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5 Things You Need to Know to Start a Career in Finance

Written by Sophie Down | November 28, 2014 | 1 Comment
AccountingIf you’re interested in working within a specific industry such as finance, it is worthwhile exploring the different paths you can take. Many entry-level finance roles can lead to a successful career with the right qualifications and experience, so Webrecruit looks at what to do next.

1. The Career Paths

Some of the most common roads you can take within the financial sector include corporate finance, commercial banking, insurance, financial planning and public accounting. Each and every business will need monetary expertise, bringing with it the option to work in finance for various industries. You can also become a specialist in a particular area, for example law.

2. The Positions

Entry-level roles can include an accounts or finance assistant (view our day in the life of an accounts assistant blog) , and some lower level analyst roles can be a great start towards a finance vocation. Senior roles can include senior manager, finance executive, finance director (link to FD blog), and financial controller. Searching job descriptions for these positions can be a great way to know what companies are looking for, in terms of the essential requirements and what your responsibilities may be.

3. The Qualifications

There are myriad qualifications you can complete; however, it will be dependent on what role you wish to get to in your career. An undergraduate degree is a minimum for many roles within finance, however, this is not the case for all therefore it is worth researching which particular job position interests you. To learn more about which qualification you may need, the financial skills partnership looks at what qualifications are required for which roles here. It also helps to have good business knowledge, which can be increased with a business and management degree, and work experience within a corporate company.

4. The Companies

Take a look at what companies are around; are there any that interest you? Banks and building societies are some of the largest employers in finance, and therefore can be a good place to begin your experience. For graduates, many companies offer a fast track programme which can lead you to a managerial role, you can view the top graduate employers 2014/15 for finance here.

5. The Finance Job Search

Search online and off for your opportunities. Networking events or your local careers service can provide you with information on local finance companies and jobs in the financial sector. When using job boards, finance specific sites can provide you with further job listings; examples of these include GAAPWeb, CIMA Jobs and eFinance Careers.
Think about what your interests are; would you be better off working in a corporate bank as an advisor? Or would you rather work more heavily with numbers therefore have an occupation as an accountant? It is important to think about what would interest you in the long term, along with the environment of the job as well as your responsibilities.
The following websites offer further advice, information and links to financial qualifications:

ICAEW

IFS Learning

BBA

Finance Careers (About.com)

EFinancial Careers

AAT

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