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With more people expanding their horizons professionally, career shifts to entirely new industries have risen. Candidates are driven by personal reasons like growth, salaries, job stability, and exposure to fresh opportunities. For those of you looking to make a move to a new industry, we suggest considering the financial services industry based on your interest and experience. The financial services domain is perpetually booming, whether it is corporate finance, investment markets, international trade, or advisory services. The market is multiplying at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%, expected to reach $28,529.29 billion in 2025, indicating an evident rise in career opportunities.
Additionally, businesses have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are looking for experts in financial services to help them stand back on their feet. Digitization has also become a sought-after domain ever since almost every financial service moved online. Such improvements imply a high future scope in the industry. With this in mind, in this article, we have discussed different careers, trends, skills, and routes you can take to enter and flourish in the advanced financial domain.
1) Understanding the financial services industry
The services provided in this sector include everything from banking to investments and trading to insurance. Some common roles flourishing in this industry are analysts, consultants, accountants, brokers, managers, and bankers. The functions within these roles may include stock trading comprising analysis and techniques required to make informed trading decisions. This may also involve insurance that requires understanding what goes into preparing an insurance policy, terms and conditions, backend data management, and insurance claims.
We suggest starting your evaluation by listing down what each domain has to offer. Then, identify relevant jobs in your preferred field. To learn more about the industry, network and establish contacts with experienced professionals. This will give you deeper access to the lesser-known advice and tricks to build a firm hold in the industry.
The financial services industry relies heavily on analyzing and predicting the market movement. Therefore, organizations prefer to hire talented individuals that not only follow the rules but also have firm control over their emotions when the market doesn’t move as predicted.
2) What are the various career paths?
If finance is your ‘thing’, then there are diverse roles offered in the industry that you can choose based on your interest and skills. We suggest having an in-depth look at each role to understand the requirements before making a decision. Some of the popular and in-demand job roles include:
- Investment Banker
- Portfolio Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Stock Broker
- Budget Analyst
3) What skills do you need to succeed in a financial services role?
Suppose you want to switch from being a software developer to a budget manager. While your current professional knowledge allows you to work with computer software and analytics, you will have to upgrade your knowledge and skills to switch to this industry. Some new concepts that you may have to learn are:
- National and International Laws
- Basic Statistics
- Finance Terminology and Economics
- Corporate Law
- Financial Planning
- Data Analytics
To begin your career in the financial services industry, you need to have basic knowledge about how technology works to carry out various financial transactions. Excellent interpersonal, critical thinking, decision making, analytical, and reasoning skills are key for this job. This is because most of the roles require you to work with graphs, charts, and performance reports to infer patterns, spot potential market trends, and identify discrepancies in client records.
If you’re interested in becoming a trading consultant, calculated risk analysis and damage mitigation should be your strong pursuits. Irrespective of your role, you need to have strong communication skills and the ability to work efficiently under pressure to complete the assigned tasks well within the deadline. Additionally, a learning mindset will help you embrace new advancements like blockchain and Bitcoin technology.
4) How do I begin?
A mid-career change can be challenging if you are completely new to the job responsibilities with no prior experience or existing contacts in the industry. While breaking into this industry doesn’t really require a degree, you still need to enhance your technical skills and learn more about the various financial aspects. Some online platforms that you can use to learn more about the industry are The Balance Money or Investopedia. Moreover, there are short- and long-form courses on educational websites like edX or Coursera, which provide specialized finance and economics courses. You can check out the Risk Management Professional Certificate on edX or Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization on Coursera to get started.
One route to begin a career switch is to utilize job search tools. In addition, you can start building a personal and professional network of people already in the finance domain. Reach out to them and check whether they are happy to speak with you. Their experience will help you understand the key aspects of the industry, skills, and experience you need to make a mark. This will also increase your chances of knowing the best recruiters in town, finding out the most effective way to communicate with them, and exploring opportunities to work with professionals.
Top employers in the industry
Some of the top recruiters in the financial services industry are:
- ECG Resources, Inc.
- Vetted Solutions
- Grant Cooper Associates
- Anderson Young Associates, Inc.
- DHR International
The financial industry will never go out of demand. There will always be advanced technological improvements and new discoveries to make transactions, digital investments, and business operations more efficient, secure, and hassle-free. However, you need to be prepared for challenging situations like cracking the interview, identifying the right recruiters, and avoiding lesser-known career mistakes. Feel free to contact us for any support that you require while switching industries.