All types of organizations, from public sector agencies to small and large corporations, require people who are skilled in finance to make sound decisions that will contribute to the entity's steady and solid financial growth. Finance professionals make investments, oversee long-range financial planning, acquire assets, and work with existing resources.
A wide variety of companies and organizations employ finance professionals, ranging from nonprofits to global corporations. People who work in finance need more than financial acumen, success in this career often requires people skills, strong oral and written communication abilities, creative and critical thinking, and confident decision making
Finance Professionals Work in a Variety of Fields
A wide range of jobs are available to finance professionals, including positions as budget analysts, investment bankers, real estate agents, loan officers, money managers, underwriters, and personal financial advisors. Many entry-level careers in finance require at least a bachelor's degree, and many jobs require a license or certification such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations.
Regardless of education level and certifications, many working in the finance field must participate in ongoing career training to stay informed in this fast-moving industry. As a finance professional, you may be called upon to help clients create personal budgets, develop spending plans, college savings plans, retirement saving plans, investment strategies, and tax management. Specialists in financial management deal with how firms and organizations buy and trade assets to support business operations and may also advise clients on portfolio or dividend management.
Regardless of their practice focus, those working in the finance field often advance by moving into positions where they are responsible for larger and higher profile products and services. At this level, you may supervise a team of financial analysts, and later become a portfolio manager or fund manager directing the investment strategy for an organization's funds.
Finance Degree Coursework Provides a Solid Foundation for Your Career
Coursework for a finance degree is more general than that of a financial management degree, which emphasizes management and analytical skills. General finance study includes international finance, investments, financial management, money, and banking. Your business program degree in finance coursework should provide you with strong math and problem-solving skills.
As a financial analyst or other professional in the field, good communication skills are essential, because you will present complex financial concepts to clients to strategize the best solutions for their needs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for finance analysts was $70,400 in 2007. The BLS also reports that the top 10 percent of financial analysts earned more than $137,000 in 2007.
Many financial advisors who work for financial services firms are salaried employees who also receive performance-based bonuses. Advisors with planning firms or those that are self-employed and charge hourly fees generally receive commissions for financial products offered. Obtain the career training you need to excel in the finance field.