With all the doom and gloom in the news about employment this week, thanks in no small part to the global financial meltdown, it’s easy to assume that jobs in finance are few and far between. We tell students that finance is a good sector to enter but this arguably only applies when the economy is stable.
Today’s financial climate means that many people are questioning their desire to enter a banking, finance or accountancy job. Banks might have lost some wealth and power, but they continue to be incredibly important to the economy. Without business loans and credit the economy will stagnate so it’s in all our interests to ensure that the financial sector is functioning effectively. Is it silly to consider a career in finance when we are in the middle of a recession?
Recessions don’t last forever, so if you have always wanted to work in finance then remember that the current situation is unlikely to get much worse. There’s no need to abandon your studies and consider a new career path; the financial industry will be back, bigger than ever in the near future, and nations rely on the finance world for growth and stability.
If you already work in finance and are considering developing a new career path while the economy is recovering, remember that one day it will recover and you might find your decision short-sighted. Finance isn’t the only industry which is struggling, indeed many sectors are experiencing hard times, but you can be sure that the finance world will recover from the credit crunch/global economic downturn, and finance will be a great place to be once again.
To be successful in finance, you must be hard-working, good with numbers and data analysis. Maths grades will probably be important, especially statistics, and employers often look for patient, meticulous and respectable individuals with good communication skills, both written and verbal.
‘Jobs in finance’ covers a wide range of different roles, from accountancy to corporate financial budgeting, planning, risk management and strategy formulation among others. There are many different ways of getting qualified for a finance job, but degrees in Commerce or Business Administration are highly regarded.
Many of the top banks and financial companies offer graduate recruitment schemes where the brightest young talent is harnessed at a young age and treated to intense training and development within the organisation. These graduate recruits often do well within the organisations, quickly achieving vertical and horizontal promotions which help them to move into more unique roles. If you are currently at university it is well worth considering applying for a graduate recruitment scheme, as it can really accelerate your ascension up the career ladder. You should also remember that banks aren’t the only finance professional employers – you can also find similar roles in car finance or insurance.