In this post, you’ll get to know the best high paying financial jobs for college graduates.
There are limitless opportunities in the financial sector, and it is easy to build a career out of it.
Before we begin, let us talk about finance.
What is Finance?
In my own words, it is the management of money. Could be for savings or investments.
Finance in an academic point of view is a stream of study.
So, ‘finance’ could be defined as the study of different types of money management.
Management of money means the ways in which money is handled, rotated and manipulated in order to make profits.
Businesses, companies, and firms acquire finance in the form of selling stocks or accepting investments from investors.
At present, we cannot imagine a world without finance. It is the soul of our economic activities.
To perform any economic activity, we need certain resources, which are to be pooled in terms of money.
Finance is a prerequisite for obtaining physical resources, which are needed to perform productive activities and carrying business operations such as sales, pay compensations, reserve for contingencies and so on.
Hence, it has now become an organic function and inseparable part of our day-to-day lives.
Today, it has become a word which we often encounter on our daily basis.
What’s Happening In The Finance Sector – Are Jobs Declining?
I believe the job market for finance is not declining.
However, the competition for job is increasing which declines chances of getting relevant finance job.
These are the reasons:
1. Finance is the nerve center
Money is the blood of any business be it a large corporate say Apple, Google, Unilever or the retail store in the corner of street.
Money is involved everywhere together with cash, taxes, payroll, banking, planning and forecasting.
2. Finance is evolving
With the advancement of technology and automation role of finance and accounting professionals has evolved a lot.
From being reactive, efficient, quantitative and risk averse to being opportunity and growth focused, vision-oriented, intuitive and risk-taking.
More focus is now being given to value addition and strategic direction.
3. A broader finance leads to new opportunities
Specializations and expertise in related finance areas includes:
- Internal controls
- Risk management
- Financial analysis
- Investment specialists
- Internal audit
- ERP specialists
These will be valued more when basic accounting and finance are automated.
4. Too many finance specialists
The number of finance professionals is increasing more than before.
Back in the year 2000, a shift in career aspiration especially in asia has been observed from traditional engineers and Doctors to MBAs, accountancy and investment advisory, being more lucrative at the initial stage.
This all results in a more broader finance role and an even broader supply of finance professionals.
This seems to ultimately direct students studying finance to pursue specialization in related fields of interest.
Having an all round experience with specialized expertise seems to be the way forward.
Also, having a diversified skill will be a plus point and a back-up in case one gets bored or made redundant.
What are some of the high paying finance jobs today?
Currently, finance and accounting professionals have high demanding across all the countries in the world.
The scope of finance professional is widen than others because his or her job is not limited to a specific industry rather one can work for any firm as a professional.
Many management professionals across the world are acquiring additional accounting and finance qualifications such as ACCA, CIMA, AAT and ICAEW etc., to grab more opportunities and grow in career.
These additional qualifications explore more opportunities in top finance firms, and also help to partner with finance companies and start your own accounting consultancy.
As a management student you will have a plenty of career opportunities in finance and accounting.
The importance of finance specialisation in masters degree programs:
- You might not plan in your schooling to take career in finance but later you look for better career options with management degrees like MBA in finance, accounting.
- Specialisation degrees helps you to achieve, and prove that you’re more valuable than others.
Career in finance needs people who possess the skills in mathematics, economics and financial theory, so all these are covered in the master’s degree with finance specialisation.
According to linkedIn, the highest paying finance jobs in USA are:
- Investment banking associate
- Regional vice president
- Vice president of strategy
- Director of risk management
- Vice president of finance
- Director of product management
- Senior portfolio manager
Other high-paying finance jobs
1. Chief financial officer
The chief financial officer is the top financial officer of an organization, usually a public corporation.
They direct all accounting and financial functions, preparation of financial and fiscal reports, and investment activities.
They formulate through subordinate officers, financial plans, policies, and relations with key outside organizations, including lending institutions, shareholders, and the financial community.
The CFO is normally a senior officer, reporting directly to the president, chief operating officer, or chief executive officer.
In carrying out their duties, the CFO’s function is principally as the financial architect of their organization.
He works closely with senior executives to provide financial support for the achieving strategic goals.
The CFO directs the financial activities of the accounting group, ensuring the integrity of financial data, providing timely and accurate analysis and management reports, and ensuring adequate accounting controls.
As a high-level executive the CFO must know how to delegate responsibility to subordinates, allowing trusted managers to take charge of various accounting, treasury reporting, and other functions.
The CFO must be able to present budget and planning proposals to the CEO, the highest corporate executive, or to the board of directors.
Strategic planning and visionary skills are becoming more important in what is becoming a global economy.
Salary range – $84,500 to $347,000
Treasurers direct an organization’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets.
They manage the investment of funds and manage associated risks, supervise cash management activities, execute capital raising strategies to support the organization’s growth.
Specific job functions will vary according to the organization size and structure.
Fortune 500 companies typically have a treasurer, cash manager, and controller, all of whom report to the chief financial officer.
In addition to general duties, treasurers and other financial officers perform tasks unique to their organization, and must understand special tax laws and regulations affecting their industry.
For example, financial officers of multinational companies must be familiar with the local banking systems in countries where they do business, as well as foreign exchange hedging and currency management techniques.
