Career Paths in Finance

Selecting a career path is a difficult decision for most of us. Keep in mind that most people change paths during their work life, several times in some cases. As an important step, we suggest that you gather information about potential opportunities and required qualifications. Toward that end, we hope you will find the following information helpful.

Qualities/Skills of a Finance Professional

A career in finance can be rewarding, intrinsically and monetarily. Finance professionals use their knowledge and skills to solve problems and help others. A lending officer, for example, can enable a commercial client to expand their business or a retail customer to remodel their home. Successful financial professionals also earn good salaries, as a reward for solving complex problems.

The personal qualities to be happy and successful as a finance professional vary considerably with the particular area in which one works. For example, some finance jobs are very quantitative, some very sales oriented, and still others a mixture of the two. The following skills, knowledge, and interests certainly come in handy though.

  • Problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Understanding financial statements, business strategy, and the linkages between the two.
  • Interest in financial markets and the economy.
  • Communication skills.
  • Marketing skills.
  • Enjoy working with others; teamwork skills.
  • Interest in learning new things.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Good quantitative skills.
  • Computer skills - - e.g., Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

Jobs in Finance

Below is a list of some jobs in finance. There are many, many others. This listing of jobs includes the ones for which most undergraduate hiring takes place and/or that many undergraduates find of interest. Note that some jobs are harder to acquire than others.

Click on your area of interest for more information about these job areas.

Additional Resources for Choosing a Career Path

  • Career Services for COB: can provide one on one counseling and access to other resources.
  • Talk with your professors and finance professionals in your network.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: provides median salary, projected job growth, skills, and job duties.
    • Select "Business and Financial"
    • For finance related occupations see Budget Analysts; Claims Adjusters; Credit Analysts; Financial Analysts; Financial Examiners; Financial Specialists, All Other; Insurance Underwriters; Loan Officers; Personal Financial Advisors.
  • Careers-in-Business.com: to explore careers, skills & talents, salaries, and entry level requirements.
    • Select Finance
  • Vault: job related information by industry.
  • Look over postings of finance jobs (entry-level and higher) to get a feel for types of jobs, job duties, and required skills. Some websites: