A degree in finance can open the door to various careers, many of which are lucrative. According to Glassdoor, entry-level finance major jobs average more than $112,000 per year.
The finance industry is also highly competitive. You don’t need to have a graduate degree or education at an Ivy League university to land a job in the money sector, but you probably need at least a bachelor’s degree.
If you’re pursuing a degree in finance or have completed one, you are likely interested in your career options after graduation. Here are some positions to consider:
Finance Major Jobs: Careers To Consider After Graduating With a Finance Degree
These 15 positions are just a few of the many jobs you can obtain with a finance degree.
1. Commercial Banker
Commercial bankers build and maintain relationships with those they serve. They help customers make wise investments with their money. They also offer financial products, such as:
- Savings accounts
- Checking accounts
- Various types of loans
- Lines of credit
Commercial bankers are also the face of their institution. They play a role in marketing their company through excellent customer service. Through their interactions with community members, commercial bankers can make a difference in the financial lives of individuals and businesses.
People looking for finance major jobs in commercial banking should have a bachelor’s degree and strong math skills. You may consider getting a master’s degree to advance your career.
A certified public accountant helps both corporations and individuals with their finances by preparing income tax returns and audit records and reviewing financial transactions.
CPAs need to have a bachelor’s degree. They also need to pass a state licensure exam and work under a current CPA before applying for a certified public accountant license. Requirements vary by state.
Corporate accountants work in every industry, including health care, food services and finance. While CPAs are typically very busy around the tax season, a corporate accountant position is more stable in workload and hours.
People interested in finance major jobs in corporate accounting need a bachelor’s degree but not a CPA license. A master’s degree is advantageous for your career; you can become a senior accountant, accounting manager or chief financial officer.
3. Chief Financial Officer
CFOs handle a company’s financial operations, track its profits and deficits and make high-level money management decisions. They are high-level executives working directly with the company’s chief executive officer.
As a CFO, you oversee finance-related departments, such as accounts payable, purchasing and investments. You also ensure that financial reports are accurate and completed on time. You will probably manage many people if you work at a large company.
Generally speaking, a CFO is one of the finance major jobs that people work up to after years of experience and advanced designations. It would help if you began with a bachelor’s degree, though. Companies expect the chief financial officer to possess strong leadership, management, accounting, strategy, and data skills. An aptitude for technology is helpful to keep up with rapid advances in software and business methods.
4. Commercial Lender
If you are interested in analyzing financial information and making judgment calls, you may find commercial lending a lucrative career. They help companies obtain loans. As a commercial lender, you may need to work with multiple banks for a loan package. You will also spend time meeting with company representatives, reviewing applications, analyzing lending software information and approving or denying loans.
A commercial lender needs a bachelor’s degree and a strong understanding of accounting, cash flow analysis and financial statements.
5. Personal Financial Advisor
Personal financial advisors help individuals manage their money. They advise people about budgeting, saving and investing and help them plan for their short- and long-term objectives.
Personal financial advisors have different specialties, so it’s a career with diverse choices. You can work in areas such as:
- College savings
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in financial advising, a bachelor’s degree and accounting skills are necessary. A master’s degree in finance or an MBA can help you move up the ranks. Financial advisors earn about $75,000 annually.
6. Credit Analyst
Another finance major job that involves data analysis is a credit analyst. Professionals in this position work with banks or financial institutions. They determine a customer’s ability to repay a loan. They also look at credit history and risk calculators to advise companies about offering credit.
The national average salary for a credit analyst is about $55,000 annually. The minimum education level required is either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in finance or accounting.
7. Budget Analyst
Budget analysts help private and public organizations plan their finances. They research how companies can leverage their resources more efficiently. When they discover issues, they consult company management and recommend improved strategies.
Many budget analysts work for schools and government agencies, helping them use taxpayer money wisely.
A bachelor’s degree is the starting point for a budget analyst career. Classes in accounting, statistics and economics enhance your skills. A budget analyst makes about $78,970 annually.
8. Financial Analyst
Do you enjoy data analysis? If so, a career as a financial analyst may be one of the finance major jobs that appeal to you. People in this position help investors with money decisions by studying information. They work with big picture data — competitor action, market trends, annual reports and the like.
Financial analysts can steer the economic direction of a company. They have a substantial impact on company investments, money forecasts and risk management. They can also take a diverse career path by working in information technology, biotech and media.
A bachelor’s degree is required to begin this type of career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for financial analysts was $83,660 in May 2020.
9. Insurance Agent
Insurance agents are responsible for a portfolio of clients. They match companies and individuals to optimal products. Some of the duties of an insurance agent include:
- Tracking claims
- Handling policy renewals
- Pinpointing risk management strategies
Insurance agents need to have strong sales skills. They work directly with clients to promote the products they represent. Customer service skills are also essential. In addition, it helps to be energetic and enthusiastic about the products you represent, which isn’t a requirement of most finance major jobs.