Health care financial managers must be conversant with issues surrounding health care financing and federal funding programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Improvements in data collection and analysis have had the effect of expanding the role of corporate treasurer.
In many large organizations the treasurer functions as an adviser to business unit managers on matters as diverse as business risk management and customer service.
With greater demands on their skills, finance managers work longer hours, often up to 50 to 60 hours per week.
They are also required to attend meetings of finance and economic associations, and they may travel frequently to visit subsidiary firms or meet customers.
Salary – $84,000 to $347,000
3. Investment Banking Associate
Investment banking is one of the most visible and demanding careers in corporate finance.
The big investment banks on wall street recruit the most talented graduates of united states (U.S) colleges and business schools, and pay some of the highest salaries.
An investment banking associate performs dozens of specialized services, but the most important of these are corporate finance and trading.
In corporate finance the managing director assists corporations or state and local government in raising capital through the sale of a stock or bond offering to the investing public.
Following a successful public offering investment banks attempt to maintain investor interest in securities sold to the public by actively trading securities they bring to the market.
Full-service investment banks have brokerage divisions that buy and sell stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments for retail investors and big institutional investors such as public pension funds.
An investment banking associate also engages in proprietary trading with the firm’s own capital when they see an opportunity to make a profit.
Salary: $240,000 annually
4. Financial Analyst
Financial analysts evaluate credit quality of mortgages, commercial loans, consumer loans, and assign risk ratings.
They work in the audit department or credit department of financial institutions and commercial finance companies.
They work closely with other members of the lender’s credit department and loan officers.
Financial analysts work a standard 35 to 40 hour week in a central office location.
Occasional travel may be required to inspect a borrower’s property or examine loan collateral.
Analysts examine loan portfolios to determine whether loans meet the lending institution’s guidelines for loan originations and that loan files contain all the necessary documents, and comply with banking regulations.
They identify problem loans, such as past-due loans and loans with insufficient collateral.
They write up a summary of their analysis if loan repayment becomes doubtful and report these findings to the bank’s asset liability committee, senior loan committee and board of directors.
They may also act as senior credit analyst and coordinate credit reviews of commercial loans.
Salary – $35,000 to $150,000
The financial controller holds a key position in large, complex organizations.
The controller manages the organization’s financial records, it’s accounting practices, as well as it’s borrowing relationships with outside financial institutions and relations with the financial community in general.
He is responsible for preparation of short-term and long-term budgets, such as sales forecasts and expense budgets, accounts receivable, and capital investing.
The controller prepares accounting reports for senior management and external reports to government regulatory agencies.
The controller manages day-to-day funds disbursements, including the company’s payroll, and coordinates activities of internal and external auditors.
Controllers are the main budget planners in corporations and may function at the division level or be responsible for overall budgeting and expense related disbursements for an entire corporation.
In large corporations, the controller has a high-profile job, reporting directly to the chief financial officer and the corporate finance committee.
Salary Range – $61,250 to $147,250
6. Investor Relations Officer
Investor relations officers share information on financial events such as corporate earnings and acquisitions to the investing public and develops corporate strategy.
The IR professional today is one of the most influential individuals in the corporation.
The investor relations officer issues press releases to explain significant events and organize meetings with investors and financial analysts.
They are also responsible for preparation of the company annual report, organizing the annual meeting with shareholders and meetings with financial analysts who follow the company’s performance.
They have frequent contact with senior company executives.
Salary – $99,000 to $143,000
7. Management Accountant
Management accountants record and analyze financial information in the companies where they work.
They analyze and interpret financial information that executives need to make sound business decisions.
They also prepare financial reports for non-management groups including stock-holders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities.
Within accounting departments, they may work in areas including financial analysis, planning and budgeting, and cost accounting.
Salary – $62,000 to $114,000
8. Risk Analyst
In the world of wall street finance, risk is a double-edged sword.
Many of the services wall street investment banks provide clients with are extensions of credit, in effect a loan.
Risk analysts weigh the probability of making a profit for the firm versus suffering a loss on a transaction.
They evaluate credit risk to the firm under different interest rate and market scenarios and make recommendations to senior management and the firm’s trading staff and investment bankers on strategies to minimize losses.
Wall street credit is an extension of the securities business.
When clients borrow money from a wall street firm, they are expected to repay the loan.
Repayment terms depend on the transaction type, which can be anything from direct loans to foreign exchange purchases (or sales) and interest rate swaps.
Investment banks measure risk in terms of exposure to a specific market sector—stocks, bonds, commercial paper, foreign exchange, and so on.
If the customer on the other side of a transaction cannot perform in the way they have agreed to, the investment bank has a risk it must deal with.
Risk analysts work in an office setting, generally 40 to 50 hours a week, and have frequent contact with traders, investment bankers, and the compliance departments in their firms.
Many positions in this field have job titles and duties that are unique to the position held.
Included here are job titles such as derivatives risk analyst, market risk analyst, and portfolio risk analyst.
In international banking, country risk analysts assign risk ratings for emerging market countries and advise senior management on credit risk strategy.
This position may require periodic travel to the regions covered to visit key officials and local offices.
Risk analysts employed by credit ratings agencies evaluate credit risk of debt instruments, municipal and corporate debt, and commercial paper.
They assign risk ratings indicating the issuer’s ability to make debt service payments to bond holders.
Salary Range: $50,000 to $100,000 and up
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