Most popular career choices in the financial sector:
- Investment Banking
- Commercial Banking
- Wealth Management:
- Capital Market
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Consultant
- Risk Management
- Asset Management
- Private Equity
- Corporate Treasury Centres
These options have a good career path, but it takes years to move to a higher position and hence substantial career progression requires a long-term commitment. Even though there are several opportunities in the financial sector, it takes years for people to find a role that suits them. One must have patience, intellect, and a thick-skinned psyche to excel in a finance career. However, one of the most important perks to remember in this field is job security. Finance professionals are always in demand, which makes the field pretty rather secure. Also, they have the freedom to choose from a variety of career paths, from banking, investment, to risk management.
Starting a finance career
- Bachelor’s degree in business management
The first step in starting a finance career is persuing a bachelor’s degree in business management. It opens more doors and allows prospective career seekers more options if they are willing to change their jobs later. It is, of course, necessary to note that most people joining the financial services sector do not finish their professional careers at the same place where they start. Many leverage their prior skills and expertise to identify new places that best match their needs. Where you finish depends upon your ability and the opportunity to try multiple jobs.
|University||Placement & extra-curricular||Fees charged||University Rating|
A two-year commitment
|$73,440 annually||Harvard School of Business has an exceptional community upon which to leverage.|
|Johns Hopkins||Master of Science in Finance. Offers full time and part-time programs.||$1,525 per credit. Application fee- $100||88% of students receive jobs within six months of graduation. Business administration was championed by exceptional researchers, like Henry L. Gantt, inventor of the Gantt Chart|
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
If you’re willing to persue a career as a financial consultant, financial analyst, or similar, earning an MBA is strongly recommended. You may still work in these fields without an MBA, but applicants with a graduate degree have a better choice and preference. Another option is studying MBA programs in Financial Economics. The degree will open more opportunities and allow you to advance in your career at a later stage.
- Internships and training programs
Internships are the best way of learning and gaining experience if you’re willing to start a career as a consultant, banker, registered delegate, broker, etc. Multiple businesses, especially the bulge bracket firms, offer structured training schemes that last almost a year, wherein they constantly monitor and measure your performance and development in relation to your co-workers. These programs are known as the probationary period, which could rather be stressful at times. However, the positive news is that you can boost your prospects for success significantly through these training programs.
- Know your work
For a long time, seniority has been a significant consideration in certain financial employment. While seniority will assist you in the Wall Street work, normally the articulate and ambitious workers go forward. You have to be careful and know your work. You will have to test yourself continuously against your peers to figure out how your talents measure up.
Starting a banking career
To start a banking career, you would need a degree in finance, economics, or accounting. Topmost international banks generally recruit students from the best colleges and universities around the world. So, choosing the right school is very important. Also, if you want to climb the ladder really quickly, it is always better to go for advanced courses like MBA and Chartered Financial Analyst Programs. Other than these, internships pave the best way of starting your banking career. Internships help you learn a lot of new things and gain first-hand experience.
Banking career progression
The first step in a banking career is an internship. After an internship one can get a promotion to become an analyst. After working as an analyst, one gets promoted to the position of associate, then a vice president (VP), followed by the director or senior vice president, and finally a managing director. It takes time and hard work to work up to these positions, but let’s remember one thing always: Sincerity and hard work are keys to success!
Growing attraction toward a banking career
- Today, banking has become one of the most preferred fields around the globe as a banking career opens a wide range of opportunities for people wanting to work in the finance sector.
- Banking professionals get good salaries and excellent benefits.
- There are numerous opportunities for growth and advancement in the field.
- The working conditions and hours are really good.
- One of the main reasons for attraction toward the field is that banking professionals get good opportunities to work abroad.
Banking sector in Hong Kong vs other countries
- More opportunities: Hong Kong is one of the important financial centres in the world. There are endless job opportunities here. For professionals studying banking, Hong Kong is one of the most preferred destinations in the world.
- Language: Unlike most countries, as a general rule, it is important for professionals to know Mandarin or Cantonese along with English.
