Is Finance A Good Career Path? [Read This First]

is finance a good career path

Anyone in the finance field can see that finance is indeed one of the best career options to pursue. If you are interested in a job in finance, the field is packed with a variety of options related to banking, investment, planning, and analysis. Being a broad field, you can identify the field that you are most passionate about and then grasp what it takes to succeed in that particular field.

Finance is a good career path. The first thing that makes this profession suitable is the compensation package. As I may put it, a career in finance can be lucrative, with other great benefits and bonuses. In addition, it comes with many opportunities for specialization and job stability, among other benefits.

However, pursuing a career in finance is not straightforward since there are numerous options and different areas of specialization. In addition, various finance degrees will lead you to a career in finance that you need to know. In this article, you will learn the different types of finance employment and other insights you may need to understand.

What Is Finance?

Finance is a broad term for managing money, assets, and currency. It also includes borrowing, investing, saving, budgeting, raising funds or capital, and expenditure. It is thus classified into three broad categories: public finance, corporate finance, and personal finance.

Is Finance In High Demand?

The finance industry is packed with many lucrative jobs in high demand. As mentioned earlier, the industry is vast, so many finance careers pay well. Most of these jobs, however, require one to have a bachelor’s degree in any business field and a finance major or professional qualification.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in financial and business operations is expected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030. In that period, about 750,800 new jobs will be added, which will interest many people specializing in finance or related fields.

Some jobs in high demand in the finance industry include accountants and auditors, cost estimators, budget analysts, financial analysts, loan officers, market research analysts, logisticians, and purchasing managers.

Is Finance A Stable Career?

is finance a stable career

The job market is loaded with many financial careers and opportunities and continues to grow yearly. However, it is a stable career and is not over-saturated like most other occupations. One good thing about a finance career is that it is a broad field and employs a lot of finance graduates.

If you are pursuing jobs in finance, therefore, you should not feel intimidated by the unproven facts or myths regarding the industry. Almost all sectors of the economy have a good number of financial professionals, be it public accountants, auditors, or any other opportunity related to finance.

Types Of Finance

As I noted earlier, finance is a broad field subdivided into sub-categories, where each represents the financial space it operates. The most common types are personal, public, and corporate finance.

Personal Finance

Personal finance is a management practice where individuals utilize and manage their finances. This includes managing expenditure, budgeting, saving, and investing, among other plans. Personal finance also involves income generation and overall financial planning.

Main Components Of Personal Finance

Personal finance encompasses different main components or areas. These refer to an individual’s practices to manage and grow finances to meet future goals. These components include the following:

Saving

Saving refers to keeping money for the future. Since there are inevitable occurrences that would require you to have or spend some money, it is one of the best practices to put some money aside, whether as cash, in a bank account, or in any way that you can liquidate immediately.

Spending

Spending refers to payments for goods and services for personal consumption. Spending includes individual family costs and expenses such as payments for cleaning services, child care, food, health care, and travel, among other costs.

While spending money, it is important to have a budget so that you do not spend what you have not planned for. That will help you achieve financial stability since your money is always planned out before you can spend it.

Income

Income is the money you get from your investment sources or your remuneration, among other things. For example, the income may come from your salary, profit from your business or investment, social security or pension, or income from your rental properties. In personal finance, this is the foundation of your finances since, without income, you will not be able to spend, save, or transact anything involving money.

Investing And Protection

Investing money is a way to multiply your income over a certain period of time. This involves putting your money in areas such as the stock market that are likely to make your money grow or increase with time.

On the other hand, protection refers to taking measures against your finances that would act as a guard from unforeseen events that would otherwise drain your income. This includes insurance and retirement planning, among other protection measures.

Public Finance

It is also called government finance, which is how the government raises and spends its revenue from taxes and income from state projects and investments. Public finance is also a broad term that involves budgeting government money, payment for services, and other activities related to managing the government’s finances through fiscal policy.

Corporate Finance

This is how the companies, businesses, or corporations deal with the issues of finances, such as capital structuring, investment decisions, funding sources, and the financial or monetary impact of the financial management policies. It also involves working capital management and capital budgeting.

Types Of Careers In Finance

As I indicated earlier, finance is a broad field, and from personal and public to corporate finance, there are a lot of opportunities or careers in each of the finance sectors. The area of finance alone employs millions of graduates in different financial fields, and some of the best jobs include but are not limited to the following:

Investment Banking

This is one of the banking sections that deal with helping organizations or individuals raise capital and helps them in other financial consultancy services regarding investments. Investment bankers act as a link between investors and security issuers and also help in acquisitions and mergers.

In addition, investment bankers are skilled in accounting, corporate finance and valuation, financial statement analysis, and financial modeling, among other requisite skills. As a result, investment bankers can help new investment firms or businesses go public with those skills.

The average salary of an investment banker is $101,295 per year, according to PayScale. From the salary statistics, you can note that investment banking is one of the most rewarding sectors for its employees.

