Top 20 Career Options in Finance
Finance is the business function concerned with investing and allocating financial resources to maximize return on investment and enable business growth. Finance career professionals are responsible for the allocation of funds in an optimized manner to ensure financial stability for organizations. Coursework in the discipline is the gateway to exciting career opportunities in finance.
As businesses focus on unit economics to navigate complexities, the role of a financial analyst has become paramount in every organization to ensure prudent management of funds, credit, investments, liabilities, and assets.
Careers in accountancy and finance are highly sought-after due to attractive salaries, perks and rewards. Not to forget that finance professionals are the backbone of every company.
As technology and skills have evolved over the years, so have finance jobs. So what does a career in finance in 2022 look like? Here are the top high-paying 20 finance jobs for 2022.
Chief Financial Officer
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is among the top finance roles. A CFO directs the financial strategy of the organization and provides guidance to his department. Other primary responsibilities include managing budgets, scouting for new areas of revenue, and liaising with auditors to ensure the annual monitoring of accounts.
Management consulting is a lucrative finance career due to its attractive salary and perks. Management consultants help businesses solve problems, enhance performance, add value and enable growth. They identify solutions for business problems and make recommendations for changes in the strategy. Management consultants typically work with clients and their job requires travel and last-minute plans. Some days are exciting, while some can be unpredictable in terms of client expectations and project demands. Competition is stiff as aspirants with advanced finance degrees find it relatively easier to get into the field.
An actuary is an attractive career in finance due to its high salary and perks. Actuaries use their knowledge of mathematics, statistics and financial theory to assess the economic costs of risk and uncertainty. Most actuaries work for insurance companies. They also work in consultancies.
External auditors are third-party individuals who examine the financial records of businesses, investors and regulators to assess their performance and make recommendations for improvement. Besides famous ‘big four’ accounting firms- Ernst and Young, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, India is home to several mid-tier and boutique auditing firms.
A financial analyst is responsible for collecting and analyzing financial data to enable individuals and companies to take investment decisions. It is a broad field encompassing several roles. Financial analysts must be updated with the latest market trends and investment opportunities in their area of specialization. Financial analyst jobs are suitable for finance graduates who are good at number-crunching and strategic thinking. According to the job listing platform Indeed, financial analyst jobs for freshers fetch an average salary of ₹2,83445 per year in India. Among the popular financial analyst jobs are those of Budget analysts and credit analysts. While budget analysts assess, interpret and make decisions related to a firm’s income and expenditure, credit analysts assess the risk factors and determine approvals for a credit grant.
Assessment of risks is one of the prerequisites of a finance career professional. Risk analysts assess and interpret the areas of potential threat to the company’s asset management and revenue potential, which might hinder its operations and profitability. They use quantitative techniques and qualitative abilities to minimize and diversify the potential risk through currency exchange and various other options. Risk analysts work in sectors such as marketing, sales, production and financial services.
Investment banking is among the most rewarding careers in finance. Investment banking professionals oversee the financial restructuring of companies and use data mining and analysis to make crucial financial decisions. They also handle trading, stockbroking and asset management. They have a sound understanding of financial markets and are well-versed in economic trends.
Financial Planners are in high demand as they ensure the safety net for individuals and companies. Financial Planners are adept in analyzing financial statements, income flows and expenses and creating customized solutions to meet clients’ requirements. Aspirants work as self-employed individuals, establish a financial planning agency and also work in Asset Management Companies (AMCs), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPOs), Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and wealth management and financial service firms.
This is a relatively lesser-known career in finance. Grant analysts work primarily in non-governmental organizations to set up grants in financial systems in line with CRS finance policies and terms and conditions of the grant agreement. They also provide financial management support to various programs in line with the terms and conditions of the grant, monitor the financial performance of various projects, such as preparing budget comparison reports and assist in the review and approval of financial reports.
