By Brian Perry Torn between a career in finance and a career in Hollywood? If so, the jobs in this chapter might appeal to you. Financial media jobs incorporate knowledge of finance and economics with the ability to write or speak intelligently about the markets. Individuals interested in these jobs should possess superior communication skills as well as market savvy. A preference for either writing or speaking will largely dictate what area of the financial media an individual chooses to focus on.
Where the Jobs Are
Many of the jobs in this chapter are found in the largest cities where media tends to cluster. However, most relatively large towns and cities have a local newspaper or television station that may present some opportunity. Furthermore, writers may find that they have the opportunity to work on a freelance basis; this allows an individual to literally live and work anywhere. The jobs in this chapter are found at different types of institutions that most of the other jobs in this tutorial. Instead of banks or money management firms, typical employers for financial media jobs include news services such as Reuters or Bloomberg, television stations such as CNBC, and newspaper or magazine groups such as The Financial Times or Forbes.
How to Get a Financial Media Job
The career path to a financial media job is also a little bit different than for many of the other jobs in this tutorial. Although some individuals can (and have) progressed from a role at an investment bank or hedge fund, that is somewhat more the exception than the rule. Instead, many financial media members enter the field as journalists. This means that their college background may include studying journalism as well as economics or finance. Many leading figures in the industry begin their career working for a smaller newspaper or television station and then steadily progressing up the ranks until they attain a coveted spot at a large media network or well-known newspaper. For some jobs, such as an anchor position on a financial news show, considerations not commonly found in financial jobs may come into play. These include appearance, comfort in front of the camera, ability to interview guests, and on-screen personality. Individuals interested in a job in media should realize that as with most finance jobs, competition is tough. Nevertheless, individuals that aspire to a financial media job might find that hard work and diligence eventually lead to a role in covering the events of the day.
Types of Financial Media Jobs
- Investment Writing
Jobs as an investment writer can be found in a variety of places. Some large banks and money management firms employ full-time writers to help produce marketing pieces or market reports. There are also jobs at newspapers, magazines, and websites that focus on the financial markets or the economy. For all of these positions, knowledge of the financial markets is important. However, even more important is an ability to write well. This skill may be learned through formal training or may develop more informally through practice. It should be noted that the media business is currently changing rapidly, and journalism positions may not be easy to find. Furthermore, experts continue to debate the future of print media versus online content. Regardless of the outcome, it does seem likely that there will always be a need for individuals able to comment on and reflect upon what is happening in the financial markets.
- On-Air Commentator
These roles are likely to appeal to individuals that would enjoy talking about the financial markets on TV or the radio. These roles could either involve interviewing market experts or providing one's own opinion on the state of the markets. A presentable appearance is important for appearing on television, and it is a requirement to be well spoken either on television or on the radio. Many jobs may begin as a guest role making appearances on a show. Doing well in these appearances may lead to a recurring role and eventually one's own show. The top on-air commentators are paid tremendous salaries in return for attracting large audiences on a daily or weekly basis.
The media business is changing rapidly, and the future is uncertain. However, there will always be a demand for individuals able to report on the events of the day in the financial markets. For individuals with an interest in finance, superior communication skills, and desire to report on and shape the news, a job in financial media may be perfect. (For more, check out Financial Media 411 For Investors.)
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