Financial Analyst

is finance a good career path, financial analyst

These experts work to help businesses or individuals in matters to do with expending money to make a profit. They are skilled in quantitative skills. Their work involves gathering data, analyzing historical facts, and organizing that information for decision-making regarding investments in bonds, stocks, or any other type of investment.

To become a Chartered Financial Analyst, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, with a minimum of four years experience, and pass the three CFA exams.

It is also important to note that financial analysts face a lot of workload stress, and the work is complex, unlike most other professions. However, a financial analyst’s job pays well and averages $63,195 per year, according to PayScale.

Financial Consultant Or Financial Advisor

There are so many finance consultancy jobs, and this requires one to have a bachelor’s degree in business related and specialization in finance or other relevant specialization options. As a financial consultant or advisor, you will offer financial advice to clients about financial services, investment, planning, savings, and budgeting, among other key financial insights.

According to PayScale, the median salary of a financial consultant or advisor in the United States is about $71,959 per year. Therefore, it is one of the well-paying career options you should consider.

Financial Accountant

The roles of a financial accountant include tax planning, preparing annual, quarterly, and monthly reports, managing tax payments and internal audits, preparing a budget, monitoring and reporting the inconsistencies in accounting, and keeping up with financial regulations, policies, and practices, among other functions.

The average salary of a financial accountant in the United States is $57,438 annually, according to PayScale. Regarding education requirements, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance-related options such as accounting, finance, or economics.

Quantitative Analyst

To become a quantitative analyst, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field, and you will work as a specialist dealing with financial issues analysts for better decision making. In addition, it requires excellent mathematical and statistical skills since it deals with complex business models for different sectors of the economy.

When it comes to remuneration, the average salary of a ‘quant’ is $86,167 per year, according to PayScale statistics.

Risk Management

risk management in financial careers

The purpose of risk management is to prevent losses that would come as a result of unprecedented occurrences. Therefore, as a risk manager, you will be tasked with identifying those risks, evaluating them, and prioritizing efforts to minimize the impact they would otherwise have on the business.

According to different salary statistics, risk managers earn decently, and the average is about $90,423 per year, according to PayScale statistics.

Economic Analyst

Economic analysts, as the name says, are tasked with analyzing economic events and their impact on the business. They work with a considerable amount of data to review, research, and document reports about the findings for financial forecasting and use in feasibility studies, among other functions.

When it comes to remuneration, the average salary of an economic analyst in the United States is about $62,994 per year, according to PayScale.

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio managers work with clients to ensure that they make the best investment choices. They are skilled and competent in analyzing the markets and devising workable investment strategies, among other functions. In addition to that, they also help the clients in the buying and selling of investments.

A career as a portfolio manager is one of the most rewarding ones in the field of finance. According to Salary statistics, you will earn an average salary of about $101,370 per year.

Budget Analyst

is finance a good career path as a budget analyst?

To become a budget analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in any financial field and a skill set that includes communication, analytical, math, and writing skills, among others. It is one of the best careers to pursue. It involves reviewing the company’s budget, making recommendations about the budget, and overseeing the company’s or organization’s spending, among other functions.

On the remuneration part, the average salary you can earn working as a budget analyst in the United States is $63,006 per year, according to PayScale.

Financial Planning

A financial planner is a specialist tasked with helping clients meet their long-term financial goals by assisting with their current financial needs, such as investing, budgeting, retirement, savings, and insurance, among other vital areas.

However, a financial planner’s duties can vary from one company or organization to another. Still, most of them require one to have a bachelor’s degree in business and specialization or major in finance.

Financial planning is a career that earns well. You can make an average of $65,613 per year as a financial planner in the United States, according to PayScale statistics.

Private Equity Associate

Private equity associates identify the best investment opportunities, look for investors to raise capital, and do due diligence before the company undertakes any investment. As a private equity associate, you will be tasked with all the processes, from identifying the investment opportunity to raising capital and investing the same money.

To become a private equity associate, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics, among other related fields such as mathematics and statistics. In addition, you will earn handsomely for this role since the average salary is about $96,614 per year, according to PayScale.

Actuary

The role of an actuary is to maintain contact with clients, price insurance policies, advise companies or corporations on how to go about regulatory standards to balance capital, and help implement risk management software, among other functions.

As an actuary, you need strong mathematical skills such as probability, calculus, and statistics, analytical skills, problem-solving, computer skills, and finance skills, among others. In addition, you will earn handsomely in this position, and the average salary is about $99,340 per year, according to PayScale.

Security Trader

As the name puts it, a security trader refers to a person who does trading of stocks, among other commodities offered in the stock exchange market. As a security trader, you can work for an individual or company that buys and sells stocks and other assets on the stock exchange.

Therefore, to venture into this career, you need strong analytical skills and qualifications in any finance-related field, such as economics. In this role, you will earn an average of $69,782 per year, according to PayScale statistics.

Hedge Fund Analyst

hedge fund analyst career in finance

One of the best things about being a hedge fund analyst is that it pays handsomely. Even entry-level positions in this field are lucrative. It is perhaps one of the best-paying options compared to other fields.