- Pay structure: Bankers in Hong Kong are among the best-paid professionals. Also, the tax rates in Hong Kong are lower as compared to other countries.
- Networking: It is pretty easy for bankers to network in Hong Kong. A large number of expat bankers live and work in Hong Kong. So, making new friends and forming connections are simple.
More career alternatives in the finance sector
One of the most lucrative options in the finance field is becoming a technical analyst. The technical analysts are considered to be the most competent in the industry.
Another option is becoming a manufacturing broker. Here you will sell stocks, bonds, and other contingent securities, both in your home country and abroad, so that you and your company are registered in these countries. It is almost assured that the securities license will boost your financial career. Series 7 and Series 63 licensing are required to work as a broker.
Additionally, analysts may become manufacturing brokers and even change to financial writers, but it is more complicated because a broker typically only engages in transactions and has little to no interest in the analysis process. Also, they lack writing skills, which are important for becoming an analyst.
Career in Hong Kong vs Global career
Hong Kong has always been at the top of its game. For years, Hong Kong has been considered a job hub for overseas bankers. Good pay and a work-friendly visa system for spouses have helped Hong Kong gain a lot of attention.
However, Hong Kong has somewhat started losing its shine now. With global banks giving more attention to China, the opportunities seem to have gone down, especially for the expats, as Mandarin fluency has become an essential criterion for the jobs. At present, the long-term prognosis for the Hong Kong job market remains unclear. After many expat bankers were laid-off recently, people have now started considering other options.
It is not very difficult to get into the financial services industry, but establishing a career and acquiring a reputation as a professional member is challenging. It would be helpful to assume that the task can be time-intensive and emotionally exhausting. The success of the company would be based on your ability to succeed and to conquer the extremely harsh competition.
Richard W. Schabacker, in his book, The New Era of the Booming 1920s and Its Aftermath. asserts that brokers are a phenomenon in the provision of loans and describes other financial careers.
|Career||Jobs sub-categories||Key Roles|
|Accountant||Management accountantAccountant in private practiceAccountant in the public sectorAccounting technicianAccount executiveAccount planner||TaxationBusiness forecastingMonitoring financial performance Advising on investments, acquisitions, and mergers Daily financial management.Audit the paperwork and computer records of organizations.|
|Bank cashier / customer service adviser||Cashiers Customer service advisers||Deal with all the daily enquiriesBook appointments for customers in need of specialized adviceHandle complex enquiries|
|Bank manager||Interpret figures and other financial informationExplain complex information and be assertive enough|
|Brokers||StockbrokerCommodity broker||Buy and sell commoditiesMonitor world markets and advise clientsStockbrokers buy and sell securities on the Stock ExchangeAdvise clients on shares|
|Financial adviser||Financial Adviser||Provide advice on various aspects of financial planningOffer advice on financial products and services like mortgages, pensions.|
|Investment Analyst||Stockbrokers analystsInvestment management analysts.||Analyse the financial marketsProvide ample information for fund management.|
|Fund manager||Fund Manager||Implementing a fund’s investing strategy and managing its portfolio trading activities|
|Auditing and analysis||Chartered accountants International accountants.||Checking the financial recordsAdvise on banking and financial policies.|
|Business analysis||Business management analystBusiness intelligence analystSystems business analystData analyst.||Bridging the gap between IT and the business using data analyticsProvision of data-driven recommendations and reports to stakeholders.|
|Project managers||Planning of the projectManagement CoordinationFinancial control|
|Information technology||Cybersecurity expertDevelop technical support toolNetworking expertIT project manager||Meeting Internal RequirementEffective in Data HandlingExtending Customer ServicesCreative Support for New Product DevelopmentEnd-user Development of the Non-technical Staff|
|Regulatory Officer||Compliance Officer Quality Assurance Inspector||Ensure banks comply with the legal policies.Inspect banking operations.|
|Operations Officer||Operations manager||Develop company policiesMonitor complianceOversee projects and budgets|