1. Financial Careers: Introduction
  2. Financial Careers: Qualifications and Credentials
  3. Financial Careers: Finance Employers
  4. Financial Careers: Investment Banking Jobs
  5. Financial Careers: Trading Jobs
  6. Financial Careers: Financial Advisory Jobs
  7. Financial Careers: Analytical Jobs
  8. Financial Careers: Financial Media Jobs
  9. Financial Careers: Analyst Jobs
  10. Financial Careers: Portfolio Management Jobs
  11. Financial Careers: Conclusion

Before we get into specific financial careers and their tasks and attributes, it will be helpful to look at some of the general background and qualifications that jobseekers in the financial industry may find useful. This chapter will include an overview of credentials and requirements needed for many roles in finance, including professional qualifications and licenses. We’ll also see which cities are common to most financial jobs as well as some of the resources that individual jobseekers can use to help them in their search. From there, the next few chapters will be able to get more in-depth and specific with regard to particular jobs in finance.

Requirements and Qualifications

Jobs in the finance industry are often extremely lucrative, and that means that they are in high demand. As a result, basic qualifications to first enter the industry are higher than for many other fields. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, in general, jobseekers should have an undergraduate college degree at minimum when looking for work in the financial industry. Beyond that, many finance industry jobholders have advanced degrees. These include MBAs perhaps first and foremost, but it’s not uncommon to find other master’s degrees and even PhDs in a variety of fields and areas. Beyond these education requirements, there are a number of finance-related professional designations and certifications that may be helpful as well. These include the designations of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), as well as securities industry professional licenses like the Series 7 & Series 63 licenses which are issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In most cases, these designations and licenses require the completion of a course of study and the successful passing of one or more exams. To distinguish, designations (like CFA) are “resume boosters,” meaning that they are helpful in the job search but not specifically required, and licenses (like the Series 7) are legally required in order to participate in certain job areas.

Where to Find Finance Jobs

The financial world is large and, for the most part, global in nature. This means that there are finance jobs to be found in nearly every city around the world. Still, like other industries as well, finance jobs tend to be centered and concentrated in particular areas. Specifically, jobs in the financial industry are often found in cities which are commonly thought of as international financial centers: New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Zürich. Jobseekers who are native English speakers should keep in mind that many international jobs require foreign language skills as a requirement, although this is not always the case. Of course, it is also worth keeping in mind that finance job growth has been especially strong in developing market countries as well, particularly in the past several years. Further, many large banks and firms have branches in mid-sized cities around the world, and smaller institutions can be located just about anywhere. Corporate finance jobs are also often found outside of international financial centers. Nonetheless, the largest number of jobs are still to be found in big cities. (For more information on great cities for finance jobs check out Top 10 Cities For A Career In Finance.)

Resources for Finding Finance Jobs

There’s no denying that competition for finance jobs is typically quite fierce. However, there are tools and resources that can help a jobseeker with his or her search. Many finance industry professionals enter the field directly out of college or graduate school thanks to recruitment efforts at those schools. If you are still in school, seek out your university career office as a good resource for more information. If you’re out of school, or if you want to look for supplemental resources besides those available through your school, job postings can often be found on specialized sites for the industry, including efinancial.com, the CFA website, or a Bloomberg terminal. Social media is increasingly powerful as a tool for finding jobs and connecting with possible employers, and LinkedIn is particularly helpful in this area. Also, bear in mind that many financial companies work exclusively through recruiting agents when attempting to fill a position. Jobseekers would do well to connect with local recruiters, providing them with resumes and other information as needed in order to get connected with job opportunities. Finally, as with so many other industries, it should be noted that the most important element of most financial job searches is persistence.

Next up, we’ll look at more details of particular jobs in the finance field, beginning with finance employers.

Financial Careers: Finance Employers
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