As a hedge fund manager, you will be tasked with doing quantitative research on securities and market sectors to identify the best trade areas. According to Salary statistics, the average base salary for a hedge fund analyst is $94,800 per year.

Financial Assistant

Being a finance assistant is the best way to start your career in finance. There are so many entry-level finance jobs that require graduates in the field of finance to serve as financial assistants.

As a financial assistant, you will be tasked with preparing balance sheets, reconciling bank statements, processing tax payments, and updating the company’s financial spreadsheets, among other functions as may be assigned.

According to Talent statistics, financial assistants in the United States earn an average of $48,217 per year. It is, therefore, one of the best careers with significant growth opportunities.

Pros And Cons Of Finance Careers

pros and cons of a career in finance

Finance careers are well-rewarding and stable, where the jobs are constant throughout the year. However, it is a challenging and stressful field with a workload that requires competent personnel to handle.

In addition, most professions in the field require one to have a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification. Some of the pros and cons of these finance careers, therefore, include the following:

Pros Of Finance Careers

Finance careers come with tremendous advantages and plenty of opportunities for growth. They are well-rewarding, stable, and full of great opportunities. In addition, it is a broad field, and you can easily specialize in an area you are passionate about. Some of the advantages, therefore, include the following:

Lucrative

Of course, finance careers are lucrative. Most professions requiring qualifications in specific fields such as accounting, finance, and even professional courses pay handsomely. The average salary of finance jobs is $94,000 annually. This, therefore, shows that a career in finance is worth undertaking and where you get the best high-earning entry-level positions.

Good Work Hours

In most finance careers, you are not confined to long working hours like in other professions. Some even have flexible schedules where you can choose suitable work times, enhancing a better and balanced lifestyle.

In addition, as a finance professional in most fields, you don’t need to work overnight or overnight shifts since most jobs will require you to perform a specific number of hours during the daytime. Therefore, you will have a good balance of work and personal life.

Advancement Opportunities

Finance is one of the best fields where you will get the satisfaction you want and an opportunity to grow and advance your career. Most fields in finance will give you a chance to grow to become your best in that field.

Therefore, if you want to advance and grow in finance, it is crucial to consider accumulating your experience and skills by furthering your studies in the area of your specialization. For instance, if you are a finance manager, you have an opportunity to grow and become a chief financial officer (CFO).

Diversified Career Options

As I mentioned before, the finance field is vast and has a lot of options that you can specialize in. In addition, due to the many career types and options in finance, you can choose one that fits your area of specialization.

Some of the best examples of finance career options include financial planner, financial analyst, budget analyst, insurance underwriter, investment advisor, auditor, accountant, credit analyst, and risk specialist.

Cons Of Finance Careers

cons of a career in finance

Where there is an advantage, there is also a disadvantage. For example, finance careers are lucrative and have diversified fields for growth, among other benefits I have discussed. However, it also comes with some disadvantages that include the following:

High Stress

Though finance careers are lucrative, some also come with high-stress levels due to the nature of the jobs that require one to meet some targets or tight deadlines. For instance, sales agents or managers must meet targets that the company has set to continue holding their positions or grow in their careers.

For instance, the tax season and the last quarter come with a lot of workloads for the staff, and this requires one to complete a specific number of tasks that may come with tight deadlines.

Study Years

Most finance jobs or careers require a bachelor’s degree in any relevant business field. However, the degree program can take about four years of study, and hence it may take longer for one to achieve their dreams in finance. In addition to that, some jobs will require one to have some professional qualifications such as CPA or CFA qualifications.

Common Types Of Finance Degrees

Some different programs and degrees would confine you to becoming a finance specialist in any sector, and these degrees may vary from one university or college to another. However, some common degrees in this field include business, specializing in finance, arts, economics, and science.

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the nature of finance, most graduates and students who want to pursue a career in finance are sometimes torn between competing choices. Naturally, this comes with numerous questions that anyone in the field or passionate about finance may ask. In that regard, some of the frequently asked questions about a finance career include:

How Long Does It Take To Get A Degree In Finance?

A degree in finance can take you four years of study to complete. In most universities, that is equivalent to about eight semesters divided into four academic years. Therefore, if you are passionate about a career in finance, you should prepare for the four years that your degree course will take, whether you are doing a BA or a BS in finance.

Is Finance A BA Or BS?

Finance is available in both options as an art and as a science. There is. Therefore, a strong relationship between arts and science is helpful in financial planning and management, among other practices.

As an art, finance is a discipline that involves the relationship of the people with money, customization of ideas, and creativity of a finance individual in dealing with money matters.

On the other hand, finance as science involves using scientific methods derived from scientific-based areas such as mathematics and statistics to solve money problems and financial issues.

Therefore, both BA and BS finance options are available. Both are important and interrelated in how money operates in the economy and the management and planning of the same.

Final Thoughts

The query of finance and whether it is a good career path or not is what I have discussed above. In a nutshell, finance is a promising career, and it does not just pay well, but it is also stable and has many career opportunities. Most finance fields are lucrative, and opportunities for career advancement make them one of the best career options to choose.