Hedge Fund Manager
A hedge fund manager manages, directs the investment and oversees the running of the hedge fund. Hedge Fund Management is an attractive career option as they earn handsome incentives above the average compensation. A hedge fund manager is required to devise a concerted investment strategy, adequate capitalization, a marketing and sales plan, and a risk management strategy. While investing in a hedge fund, investors pay the fund management fee, which covers operating expenses as well as performance fees which are divided among owners as profit. It is noteworthy that the personal worth and funds of such managers are linked to the hedge fund itself.
Venture Capital Analyst
Venture capital analysts determine where to invest the companies money. Their role involves a lot of research and analysis to determine whether an investment should be made due to the amount of funds and risks involved. Venture capital analysts rely on business records, past ventures and financial reports to make decisions. Their job is to ensure that the firm grows its revenue by maximizing ROI and incurring minimum risks.
These professionals calculate the cost of products and services. They work with engineers, architects, etc., to devise an accurate estimate of assets. Cost estimators find jobs in construction, interior design, engineering, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.
Insurance underwriters assess the risk before insurance companies offer insurance coverage for individuals, businesses and properties. They work closely with insurance agents to recommend the best course of action and help set premiums for clients.
Private Wealth Manager
Private wealth managers are concerned with growing wealth and securing legacies for their clientele through customized solutions. Their clientele typically includes wealthy individuals and families. Private wealth managers collaborate across platforms to research, interpret and recommend investment solutions to their clients. A passion for investing, sound presentation and communication, and excellent organizational skills are a must for this role.
Purchasing managers procure materials and services for their company. They work closely with vendors to get the best supplier quote and develop contacts to purchase goods and services.
Tax Examiner and Collector
Tax examiners and collectors work in the public revenue department to assess tax records. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that a fair amount of taxes are being paid. They collect taxpayer information, review tax returns, identify errors, and investigate tax fraud. Tax examiners and collectors have a strong background in mathematics, excellent problem-solving skills and knowledge about tax laws and regulations in the country.
Financial Services Executive
The role of a financial services executive involves recommending and selling certain services such as life insurance, health insurance, retirement care and long-term care insurance. He/She builds long-term relationships with clients and provides them with solutions to meet their intermediate and long-term financial goals. They scout for prospects from current clients, referral leads, sales and trade meetings.
Portfolio Managers work to help make a final investment decision for various asset classes through their analytical background and knowledge of the latest developments in finance. Their clientele includes individuals and fund and asset management organizations. Portfolio managers are entrusted with buying, selling and holding decisions in securities. Portfolio managers work closely with investors to explain the strategy and research behind their recommendations.
Accountancy is among the most popular finance jobs. All companies have in-house accountants to prepare profit and loss statements, accounting reports and annual reports besides daily financial tasks. They also help with financial issues such as taxation, analyzing profit and loss, budgeting and detecting fraud.
Finance courses after graduation serve as an entry to accounting roles. Besides arithmetical ability, an accountant must pay attention to detail and have good communication skills to convey financial information to the top management of the company. Forensic accounting is a lesser-known finance career which uses investigative techniques to discover financial crimes.
Finance and Business Professor
This academic field is suitable for those with a research bent, as it requires extensive knowledge of the discipline. Finance and Business Professors usually pursue a doctorate in their area of specialization. They can choose to specialize in any of the disciplines, such as International Finance, Behavioural Finance, Financial Economics, Financial Mathematics, Management Fundamentals, Business Law and so on.
Getting started in finance
A degree in finance opens pathways to umpteen career opportunities beyond the list of traditional careers in banking and finance. The rapidly-changing job landscape has resulted in the creation of new job roles while making some profiles redundant. A background in finance also comes in handy for strategy and growth profiles. A positive takeaway of this trend is that it is even possible to pursue any of the finance courses after graduation. Such short-term courses enable working professionals to switch to a finance job easily.
Hero Vired’s in Financial Analysis, Valuation and Risk Management equips learners with skills to analyze financial data and build core fundamentals in finance. The program is offered in collaboration with edx and Columbia University and is accredited by National Skills Development Corporation. With 340 hours of instructor-led live classes and hands-on learning through a capstone project, the program aids learners in developing industry-ready skills to propel their careers.