

Major investment banks such as J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs need people who can advise companies on how to raise capital as well as how to go about acquiring or merging with other businesses.

It’s a fast-paced career that can involve some very long hours—especially at top Wall Street firms—but it certainly pays well for those who are successful. According to data from Wall Street Oasis, analysts, who are on the lowest rung, start at anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000. Once you become an associate, you’ll likely bring in between $150,000 and $350,000 a year (and those who make it to “vice president” earn even more).

Investment banking is one of the more financially rewarding careers, but those in entry-level jobs can work more than 80 hours a week at bigger firms. 

Management Consultant

The role of a management analyst—sometimes known as a management consultant—is another well-paid career you can seek out with a finance degree. According to BLS data, the median pay in 2020 was $87,660.

Management consultants help businesses identify ways to cut costs and boost revenue. To do that, they have to possess strong financial analysis skills as well as an understanding of the competitive landscape in which a firm operates. They may, for example, help a company focus its resources on markets where the firm can achieve greater profitability.


The most obvious path to becoming an accountant is to get a bachelor’s degree in—you guessed it—accounting. But an undergraduate finance degree lets you cast a wider net when it’s time to get a job. And with some extra coursework, you can still sit for the CPA exam, an accreditation that leads to higher pay than non-CPA accounting roles.

Most states require students to obtain 150 semester hours of coursework in order to obtain a CPA license. Strictly speaking, you don’t need a master’s degree to take the exam. But if you’re a finance major, getting there may require a graduate degree in accounting or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for CPAs was $68,762, with the high end of the range coming in at $115,00 per year.

Loan Officer

Before lending money to businesses or individuals, banks need to have a reasonable expectation that the borrower will pay them back. One of the main responsibilities of loan officers is to assess that risk. They’ll often talk to loan applicants and evaluate their borrowing history before making a recommendation to the bank or mortgage company for which they work.

According to the BLS, the median pay for loan officers in 2020 was $63,960 per year. It appears that the job market for these professionals will remain strong over the next few years, with the BLS estimating 3% employment growth between 2019 and 2029.

The Bottom Line

While finance degrees overall may not pay more than other educational tracks, there are plenty of finance-related jobs that are very lucrative. Some of the careers that pay the most, such as investment banking, involve very long hours, so anyone concerned about work-life balance might want to look elsewhere.

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Careers at Salary Finance

At Salary Finance, we understand the impact finances have on our health, our happiness, our home life, and our work life. 


By partnering with employers, we offer benefits that help employees improve their lives, by improving their finances. We do this by offering simple savings, access to salary as it is earned and affordable loans – all supported by accessible and engaging financial education to improve financial wellbeing.


We are a company underpinned by social purpose. Through technology and innovation, and with the support of employers, we strive to make the lives of millions of people less stressful, more productive and much happier.

We’re looking for people that will get stuck in and make a difference. We have a great collaborative, entrepreneurial team that are passionate about what they do. If you want to join a team that is changing people’s lives for the better then we’d love to hear from you.

Our Values

We embrace our differences but there’s one thing we like to share, our values, so it’s important to us you are:

  • fearless, and able to make the impossible possible.
  • responsible, and want to help build a business that delivers a meaningful difference to society.
  • dedicated and want to commit to an exciting journey even through the highs and lows
  • empathetic and truly care about every colleague and customer
  • united, because you understand we achieve more when we work as a team
  • humble, and take feedback as a way to continuously improve.

Benefits & Perks

At Salary Finance, we provide a high level benefit package to employees. Some of the things you could look forward to include:

  • 25 days annual leave 
  • An extra day off on your birthday
  • Pension & life assurance 
  • Flexible benefits package allowance to put towards Private Medical Insurance, a Health Cash Plan, Gym Membership, DenPlan and much more
  • Enhanced family friendly policies
  • Hybrid working - following the pandemic we've adopted a new approach to our ways of working which means you can combine office and home working. At present our employees typically spend 1 - 2 days a week in the office (Mondays are popular because we provide free lunch, and Thursdays for team drinks) and the remaining time working from home.
  • Remote working budget - we'll make sure you're set up with a desk and any other equipment you may need.
  • Annual learning budget to spend on courses, books and much more via our online learning platform.
  • Access to the drinks fridge
  • Team socials
  • Table tennis

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12 of the Highest Paying Finance Jobs

Finance jobs can be incredibly lucrative professions for people who have strong mathematical and analytics skills. The industry of finance is broad and includes everything from banking and investments to financial technology, or Fintech, as it's commonly known. If you've been thinking about starting a career in finance but are unsure of which way to go, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll share the highest paying finance jobs.