Technically, the education requirements for an insurance agent position begin with a high school diploma. Most companies, however, prefer employees to have a college degree. You also need to obtain licensure in your state. The average annual salary for an insurance agent is about $53,000.
10. Insurance Underwriter
Insurance underwriters look at data to determine the particular risks of an insurance policy. They decide who can obtain coverage by reviewing clients’ background information and applying risk management strategies.
If you’re interested in an insurance underwriter job, you need strong math and analytical skills. A bachelor’s degree in finance or statistics is your best bet. If you plan to progress, you may require an advanced degree. The median annual wage for this position is about $72,000.
11. Hedge Fund Manager
A hedge fund manager is one of the finance major jobs that appeal to people looking for a potentially lucrative position. Hedge fund managers make investment decisions about hedge funds. These funds are actively managed and use risky strategies to get high returns for clients.
Hedge fund managers usually earn above-average compensation. The firms are typically owned by the managers in charge of the portfolio who make a high percentage of the hedge funds’ profits. As a hedge fund manager, you work with clients who meet particular income and net worth requirements.
It would help if you had at least a bachelor’s degree to become a hedge fund manager, though many firms prefer a master’s. The average salary for this position is about $70,000 annually.
Finance major jobs can have altruistic leanings. A fundraiser is a promising career path for those who want to contribute to the greater good. You raise money for organizations by arranging events and campaigns for entities such as:
- Medical research foundations
- Educational institutions
- Political campaigns
- Social services organizations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for fundraisers is expected to grow 16%. This rate is higher than the average for other occupations. You will need a bachelor’s degree and communication and public relations skills for this career. The median pay for a fundraiser in 2020 was $59,610 annually.
13. Grants Analyst
One of the finance major jobs in the nonprofit sector is a grants analyst. These professionals help nonprofit companies prepare their portfolio. They plan budgets and look for trends that can aid in decision-making. They also help companies stay in compliance.
Nonprofit companies are different legal entities than for-profit organizations. You need a working knowledge of nonprofit accounting practices. Your skills, experience and certifications play a role in your salary as a grants analyst, but the average is about $57,000 annually.
14. Purchasing Manager
Purchasing managers create and maintain relationships with vendors while evaluating item prices, timeliness and quality. They stay current on trends in procurement and purchasing technology. Purchasing managers also:
- Oversee purchasing agents
- Review and process purchasing orders
- Develop procurement strategies
- Negotiate prices, services and contracts with vendors
Many companies have purchasing departments, so you can likely find a position in various sectors. It is one of the finance major jobs that can cross over to different industries.
You need at least a bachelor’s degree to get a purchasing manager job. It’s good to have skills in management, negotiation and attention to detail. A purchasing manager makes about $67,000 annually.
15. Fintech Business Analyst
Do you have skills in technology? If so, you may find that one of the most appealing finance major jobs for you is a fintech business analyst. They combine technology with expertise in the financial industry. Fintech, or financial technology, describes a range of tech products, such as digitizing and automating financial services. One example is digital banking. Fintech business analysts can also help financial institutions upgrade their technology.
You need a bachelor’s degree in finance, computer information systems, business administration or other related fields. You may also need experience with financial system software. However, your salary may be worth the effort and time you put into the career, as the pay averages about $149,000 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Finance Major Jobs
What Is the Outlook for Finance Major Jobs?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects finance occupations to grow 8% by 2030. This growth pattern is about the same for all jobs.
What Factors Help Finance Jobs Growth?
As tax and regulatory environments become increasingly complex, the demand for accountants and auditors is expected to increase. Market research analysts will also be needed to keep up with the increased use of data and market research.
How Do the Salaries of Finance Job Majors Stack Up?
In 2020, the median annual wage for finance major jobs was about $72,000. That number is higher than the national average for all jobs — about $42,000.
If you’re interested in pursuing a job in the finance sector, try to narrow down your interests. This can help you decide which area to focus on: accounting, business administration or statistics, for example. Then you can tailor your education to fit your scope of interest.
As you pursue your degree, try to network as much as possible. Make connections with people in the financial industry, especially in the area you find interesting. Obtaining an internship gives you hands-on experience and networking opportunities.
Be prepared to take a lower-paying position at first. You can spend time furthering your education and gaining valuable work experience. These steps help you move up the ladder eventually. You can start as a junior accountant, for example, and eventually become a company CFO.
Finance major jobs are diverse, exciting and lucrative. You can have a balanced lifestyle while potentially earning more than the average salary. You have room for growth and upward mobility in most positions. If you’ve chosen a career path in finance, congratulations. You’re in for an engaging job experience.
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