Money powers the entire world and every organization needs a sound financial structure to function and profit. The main function of finance is to deal with the allocation of assets and liabilities and the management of money. Finance is an extremely broad field that contains many different career options. Within the large field of finance, there can be three general subcategories: personal, corporate, and public finance. Personal finance deals with household finances such as buying health and property insurance, financing things such as property or vehicles, paying for education, investing, as well as planning for retirement. Corporate finance handles the overall health and stability of an organization fiscally. Keys to corporate finance are examining and predicting economic trends, managing and maximizing stock while balancing risk and profitability, and must studying the company's financial reports to suggest any improvements for efficiency. Lastly, public finance includes financial dealings of the government as a whole, including assessing government revenue and expenditure. It also entails the allocation of resources and distribution of income. Within these three overarching categories there are a vast amount of various careers to pursue.
Salaries and Job Outlook*
Education and Training
In most cases, to receive a job in the financial field, the entry level education is at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field. Usually companies look for a great deal of related experience before hiring. Also, after earning a bachelor's degree, an individual can hugely benefit by receiving a MBA because this shows experience and great knowledge of business in general. A master's in finance is more specific to finance-related fields but is beneficial as well, to show more understanding of the field. There are also a variety of different certificates available such as a Certified Financial Planner.
Valued Traits & Abilities
The financial field holds some of the most influential and important roles in practically every industry now, some of which are covered below.
Bankers or tellers help with the daily activities and transactions within banks and ensure that everything is running smoothly. Tellers generally work in commercial banks, where many people come in to perform routine processes such as opening a bank account, depositing money, cashing checks, and making loan payments and tellers will be there to assist them. Tellers must also follow certain procedures with customers such as verifying I.D. Tellers are also in charge of helping customers prepare specialized funds such as traveler's checks, savings bonds, and money orders or provide information on other financial services such as certificates of deposits. They also must use computer programs to record all the activities of customers so they can easily pull the information for use at later times.
Financial analysts provide the framework for any corporation and help it make sound financial decisions. Financial analyst's main role is to provide advice for individuals and corporations to make the most profitable investment decisions. A huge part of a financial analyst's job is to analyze trends occurring in specific markets and give advice based on that knowledge. Financial analysts can generally be divided into buy-side analysts or sell-side analysts. Buy-side analysts plan investment strategies for organizations with large sums of money to invest including mutual funds, hedge funds, and insurance companies. Sell-side analysts provide counsel to financial services that sell stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Financial analysts must be well versed with the rules and regulations of a country to see how it will impact certain investments. Financial analysts will generally work in very specific industries, regions or products, especially, since now there are more and more global investments occurring.
Financial planners or advisors help give financial guidance to individuals and families. Financials planners must identify the specific financial needs or goals of their clients and then help them make the best decisions. Some of the typical advice clients seek from financial analysts include investing options, tax laws, and insurance. Also, financial planners might help individuals with very specific goals such as paying for education or retirement, or help figure out general financial goals. Financial planners also monitor the clients investments that they helped make and provide regular reports on them and meet up with them to update their investments or overall plans. Some financial planners are also licensed to directly buy and sell financial products such as stocks and bonds.
Most jobs in the finance field will be in an office type work setting. However, there might be considerable travel involved for meetings and conferences. Major financial hubs include cities such as New York City, where large financial corporations employ many jobs in the finance field.