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Choosing a career in finance can be daunting – the finance industry has endless areas, and it’s a growing field. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the financial and business operations sector will add approximately 800,000 jobs between 2020 and 2030.
Business Finance Job Opportunities
So where do you begin to understand what jobs are available in the finance industry and which one is right for you? Well, we’ve compiled a list of 20 careers in finance, from analyst positions to insurance sales to chief financial officers. We’ve included salary information (primarily sourced from labor bureaus) and job descriptions to help you get a feel for what these roles are like and understand your options.
Finance Job Postings
Finance careers exist in the private, corporate, or public sector, but beyond these classifications, there are many more subcategories:
Accountants and auditors review their companies’ finances and prepare financial documents. Within a financial organization, there may be specific titles such as junior accountant, senior accountant, auditor, tax accountant.
Financial managers work in a variety of fields and industries, including investment firms, banks, and insurance companies. They are primarily involved in preparing financial statements and developing long-term financial plans for the organization.
Another type of financial manager is the financial controller or controller. Controllers are the highest-ranking person in the accounting group outside of the chief financial officer. The controller ensures the financial health of the company and oversees the rest of the accounting team.
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Financial analysts interpret financial statements and predict a company’s future financial performance. In addition, analysts compare the current financial situation with the initial plans set by the financial manager or chief financial officer and help create reports to help the company follow its strategy based on market conditions.
A budget analyst, sometimes called a cost analyst, looks at a company’s budget and identifies ways to improve or maintain the budget. Budget analysts also help maintain records and decide whether funds should be reallocated.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the highest-ranking person in the company who manages the organization’s finances. The CFO has two primary roles: overseeing all financial activities within the company, as well as serving as a member of the accounting team, and as an advisor to other C-Suite executives.
Financial advisor, also called financial adviser or financier, is a broad job title in the private, corporate and public sectors.
Hiring Challenges Unique To The Finance & Accounting Industry
Like a financial manager who focuses on investments, portfolio managers work with clients to find the right investment opportunities and maintain a profitable investment portfolio. Portfolio managers also help their clients invest by explaining market conditions and economic trends that may affect the client’s investments.
The primary role of financial software developers is to design, develop, and improve software used by the financial industry. Financial software developers work with financial and banking companies to create everything from business tools to credit card programs.
Some software providers specialize in certain areas, such as blockchain. Blockchain developers work with various organizations to create software that facilitates secure digital transactions and enables secure storage of blockchain data. Blockchain developers also create applications and interfaces using blockchain technology to help protect their company’s data.
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Accounting & Finance Jobs
Compliance specialists are sometimes called financial auditors or regulatory compliance specialists. Although compliance specialists work in many areas of the financial industry, they are especially important for FinTech because digital transactions have strict regulations – experts ensure compliance with all laws, regulations , and state, local and federal policy.
Regardless of the industry, the data scientist’s responsibility is to analyze data sets to find meaningful insights and communicate their findings. For example, in the financial industry, data scientists play a key role in creating data-driven predictions, identifying trends, detecting fraud, and creating programs to help companies better serve their customers.
Quantitative analysts are financial analysts who use statistical techniques to manage risk, analyze, regulate markets, and solve trading problems. In addition, digital analysts can develop tools to analyze companies’ business models and strategies.
Cybersecurity professionals, or information security analysts, ensure that the systems these companies use are protected from malware, viruses, and hackers. FinTech is all about digital data, so cybersecurity experts are also focusing on data encryption to help business clients be more secure using technology to access their financial data.
How To Become A Financial Analyst
Investment bankers typically begin their careers as financial analysts, but there are roles that investment bankers can play:
Fund providers act as brokers, or middlemen, for clients who want to buy securities such as stocks, bonds, or options. Sometimes, joint stock companies may also provide financial advisory and investment management services.
A stock trader has the same job as a broker: finding, buying, and selling securities. However, traders often buy securities using their company’s assets. Additionally, traders often work for large investment management firms or banks and trade under the direction of a portfolio manager.
A venture capitalist (VC) evaluates the growth and risk potential of emerging businesses to develop investment opportunities for their clients. VCs receive equity in these startups in exchange for the capital they provide.
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Underwriters work in a variety of financial fields, but are most commonly involved in banking and insurance. Underwriters are responsible for determining the potential risk of someone applying for insurance or a loan, and then decide whether or not to approve them based on their risk assessment.
Insurance brokers or agents are sellers who sell insurance products to consumers. Brokers usually sell products from different insurance companies, while agents often work for a specific company. The products they sell include life insurance, personal auto insurance, and homeowner’s insurance.
A similar role to an insurance broker is an insurance consultant. These advisors often work as part of a larger financial planning team and help provide information about other financial products or services, such as investments and estate planning.
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After the incident, the claims adjuster will review the details of the insurance claim and determine who is responsible. Claims adjusters talk to people involved in the claim, interview witnesses, and, if necessary, investigate damages to determine who should be paid and how much.
Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and theory to analyze the costs associated with risk. An actuary is sometimes referred to as an actuarial analyst, and their analysis helps companies understand whether potential decisions will be successful and how unexpected disasters will affect the business financially.
Becoming a financial lawyer is the same as any other legal career path. Lawyers can specialize in various aspects of finance such as tax law, trade finance and debt finance. In addition, many financial institutions hire general counsel for M&A or securities trading, and with the growth of FinTech, lawyers who understand cryptocurrency and virtual assets law are in high demand. If you’re looking for the highest-paying finance jobs, you’ll find them in the C-suite, starting with chief financial officer. If this or a leadership position is your primary goal, you should also be interested in stepping up to senior roles.
According to Robert’s Half-Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, employers are willing to hire people with little experience who have great potential to climb the corporate ladder. Companies are boosting on-the-job training to support these employees’ ambitions — and are moving internally to retain talented finance professionals with specialized expertise.
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Here’s a look at some of the highest-paying finance jobs in their fields that have the potential to lead to executive-level positions.
If you aspire to become a chief executive officer, you may be involved in an analytical role, dealing with processes and procedures, reviewing regulatory requirements, and preparing reports for companies.
Supply analysts typically have at least three to five years of experience in auditing or risk management, and a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or accounting. According to the Salary Guide, the median starting salary for analysts is expected to be $79,750 in 2020. (Earning the median salary, or median national salary, requires skills to meet job demands in an industry and workplace where there is competition for common experience and talent.)
The job of an IT auditor includes working on a variety of projects, from reviewing information security systems, software and programs to verifying that these systems comply with state regulations and internally and identifying solutions for improvement. The median salary for an IT auditor with one to three years of experience is $78,750, and $53,250 for new hires with less than one year of experience.
Financial Analyst Job Description Template
These financial auditors perform internal audit procedures and prepare reports for the business using insider knowledge.