Financial Career Opportunities
A career in finance isn't all about money, but it's close. For the business graduate, obtaining a degree is just the beginning. What's left is to take a closer look at available career options, measuring which industry sectors have the greatest need for new professionals. The finance industry is multifaceted, offering a variety of positions catering to a number of different skills and interests. Financial services have multiple sub-industries encompassing niche opportunities. The key to individual success is to research, locate and land the financial job that has the greatest compatibility with your skills and interests. The same is true for professionals seeking a change in scenery and who want to give a new sector a shot.
Considering Career Paths
Here are some common career paths in the financial-services industry:
Corporate finance jobs involve working for a company in the capacity of finding and managing the capital necessary to run the enterprise. This is done while maximizing corporate value and reducing financial risk.
The functions you may implement while in such a position include the following:
- Setting up the company's overall financial strategy
- are largely unregulated private investment funds whose managers can buy or sell a wide array of assets and financial products. Because of the mystery that surrounds this type of entity,
Typical hedge-fund jobs include the following:
Private Equity and Venture Capital
Private-equity professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for a number of corporate business transactions, such as managed buyouts and restructurings. At times, a private-equity job may involve working as an interim executive at a struggling company where your success helps determine the fate of the company.
Venture-capital professionals (VCs) spend most of their time with startups or small, fast-growth companies. Venture-capital firms evaluate pitches by founders and small-company leaders to determine if the firm will make an investment. Sometimes referred to as VCs are known to structure deals that favor the investor, not the company receiving funding. The hope of the VC is that the funded company will some day go public – that is, make its stock available on the public stock market. Venture capital is a tough business where the failure rate is high and the rewards, when they are realized, are huge.
Financial planners help individuals develop plans that will ensure their present and future financial stability. Typically, they review a client's financial goals and generate an appropriate plan for saving and investing that fits the client's individual needs. The plan may focus on wealth preservation or investment growth and may even include estate and tax planning. Most financial planners work in either large, nationwide groups or smaller, locally based firms. Some planners charge flat fees, others a percentage of assets under management, receiving commissions on the products they sell (such as mutual funds).
Generally, financial planners with the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) designation are the most in-demand, as they must obtain three years of financial-planning experience, pass several exams (including a two-day, 10-hour case-study exam) and meet continuing-education requirements.
Finance jobs in the insurance industry involve helping businesses and individuals anticipate potential risks and protect themselves from losses. Most insurance jobs are with large insurance companies. You could begin a career in this sector working as a sales rep selling insurance policies, as a customer service rep working with existing clients or as an actuary computing risks and premium rates...
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