What kinds of finance jobs are available?

Finance offers an inspiring number of opportunities to specialize for people who are interested in the field. These high-paying opportunities exist in one of six categories, as described below:

  • Corporate careers: These are chief executives and other jobs at enterprise businesses and corporations both public and private. These types of jobs are often in an office and hold more traditional hours.

  • Advising: Advisors guide individuals to products, whether it be insurance or investments or banking products, they usually work on a commission or bonus structure which makes this a fairly lucrative career. Advisors need to combine financial expertise with sales acumen.

  • Fintech: Financial technology accounts for financial programmers and even some of what CFOs do. In today's typical enterprise business, finance departments support technology infrastructure allowing for Fintech to overlap a number of other professions in finance.

  • Investments: Financial professionals who work in investments are responsible for putting capital into portfolios that help individuals and companies growth wealth.

  • Accounting: Accountants and their associates provide an important financial service in helping businesses and individuals keep financial records, be in financial compliance with regulatory agencies and manage budgets and spending.

  • Lending: People who work in lending help customers select loans, or perform some of the operational duties of helping customers secure loans.

To explore career paths that may be a good fit for you, visit the Find My Fit questionnaire and get job title recommendations that align with your interests, skills, work styles and more. Take Find My Fit.

Highest paying finance jobs

Here are the highest paying finance jobs:

1. Investment banker

National average salary:$61,929 per year

Primary duties: Investment bankers manage the portfolios of businesses and government agencies that invest in a number of different businesses. These professionals help clients raise and invest capital in a way intended to help the business achieve its financial growth goals.

2. Information technology auditor

National average salary:$63,412 per year

Primary duties: IT auditors usually work for government agencies or private companies to confirm the technology infrastructure meets compliance needs and other enterprise IT needs. They spend their days conducting audits and should be skilled at doing so, which sometimes requires certification.

3. Compliance analyst

National average salary:$64,443 per year

Primary duties: This is a financial professional who audits a business for compliance against standards set forth by various governing agencies. The finance industry is very compliance-driven since long-term economic stability and financial growth relies on established standards. Compliance analysts review data, process and financial infrastructure to ensure regulations are met.

4. Financial advisor

National average salary:$66,931 per year

Primary duties: These are professionals who help customers identify short- and long-term financial goals and lead them to products that make sense. The duties of an insurance advisor include being knowledgeable of insurance products, working closely with underwriters and people in risk assessment and being a primary point of contact for clients.

5. Insurance advisor

National average salary:$67,263 per year

Primary duties: Insurance advisors help customers find the best insurance products to meet long- and short-term insurance needs and provide guidance on purchasing decisions with regard to insurance for people, home, auto, investments and more.

6. Financial analyst

National average salary:$69,419 per year

Primary duties: Financial analysts comb through financial data to help business stakeholders make informed decisions about company finances. They work for financial institutions like banks, funds, insurance companies and more to support the buying decisions and needs of customers all over the country.

7. Senior accountant

National average salary: $72,639 per year

Primary duties: Senior accountants are usually at the top of an accounting hierarchy and are responsible for the day-to-day duties of accounting. They perform tasks like being accountable for sticking to budgets, meeting accounting goals and overseeing corporate expenditures.

8. Hedge fund manager

National average salary:$98,256 per year

Primary duties: Hedge fund managers perform similar duties to investment bankers, but work with higher risk and reward portfolios for investors who pool their capital to make investments in hedge funds. Hedge fund managers must monitor markets to protect investors, and for that reason, they are awake early and leave the office late. Hedge fund investing is rarely a career with typical full-time hours.

9. Financial software developer

National average salary:$106,124 per year

Primary duties: Financial software developers work in the growing Fintech space, creating programs that meet the needs of financial institutions and end-users.

