Did you know that finance majors are one of the top 10 degrees employers are looking for right now? If you’ve been thinking about a career in finance, now might be a good time to get started.
Why is finance the right choice over other areas of study? If you’re good at math, you might think about accounting or a math degree. You may even think about a more general degree, like business.
Demand isn’t the only reason to consider taking the steps to get a degree in finance. These 10 reasons should convince you why finance is the right choice for you.
1. Finance Has Great Earnings Potential
The most common reason anyone thinks to pursue a finance job is the earnings potential. You’ve probably watched movies about stock brokers and hedge fund managers.
It’s true that finance can be quite lucrative. Salaries for finance jobs really depend on the role and your experience, but they average around $70,000 a year. Corporate controllers tend to earn more than accountants, as do financial analysts.
Starting salaries are typically lower. Your earning potential will continue to grow with your experience.
2. The Industry Is Stable
Generally speaking, careers in finance are a good choice because the industry is considered pretty stable. Even when there’s a downturn, there’s almost always a need for people with strong financial skills.
Businesses almost always need financial analysts to see how their affairs are trending. Banks and insurance companies alike almost always need more finance graduates. Businesses also need controllers, accountants, and more to manage the books.
As a result, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself out of work. Compare that to other degrees, like sales or marketing. These roles may be on the chopping block when there’s a downturn.
3. There’s a Wide Variety of Roles
It’s also important to note that “finance careers” encompass a lot of different roles. It’s a specialized degree, but it’s not going to box you in like some areas of study.
Corporate controllers, financial analysts, and accountants have already been mentioned. What else can you do with a finance degree? You could look at:
- Financial planner
- Budget analyst
- Investor relations associate
- Credit analyst
- Tax associate
There are even some more surprising roles. Some attorneys actually have backgrounds in finance. You might even consider going a non-traditional route and start teaching finance or business.
As you can see, there are plenty of different finance jobs. Different roles will speak to different strengths. Actuaries, for example, need excellent math skills.
Investor relations associates and financial planners usually have great communications skills. Think about your strengths. Chances are there’s a finance job that will speak to those skills.
4. It’s a Growing Industry
Now is a good time to think about a finance career because the industry is growing. The US Bureau of Labor reports that demand for financial managers is going to increase 15 percent in the next decade. That’s much faster than many other industries.
That’s just one small segment of the finance industry as well, and that’s just in the US. Now imagine the overall outlook. There’s a good chance that finance jobs will be quite abundant in the coming years.
You’ll probably have an easy time getting a job, since employers will be on the lookout for talented finance majors to fill new roles.
5. Finance Careers Offer a Dynamic Atmosphere
You’ve already had a look at some of the diverse finance career options out there. You also know that the outlook for the market is growth. That means more finance jobs will be added to the economy in the US and around the world.
It’s also quite likely that some of these new jobs will look a bit different from the roles that are already out there. That’s because finance is a dynamic industry.
There are always new innovations, as well as new rules to follow. Businesses are exploring new ways of handling their finances, as well as new forms of business. Take, for example, Internet start-ups, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and even microfinancing.
All these areas represent new developments in the finance industry. They represent new challenges for the financial framework. New financial products, like Bitcoin or ETFs, also create new opportunities.
In short, the industry always needs fresh faces and fresh ideas. You could be just the person to pioneer a new type of role. The dynamic, fast-paced environment of the finance world will serve you well.
6. There Are Global Opportunities
As Finance Executive Prabir Purohit points out, finance is a global industry and it can really take you anywhere. Purohit’s career has taken him from India to the US.
Other finance executives agree. They share stories of how their role in corporate finance or international banking has taken them to almost every corner of the globe.
That’s because money makes the world go ‘round. You may study in one country, then be hired on by a local business. If that business expands to another country, you might be chosen to head abroad and manage the company’s financial dealings.
Banks often have international operations. You may be assigned to a branch office, or travel to evaluate assets in other countries.
Some globe-trotting assignments may be more temporary in nature. You might be asked to head to another country to evaluate a real estate deal or help a multinational corporation assess a merger.
There are also jobs in governments and financial monitoring companies. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
7. Careers in Finance Improve Interpersonal Skills
One often forgotten reason to go into finance is that a career in this area can help improve your interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills can help you land clients at your own business, get a promotion, or even just have better relationships in your personal life.
How does a career in finance help that?
You’ll likely need to interact with other people, no matter what your role is. A personal finance advisor is a good example. You may need to work with individual clients to help them achieve the goals they want.
Financial analysts may work with any number of people across different departments. You may need to collaborate with colleagues from all around the world to analyze trends in data and make budget recommendations.
Depending on your role, you may need to deal with vendors or other business partners. If you’re trying to make a deal with someone, then good interpersonal skills are a must.
8. A Career in Finance Offers Professional Growth
The wide variety of roles and the dynamic nature of finance mean it’s a field that never stops challenging people. You might specialize in one area for some time, then decide to move into another area of finance. There may be new roles that crop up or new skills you need to learn as new products become available.
Given that, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to keep learning and growing long after you finish school. When combined with the stability of the industry, it’s likely you’ll have a satisfying career over many years.
9. It Provides More Focus for Studies
Deciding on a finance major is smart for another reason. It helps you narrow your studies.
Business majors often have much more choice of what to do with their degree, but this can lead to people undervaluing the major. They also tend to develop more general skills, rather than specific ones.
By contrast, finance tends to provide you with a very specific set of skills. It’s usually much easier for employers to see how those skills apply to the jobs they’re hiring for.
At the same time, finance doesn’t narrow your focus too much. As noted, there are plenty of different roles available. You’ll still have plenty of choice about what career path to follow.
10. Finance Plays to Certain Skills
Finally, a finance job is best suited to certain skills. If you’re good at math and like problem-solving, then finance is likely a good career choice for you.
If you’ve always been a strong analytical thinker, then finance may be right for you. If you’ve been noted for your inquisitiveness or your diplomatic skills, then you may be well-suited for a career in finance too.
Different roles speak to different strengths, but some are key across most positions. Analytical thinking is a key skill, as is math. Other skills may depend on the role.
Plan Your Next Career Move with Great Advice
There are plenty of good reasons to pursue a career in finance, as this list demonstrates. There are other reasons as well. You’ll want to consider them all carefully as you think about your next career move.
If you think finance could be the right fit, then take a look at our other insightful articles. They can help you get started.
Not sure a career in finance is the right choice for you? We have plenty of other tips for helping you choose the right career.