Careers in the Financial Services Industry

Financial services are a nation’s core economic driver and allow for capital to flow freely in the marketplace. A strong financial sector is vital to businesses and enables people to secure investments, loans and insurance that protect their assets from loss or catastrophe.

The industry includes banks, credit unions, credit-card companies, securities brokers and dealers, insurance agents and companies that underwrite insurance policies, investment firms that manage money and assets, and exchanges that facilitate stock, commodity, derivative, debt and equity trades. Financial services also include accounting and tax preparation, wire transfer services, currency exchange and banking facilities and global payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard.

Banking services include deposit-taking, lending of all kinds (including personal and business loans), financial leasing, securities brokerage and trading, money broking, and asset management, including pension fund management. In addition to these direct financial services, the industry also provides a wide range of ancillary and support services, such as accounting and tax preparation, payment and settlement processing and other specialized software.

There are many different career options within the finance industry, and the field offers competitive salaries. You can enter the field in a variety of ways, from undergraduate degrees to specialized certifications to entry-level positions that offer training on the job. Those who are highly motivated and quick-thinking have a better chance of success in the industry.

In addition to the opportunity to earn a good salary, financial services offer a fairly flexible work schedule and a relatively relaxed atmosphere compared to other industries. For this reason, it is easier to achieve a work/life balance while working in the field.

To begin your career in the finance industry, it is important to network and learn as much as you can about the field you are interested in. It is also helpful to prepare for interview questions, and to understand how your skills will translate into the role you are applying for.

It is difficult to imagine life without access to adequate financial services, but more than 2 billion people worldwide lack this vital service. They may not have a checking account, a place to store their savings or even a safe to keep them.

Providing these essential financial services helps citizens build wealth, improve lives and invest in their futures. It helps families expand their business activities, thereby increasing household incomes. It enables them to obtain health and life insurance. It reduces their reliance on credit cards and informal lenders. It gives them the opportunity to raise money to make large purchases. It enables them to participate in the local economy and invest in their communities. Financial inclusion is the key to poverty reduction and economic growth.