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Considering a Career in Finance: 5 Key Points You Should Know

06 December 2023 Candidate Blogs

The diversity of the finance industry offers a wealth of opportunities, and consequently, the chance to choose a career that aligns most with your skills and work goals. Not only that; you can choose the entry route that best suits your learning style.

So whether accountancy sparks your interest, you think investment banking could be a good option, or your interests lie in financial planning, take a look at these five key points that will help to guide you in your career decision.

  1. A choice of entry routes
    If you don’t already hold a finance qualification you can embark on this career through various routes. You might prefer to learn in a lecture room environment, for example, and gain an appropriate finance or business degree at university. It’s also possible to complete a degree course through the Open University and other institutions that offer courses online, or via blended learning where you study online and attend a local college or university part-time. Or perhaps learning whilst you work in a finance role is better for you? In this case, you could apply for an apprenticeship or follow a vocational/technical path and gain practical finance skills whilst earning.
  2. A challenging but rewarding career
    Working as a finance professional will be challenging at times, but it also offers you a rewarding and potentially high-earning career. Once you’ve amassed some specialist knowledge and practical experience it can be financially very lucrative. It’s not only financial benefits that are on offer, however. Being involved in finance as a professional brings other rewards, including knowing that your contribution is making a positive difference in other people’s lives.
  3. Diverse career options
    A range of career options within the finance industry gives you the scope to move to different roles in the future using your transferable skills – perhaps from the public to the private sector, for example. Specialising in a particular area of finance for a while, such as accounting or taxation, can be a good choice as it allows you to build up your technical know-how and your reputation within the field of expertise.
  4. A solid career path
    There’s typically a clear career path in a finance role, commonly with professional mentoring and support available from the employer. One way to gain a closer picture of potential career routes that you’re interested in is to apply for internships. You’ll get the first-hand experience you need to decide your future with more confidence, and the timing will be right if you’re accepted as an intern whilst studying.
  5. Finance is an evolving industry
    Finance is at the forefront of technological advancement and ‘disrupters’ to the industry, particularly in banking and financial services, make it an exciting industry in which to work. New and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, enable deep analysis of huge amounts of data and allow finance professionals to use their skills on ‘higher-level’ work. The fact that the UK is also a key international centre for finance could open up opportunities if working abroad is attractive to you or if you’d like to travel overseas in a work capacity.

Seek professional guidance when considering a finance career
Making a career choice can be daunting and it’s easy to be swayed by the opinions of people close to you. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to independent professionals who understand the industry before making your decision.

Before seeking professional career advice, you should think about the skills you can offer an employer in the finance industry, the different sectors that are open to you, and the types of work that seem most attractive.

About the author - Chris Bristow is a business debt expert at Real Business Rescue, company rescue, restructuring and liquidation specialists with a wealth of experience in supporting company directors in financial difficulty.

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