Being a finance major presents you with plenty of interesting opportunities to learn about business models and financial markets while also building new skills. But with so many opportunities, you may be wondering what kind of job you can get with a finance degree. With finance being such a broad category, there are many career paths you can choose.
Here are some of the most common career opportunities for finance majors:
Investment banking is often regarded as one of the more prestigious jobs you can get with a finance degree, especially from a compensation standpoint. In this role, you’ll be working on financial modeling and valuation analysis, helping companies decide on business opportunities that are right for them. These decisions can range from whether a company should merge with one company, acquire another or raise additional funding for a strategic initiative. This is a great role for someone who is interested in helping companies make strategic decisions about their assets and someone who is comfortable working long hours. This is because investment banking analyst hours are known to be quite grueling, especially for entry-level roles.
Management consulting is also highly regarded as one of the more prestigious careers to embark on after pursuing a finance degree. Management consultants usually have project-based work where they analyze certain situations their clients are facing and advise those clients on what business decisions they should make. Most of this advice comes from extensive financial analysis based on the client’s current situation, similar situations previous clients have faced and current market opportunities. This is a great career path for someone who is interested in making recommendations on business decisions but not necessarily being a part of the implementation of those decisions.
Investment management analysts often deal with the markets and managing their client’s assets. These opportunities could range from managing the assets of wealthy individuals (through private wealth management) to managing a company’s retirement plans, pension plans or even foundation plans (which is known as asset management). Analysts in these roles often act as the support role for more senior advisors, where their tasks could be researching different investment decisions, preparing pitch decks or formalizing performance reviews. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who is very numbers-drive and passionate about helping clients reach their financial goals.
Corporate finance roles vary widely depending on the company and division you’re in. Frequently, corporate finance jobs deal with analyzing financial decisions that affect the company internally. For example, offering advice on whether the number of employees in a company should be increased or decreased, strategizing how to decrease a company’s operational costs or determining the return on investment (ROI) of certain proposed initiatives. This is a great role for someone interested in helping with the inner working of a company and contributing to the decision-making process.
When firms think about maximizing return (or increasing investment), they must do so while minimizing risk (or loss). This is where risk management teams come into play. They offer advice on maximizing returns by forecasting market risks, assessing probability of bad investment outcomes and using statistical analysis to ensure that the business side of the company is acting and implementing their strategy within reason. This role is a perfect fit for someone interested in statistics and analysis.