10. Private equity associate

National average salary:$108,152 per year

Primary duties: These professionals network with investors to gain private equity they then apply to business investments that diversify the investors' portfolios.

11. Chief financial officer

National average salary:$127,729 per year

Primary duties: The duties of a CFO are vast and include overseeing analysts and budgeting, making cost-related decisions about technology infrastructure and managing financial teams.

12. Chief compliance officer

National average salary:$128,380 per year

Primary duties: Chief compliance officers oversee all duties and departments related to meeting requirements of compliance standards. CCOs deal with policy management and compliance monitoring to help businesses operate most efficiently and avoid non-compliance fees.

Discover Indeed’s top resources for finance and accounting talent including career advice, sample resumes, job search quick links and more.


Careers salary finance

The Top Paying Entry-Level Finance Jobs in 2021

Are you great with math and numbers but aren’t sure which degree or career path to pursue? A career in finance or accounting can match your strengths and passion with a useful degree and a steady job outlook.

Finance and accounting careers have low unemployment rates and open roles are expected to increase at a rate faster than the average occupation. In fact, business and financial careers are projected to grow 5 percent on average by 2029, adding 476,200 new jobs to the field. 

The best way to secure an entry-level finance job is with a related bachelor’s degree, such as a BS in Finance and Accounting Management. There are entry-level accounting jobs that don’t require a degree, but earning a bachelor’s gives you a competitive edge—and a higher paycheck. Read on to learn more about the skills employers are looking for in their applicants, and the high-paying jobs you may be qualified for. 

Skills Needed for Finance and Accounting Jobs

Success in finance positions requires a mix of specific talents. Candidates must understand accounting principles as well as the foundations of financial management. Professionals must also demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning in order to keep their skills relevant and remain aware of ever-changing banking technology trends. The most qualified candidates also have strong interpersonal and communications skills. Many financial positions require professionals to be flexible in their communication—to make hard-to-understand jargon accessible to clients while also being able to discuss complex financial reports with others.

Top Entry-Level Finance Jobs for 2021

A degree in finance or accounting can unlock many promising career options after graduation. In fact, a Bachelor of Science in Finance was one of the top 25 degrees for a lucrative career in 2021. Here are eight of the highest-paying entry-level finance jobs.

1. Financial Manager

Average Salary: $129,890

Job Outlook:15 percent growth (Much faster than average)

Typical Job Requirements: A financial manager is responsible for a company’s financial health. Individuals in this career create financial reports and strategies for the long-term goals and growth of an organization. Those who want to become financial managers will have the greatest chance at finding a job. The career is in high demand, with over 23,000 people hired from the candidate pool each month.

2. Personal Finance Advisor

Average Salary: $87,850

Job Outlook: 4 percent growth (As fast as average)

Typical Job Requirements: Personal financial advisors work in a wide variety of specialties, from investments, life insurance, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to personal budgeting help. To secure an entry-level position, a bachelor’s in finance or accounting is ideal. To move up the ranks, a master’s in finance or an MBA can help.

3. Management Analyst

Average Salary: $85,260

Job Outlook:11 percent growth (Much faster than average)

Typical Job Requirements: Sometimes called management consultants, a management analyst’s main role is to increase a company’s efficiency. Individuals in this role examine a company’s problems or ineffective procedures and develop solutions for improvement. A bachelor’s in finance is required, but a CMC certification can also make an individual more competitive and job-ready.

4. Financial Analyst

Average Salary: $81,590

Job Outlook:5 percent growth (Faster than average)

Typical Job Requirements: Financial analysts stay abreast of economic trends to advise clients and businesses on how to best invest and diversify their money. Financial analysts also determine a company’s value and assess financial risks and prospects.

5. Financial Examiner

Average Salary: $81,090

Job Outlook: 7 percent growth (Faster than average)

Typical Job Requirements: Financial examiners keep financial institutions, such as banks, legally compliant. They ensure that financial institutions are compliant in all of their operations and transactions. They also are responsible for risk management, ensuring financial institutions offer safe loans, and that banks have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses.

6. Budget Analyst

Average Salary: $76,540

Job Outlook:3 percent growth (As fast as average)

Typical Job Requirements: Budget analysts help public and private institutions, such as government agencies and universities, organize their finances. Budget analysts are responsible for ensuring that budget proposals are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations.

