Inside Finance Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Career Background

  Finance Salaries

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:


"helping people reach a goal. I also enjoy listening and helping to solve problems. I also enjoy educating clients on how certain products as well as the stock market can help them meet their goals."


"when the stock market is not cooperating and clients' accounts are losing value. It is hard to see people lose money. I don't like to work in an environment that can be controlled by outside factors, such as the economy."

Career Overview

Numerous opportunities exist for individuals interested in a career in finance, the science of the management of money and other assets. One of the most important aspects of business, many individuals, governments, and organizations employ finance professionals to help achieve their financial goals. Finance careers may be found in many areas including commercial banking, corporate finance, financial planning, hedge funds, investment banking, insurance, money management, private equity, and real estate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many opportunities in finance jobs such as financial managers, analysts, and personal financial advisers is expected to grow over the 2008Ė18 period, although competition is expected to be strong for those positions.

Career Skills

Careers in finance tend to attract individuals that are interested in the financial markets and the economy, as well as tax laws. Generally, finance professionals should possess strong mathematical, computer, analytical and problem-solving skills. In addition, interpersonal skills are very important, with both oral and written communication an important part of many finance jobs.


Most entry-level finance careers require a bachelorís degree, preferably in a financial field. Some companies may have formal management training programs for their employees. In order to advance in many finance positions, it is necessary to have a masterís degree in finance, business administration, or economics. Professional certifications may also be required for certain careers, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations, as well as licenses to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, or insurance products.

Career Options

With almost all individuals, businesses, and government agencies needing financial management, careers in finance may be found within the private, public and non-profit sectors. The following are a few examples of finance career choices:

  • Branch managers handle the daily management functions of a branch office of a bank. Duties may include working with customers and handling any complaints or problems, hiring and supervising branch employees, preparing any branch financial reports, handling loans and lines of credit, and working with the community to attract business for the bank.
  • Credit analysts work for a variety of institutions including banks and credit rating agencies, working to analyze financial information and credit data to assess the risks involved in offering credit or lending money to businesses and individuals. Credit analysts are able to make recommendations based on the credit information and are generally responsible for preparing any written credit approvals or denials.
  • Personal financial planners develop and implement financial plans for individuals, assessing their financial needs and assisting with investments, tax laws, and insurance decisions. Personal financial planners help clients plan for short- and long-term goals by gathering any necessary information from the client in order to come up with the appropriate plans.
  • Financial analysts, also called investments or securities analysts, examine financial information in order to provide investment guidance to individuals and businesses. Through the analysis of investments such as stocks, bonds, and commodities, financial analysts are able to research and report on a companyís financial situation and give advice on how to invest their money.