Is Finance a Good Career Path? Our Take on Finance Careers & Paths

Is finance a good career path? Let's look at the various options available for young professionals seeking a career in finance.

You may have always considered the financial sector as one that seems lucrative and high-end.

You may now be asking, “Is finance a good career path for me?”

Keep reading!

In this article, we’ll look at the financial industry as well as the various options for getting a career in finance.


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Is Finance a Good Career Path?

There are a few factors that come under consideration when someone asks “Is finance a good career path?” These are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of a career in finance.

Advantages of a Career in Finance

The first advantage of getting finance jobs is that they will usually be highly lucrative. The median salary for financial analysts is $81,590 in 2019, for instance. 

The further along you get on the ladder, the higher your salary will be. Some financial jobs require working on commission, which means you can even have additional income on top of that.

When it comes to working in a high-demand industry, you will be able to experience something that everyone wants: stability! Getting a job in finance will often come with this, just because there are so many companies hiring financial workers. Even if there are plenty of entrants into the industry, you will often not have to worry about not getting a job or not keeping a job.

Another benefit of a finance career is that there are plenty of opportunities for you in this sector. You can go into banking, investments, consulting, and more. The roles are diverse enough to ensure you never get bored.

It is important, however, to note that each area of finance will have different expertise requirements, such as having to pass a CFA exam. 

A lesser-known advantage of working in the financial industry is that there is a degree of flexibility with the roles. For instance, tax accountants are very busy when it comes to tax season, but will have a relaxed working atmosphere for the rest of the year. 

Related Read: 10 Best Cities for Tech Jobs: Top Places for IT Careers Around the World

Disadvantages of a Career in Finance

While there are plenty of benefits when it comes to a career in finance, there are a few drawbacks for you to be aware of. 

The first is that getting a job in the finance industry may involve a lot of stress. A finance career may come with tight deadlines, tough clients, and an overload of work during certain periods of the year. It may be challenging for you to adjust to this industry, but it does get easier over time once you’ve learned how to handle the pressure. 

When it comes to investment jobs, the pressure may also be dependent on the economy. In times when the stocks are not doing well or the country isn’t doing well, it may add a lot of stress to your job. You will have to be able to adapt and secure a healthy work-life balance for yourself.

Another disadvantage of financial careers is the need to have further education, which may be financially difficult for you. This, however, can be a positive point for the people who truly enjoy learning more about their industry.

Jobs You Can Get in the Financial Industry

The financial industry has a lot of different types of jobs you can get into. These are some of the most common ones.

Investment Banking

Investment banks work with just about everyone. They assist companies, governments, and other financial institutions to offer support when it comes to investment strategies. As an investment banker, you offer clients support to raise capital. 

This is one of the most exclusive and lucrative jobs you can get into in the financial industry. Becoming an investment banker can easily secure you a six-figure salary, and the rates are a lot higher for those who work in bigger banks.

There are other aspects that you may have to get into as an investment banker, such as focusing on the area of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). 

You will offer advice to help companies as they look to merge or buy other companies. This will include you having to evaluate M&A deals, as well as the financial statements and well-being of the different parties.

Another potential niche is to focus on underwriting. You will serve clients directly by looking through their debts and equity. You will then pinpoint the client’s needs in terms of capital.

When it comes to specializing in venture capital firms, you will be a part of providing capital to small businesses that are emerging and need help to grow. 

Related Read: Best Jobs For College Students: 75+ Options for the Ambitious Student

Financial Analyst

Becoming a financial analyst is another role that is highly popular within the financial industry. You will be responsible for analyzing your client’s financial data and statements, and offering advice based on them. You will most likely be consulted when a company is about to make important business decisions or want to evaluate their financial reports. 

This is a career that has a very high demand. Plenty of corporations out there are looking for analysts who can support them in their business ventures. In your role, you can be instrumental in seeing a company continue to succeed.

You can earn an average of above $70,000 a year as a financial analyst. 

Accountant

Becoming an accountant is another viable pathway in the finance industry. You will be the one to assist companies as they try to manage their financial well-being or their financial reporting systems. Your job will also be to ensure that a company’s financial statements will adhere to the necessary legal regulations. 

In this role, you will deal a lot with numbers – no surprises there! You will have to analyze the company’s cash flows, generated revenue, and more to find out how well they are doing and how to improve. This will be instrumental in helping businesses plan their next steps to ensure success.

At the same time, making sure that documents are accurate will help stakeholders of the company – as well as the general public – understand the company’s operations. 

As an accountant, you may also be the one managing the company’s documents for tax season. This means that you may find yourself getting very busy for a few months of the year. While the job seems somewhat repetitive and tedious, your analytical skills will be constantly in use and you will keep stimulating your mind!

Something to keep in mind is that becoming an accountant will require consistent learning. You will still have to gain more professional qualifications, which means you may have to go to lessons, study, and do exams while working full-time. 

If you enjoy being on a career path that involves a lot of growing and improving intellectually, this would be a great choice for you.  

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Financial Advisor

Financial planners or financial advisors are there to help companies flourish however they can. This role will involve a lot of direct contact with your clients, as you will seek to understand the ins and outs of their business to know which areas need improvement. 

Once you have undergone the necessary evaluations of the company’s conditions, you will offer suggestions as to how the company can continue to grow. 

At the same time, your clients can be individuals who want to find ways to be more financially secure! With them, you will also analyze their situation and recommend action plans from your understanding. You can then be the one overlooking their investments according to their decisions.

You will most often be consulted on issues regarding investments, tax planning, debt management, and retirement plans. Some of your clients may not know that much about areas they are struggling with, and you may be tasked with helping them understand and navigate their personal finances.

This role can come with a high degree of satisfaction because you will be able to see how your expertise and advice will impact people’s lives. You are essentially helping people manage their finances better to achieve a higher quality of life. 

Starting a Career in Finance

Is finance a good career path? The answer is generally ‘yes’, because of factors such as high salaries, stability, and a diversity of opportunities. When starting a career in finance, you can specialize in different roles such as becoming an investment banker or a financial analyst. 

In the future, careers in the financial industry are only set to keep growing. As more and more companies emerge, they will continue to need financial advice and investment recommendations.

This will be where you come in!

Related Read: How to Make Money in College (25 Ways to Earn Money as a Student)

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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