7. Accountant

Average Salary: $71,550

Job Outlook: 4 percent growth (As fast as average)

Typical Job Requirements: An accountant is responsible for ensuring an individual or company’s tax information is accurate and done properly. Accountants are typically busiest during the tax season, and it is typical for individuals in this field to work many overtime hours closer to the April 15 deadline.

8. Loan Officer

Average Salary:$63,270

Job Outlook: 3 percent growth (As fast as average)

Typical Job Requirements: Using a process called underwriting, loan officers evaluate and authorize loan approval for individuals or businesses. This is one job where pay can vary dramatically depending on the division of work—i.e. a commercial loan officer versus a consumer loan officer. Many who become loan officers can earn several thousand more each year from bonuses or commission.

Finance Jobs Continue to Grow

Finance and accounting jobs have been a popular choice for many years, and they continue to grow. As globalization and finance technology increase and change, the need for expert financial professionals will remain steady. While most finance companies, such as banks and investment firms, hire individuals with the above job titles, companies across all industries need qualified financial employees. Earning a finance and accounting degree can be your ticket to a satisfying and stable career in the world of finance, investing, and business.

Unlike other online degrees, Northeastern University’s signature experiential learning model allows students to graduate with real-world experience along with a diploma. To learn more, explore our program page or connect with an enrollment coach to get your questions answered. 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2019. It has since been updated for recency.

Shayna Joubert is the senior content marketing manager for Northeastern University.
Ranking Finance Careers (Tier List)

Financial Careers With Excellent Salaries

Jobs in the finance industry can be extremely lucrative. That means that they are in high demand, with entry qualifications as lofty as the salaries. For most of them, an undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement and many professionals have post-graduate degrees. These include MBAs first and foremost, but other master’s degrees and PhDs are not uncommon. Usually, advanced skills in statistics and mathematics are prized.

That said, the finance industry is broad and the opportunities are varied. You may join the finance department of a corporation, work in the banking and financial services sector, or enter the world of investment banking or the financial markets.

These careers offer above-average pay to start and go from there into the stratosphere. Here's an overview of high-paying finance jobs.

Key Takeaways

  • Finance industry jobs are lucrative, with entry qualifications as lofty as the entry-level salaries.
  • Most finance industry jobs require a substantial amount of education, especially in the math, economics, and statistical disciplines.
  • Six high-paying financial professions: portfolio manager, corporate finance manager, investment banker, trader, economic analyst, and financial analyst.

Portfolio Management Jobs

Portfolio management is one of the most prestigious roles in the entire finance industry. Portfolio managers, often known colloquially as money managers, directly oversee institutional and retail client investments in their daily work, providing them a tremendous amount of power, as well as a deep responsibility. They recommend personalized investment strategies and specific investment decisions to clients, and they usually have discretionary power in executing those strategies to fulfill the client's goals.

It’s common for portfolio managers to specialize in particular asset classes, such as equities or fixed income. Some managers are more focused still. A manager may be a specialist in certain types of stocks, or blockchain-related startups, or high-yield bonds. Focused funds employing these specialized managers may seek individuals with research analytic backgrounds. Others include broader mandates, such as a multi-asset class strategy, and these firms often look for managers with a similarly wide base of investment knowledge and background.

There are a variety of employers in the sector, each focusing on a specific segment. Investment companies and financial service firms offer funds for retail investors. Investment banks provide strategic advice to corporations, large institutions, and even governments. Commercial banks offer a range of investments to their customers. Money management firms, portfolio management companies, and hedge funds cater to high-net-worth individuals.

After earning a four-year college degree, as well as a graduate degree, many potential money managers also attain the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Typically, a portfolio manager position is a “destination” role that does not lead anywhere else. Thus, rather than continue to climb a career ladder, portfolio managers may manage increasing amounts of money, or they may leave to start their own firm or hedge fund.

Corporate Finance Jobs

Another career path in this field goes through the finance department of a corporation. Specialists in this field can work in a variety of industries.

Types of Corporate Finance Jobs

Finance Manager: Every corporation has finance managers, and they are among the top-paying jobs in the financial industry. They are responsible for all financial aspects of the business including risk management, planning, bookkeeping, and financial reporting.

