Working in finance can be rewarding and lucrative. It’s also a very diverse field when it comes to the types of finance jobs available. The finance career path can land you a job in a bank or credit union, a consulting firm, a government agency, or a corporation.
When deciding which finance career path you want to pursue, consider the level of training and education you have or desire to get—most finance positions require a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Also, consider your skill set and the type of work environment in which you want to work (i.e., fast-paced, working with people, playing it solo, low-stress, etc.). Below are five types of finance jobs to consider, including some of the qualifications required for it to be a good job fit for you:
Finance careers in investment banking are considered the cream-of-the-crop, and as such, are not easy to land. An investment banking analyst is in charge of analyzing data and making recommendations about investments to clients. Investing banking analysts work with individuals or with corporate clients and utilize statistics, market data, and research analysis to provide investment recommendations based on risk. This position can be a good choice for those who have a specialized finance degree in the field, work well in fast-paced and high-stress environments, love research and statistics, and have great communication skills.
A compliance specialist’s task is to ensure that an organization follows all state and federal rules, regulations, and laws. Some examples of compliance specialists are tax compliance specialists, equities compliance specialists, and SOX compliance specialists. Compliance specialists can be found in any business with a finance or accounting department, and they work closely with the legal and finance team to ensure compliance. This position is excellent for individuals who love the attention to detail and are interested in laws governing the financial sector.
As the title implies, a tax analyst specializes in tax law. A corporate tax analyst is responsible for preparing and reviewing the company’s required tax returns, providing tax guidance and recommendations, and ensuring the company is following tax rules and regulations. A tax analyst who works for a private firm might prepare taxes for individual or corporate clients, as well. A tax analyst who works for the government might work for the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re not a people person, then being a tax analyst for a corporation would typically have the least amount of face-time with other individuals when compared to most corporate or IRS tax analysts. Also, for this finance career path, you’ll want to be very detail-oriented and have an appreciation for the nuances of tax law.
You can boost your credibility working in finance as a tax analyst by getting accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.
Finance careers in personal finance might be a good fit for individuals who love working one-on-one with people. In May of 2018, the median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $88,890, making it a lucrative finance career choice, as well. When working in finance as a personal financial advisor, you help individuals with budgeting, investing, and saving, while looking at their long- and short-term financial goals. Certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner are available to help boost your credibility in this field.
Corporate finance isn’t a single position but instead covers many positions that fall under the finance umbrella of a single corporation. If you want to explore different types of finance jobs throughout your finance career path, then corporate finance might be a good fit for you. In corporate finance, you’ll be responsible for managing the financial activities specific to your role with the company. In a single company, you can work your way up the ladder and hold any number of positions, including budget analyst, tax analyst, financial planner, CFO, finance manager, compliance analyst, risk management specialist, or financial analyst.