The finance industry is concerned with how individuals and institutions handle their financial resources—how they raise their money, where they allocate it and how they use it—and assesses the risks involved in these activities as well as recommends ways to manage these risks.
There are a number of exciting and rewarding jobs in the field of finance. What follows are just a few examples.
The commercial banking sector employs more people than any other facet of the financial services industry. Banks offer individuals the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of people and the chance to develop a clientele. People in banking usually start out as tellers and shift to other bank services such as leasing, credit card banking, trade credit and international finance.
As the name indicates, a career in corporate finance means you will work in a corporation and are mainly concerned with sourcing money for the company—money that will be used to develop the business, make acquisitions and ensure the company’s future. In a corporation, you are likely to start as a financial officer.
As a financial planner, you may also work for a corporation but will mainly be concerned with only one aspect of finances—planning for the future. You have to have a firm grasp of investments, estate planning as well as taxes. Or you may serve as a consultant who provides financial planning for individuals, e.g., planning their retirement needs or how they can put their kids through college.
With annual revenues surpassing the trillion-dollar mark, the insurance industry looms as one of the most attractive areas for a career in finance. In 2005, there were an estimated 2.5 million people in the US who were employed in the insurance field, which is mainly considered with the business of managing risk and anticipating problem areas. Possible jobs in insurance include working as an underwriter, sales representative, customer service rep, asset manager or an actuary.
A career in investment banking means you will be concerned with issuing securing and helping investors buy, manage or trade financial assets. As a bonus, you get the chance to work on Wall Street in a leading investment banks such as Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Goldman Sachs.