Accounts Manager: The accounts manager is responsible for the general accounting function and oversees the completion of ledger accounts and financial statements. Some organizations may require individuals to have a Certified Public Account (CPA) designation and at least seven years of experience in the accounting field.

Risk Management: Risk managers keep on top of a wide range of pitfalls that befall businesses, including credit risk, market risk, operational risks, and liquidity risk. Companies are increasingly investing huge sums of money on sophisticated technology and people to help them measure, manage, and mitigate these risks. The field has gained tremendous importance in banks and financial institutions in the aftermath of the Great Recession, as numerous scandals and failures have led to tighter government and industry regulations and higher accountability standards.

One way to get started on a career as a risk manager is to get certified by PRMIA or GARP, the risk management certification bodies.

Investment Banking Jobs

Investment banks typically work with corporations, governments, and other large financial institutions to help them raise capital or to advise them with regards to strategy. They invest in new or growing ventures, facilitate mergers and acquisitions, and take companies public. They also frequently buy and sell a range of investment products, such as stocks, bonds, and other securities.

The biggest of the big names are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, but they are not the only ones hiring investment bankers. Investment banking departments exist within big commercial banks like Citigroup and at smaller regional and boutique banks. Investment bankers work at alternative asset management companies, including venture capital firms and private equity institutions. Many large companies have an in-house division that operates like an investment bank, providing evaluations of strategic opportunities and corporate mergers.

For better or worse, investment banking has long held a reputation for being a blueblood profession. While historically, many investment bankers have enjoyed prestigious academic backgrounds at top-level universities and colleges, the profession has grown more democratic—at least in social terms. Professionally, it still has an elitist tinge: MBAs are often de rigueur, though it's less common for investment bankers to seek out professional certifications like the Series 7 or CFA as compared with some other types of finance jobs.

Types of Investment Banking Jobs

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A): Bankers focusing on mergers and acquisitions specialize in providing strategic advice to companies that are looking to merge with their competitors or to buy smaller companies. M&A bankers utilize financial modeling in an effort to evaluate these large-scale potential deals. They must also be able to successfully interact with clients, as these jobs typically require interactions with high-profile executives, and M&A specialists must be able to convince these executives of their ideas.

Underwriting: Raising capital is part of a bank’s underwriting department. Underwriting specialists typically focus on debt or equity and often have an industry-based focus as well. These bankers commonly serve in client-facing roles, working with outside contacts to determine capital needs while at the same time working in-house with traders and security salespeople to find the best options. Underwriting is not limited entirely to investment banks and has spread to larger universal banks to a great degree in recent years.

Private Equity: Many investment banks have private equity arms, although private equity jobs are typically found at smaller, specialist firms. Bankers in this area raise money for non-public enterprises and companies, keeping a portion of any profits they are able to generate through deals. It’s common for private equity professionals to have prior experience at investment banks, as well as outstanding academic credentials.

Venture Capital: Venture capital firms tend to specialize in providing new capital to emerging companies, often in rapidly-developing industries, including tech, biotech, and green technology. While many of the target companies eventually fail, venture capitalists often prosper by getting their financial stake in and then out at the early stages of development, producing massive returns on investment. Employees of venture capital firms are typically both adept at number crunching and deal-making and clued into new technologies and ideas. They usually get a sense of thrill from the prospect of discovering “the next new thing.”

Trading Jobs

These jobs embody the classic Wall Street image of an individual buying and selling stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and more. But these days the scene may be set far from Wall Street.

Trading jobs can be found at commercial and investment banks, asset management firms, hedge funds, and more. Wherever they work, traders are striving to earn a profit for their employer or their clients via a bid/ask spread. Traders for asset management firms seek the best price of a security when conducting trades on behalf of a client; traders for hedge funds aim to take proprietary positions in an attempt to benefit from expected market movements.

It used to be possible to work your way up as a trader even without a college degree. While the career path still tends to be somewhat less defined than for, say, investment banking, many traders nowadays have a background in a finance-related field from a strong university, and often many have advanced degrees in statistics, mathematics, or related fields of study. It’s also common for traders to take the Series 7 and Series 63 exams early on in their careers.

Traders who perform well will typically be allocated increasing amounts of capital. It’s not uncommon for top traders to break out on their own to form hedge funds.

Types of Trading Jobs

Sell-Side Traders: Sell-side traders typical work for banks. They buy and sell products for the benefit of the bank’s clients, or for the benefit of the bank itself.

Buy-Side Traders: Buy-side companies like asset management firms also employ traders. They typically conduct buying and selling under the direction of a portfolio manager.

Hedge Fund Traders: Hedge fund traders are not working to satisfy client orders, but rather to maximize profits for the fund itself. Like buy-side trading jobs, traders at hedge funds may take orders from a portfolio manager, or they may even be able to decide on their own buys and sells.

Economic Analysis Jobs

Economic analysts observe broad areas of the economy and the markets in order to look for major trends. These jobs tend to appeal to individuals who enjoy analyzing data, tracking trends, and making opinions based on those trends regarding the future of financial markets. Analytical jobs frequently involve writing, public speaking, and ample work with Excel or another spreadsheet application.

These jobs, including those of economist, strategist, or “quant,” are found in many different institutions. These jobs exist at investment banks, money management firms, and other traditional finance-world institutions. They also can be found in the public sector, in government, and even in academia. Most financial analysts hold an MBA degree, and many have a Ph.D. Because of the writing component in many related jobs, experience writing and even publishing in the field is desirable.

While there is a high initial barrier to entry, once in, financial analysts enjoy a degree of flexibility that many other finance jobs do not. Analytical jobs can often move between different types of employers. An established economist may move from a job at an investment bank to one at a university to one with the government while conducting essentially the same type of work in each case.

Types of Economic Analysis Jobs

Economist: Economists are ubiquitous at a variety of finance-related institutions. Investment banks, asset management companies, and central banks all employ economists, as do government agencies and academic institutions. Generally speaking, an economist tracks and analyzes data in an effort to explain current market or economic circumstances and predict trends going forward.

Economic Strategist: There is a fine line between a strategist and an economist. Economists tend to focus on the broad economy while strategists hone in on the financial markets. Strategist jobs are more likely to be found at banks and money management companies than in academic and government institutions. Many strategists begin their careers as research analysts, focusing on a particular product or industry.

Quant: While some economic analytic positions require public speaking or writing, quants typically work behind the scenes. Professionals in this branch of analysis create mathematical models designed to predict market activity. They can be found at companies including banks, hedge funds, and money management firms. Most quant workers have backgrounds in mathematics or statistics, often including a Ph.D. 

Financial Analyst Jobs

While they sound similar, these are distinct from the analytical jobs discussed above. Analysts at financial-industry firms are typically responsible for researching potential investments and offering opinions and recommendations to help guide the traders and portfolio managers. Financial analysts also work at non-bank corporations, too, where they typically analyze the financial position of the company and help to formulate budgetary plans.

Types of Financial Analyst Jobs

Investment Analyst: Investment analysts typically specialize in one or more areas, including particular regions of the world, industrial or economic sectors, or types of investment vehicles. Analysts working for sell-side companies will usually put out buy and sell recommendations for clients. Analysts working for a buy-side company will often recommend securities to buy or sell for their portfolio managers.

Financial Analyst: Financial analysts tend to work at more traditional (non-finance) corporations or government agencies. Nearly every large company, regardless of sector or industry, keeps financial analysts on staff in order to analyze cash flows and expenditures, to maintain budgets, and more. These analysts may also help to determine the best capital structure for the corporation, or maybe to assist with capital raising. Financial analysts have the potential to rise through the ranks at their corporation, eventually becoming treasurer or chief financial officer.

The Bottom Line

Despite their differences, common characteristics apply to many financial professions. Financial careers tend to be stressful, have high barriers to entry, enjoy lucrative salaries, and be located in major financial centers. They tend to provide challenging work environments, interaction with highly motivated and intelligent colleagues, and stiff competition among applicants. Most of them require a substantial amount of education as well as stellar academic performance. While many people are drawn to the financial field because of the potential for substantial income, those who are the most successful tend to also have a distinct passion for their work.


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Where does this come from in you. " She said. It's too early for you to know. But here's what you do. Now take off your panties and put it on your head so that the place where your anus is in front of your nose.

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