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What type of careers can one do with a finance degree?

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I am a senior and interested in doing finance. I want to know more about the type of careers that are both financially stable and less stressful. #finance #career

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John’s Answer

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Saumya an undergraduate degree in finance can open up a wide range of career possibilities in the finance industry.

CAREERS WITH A BACHELOR'S IN FINANCE

Students wondering what can you do with a bachelor's in finance? Should know that there are a variety of jobs available in different areas of finance for graduates with their bachelor's degree. While associate's level degrees, such as associate's degrees in banking and finance, lead to entry-level positions, like a bank teller or insurance agent, those with a bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance, can typically work more advanced careers. Those with a BBA in Finance or another finance degree, like a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA), may work careers including:

FINANCIAL ANALYSTS
The minimum educational requirement for a financial analyst is a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or a related field. It is not uncommon for financial analysts to hold a master's degree, in addition to certifications and/or a specific licensure. Financial analysts gather and evaluate industry and economic fiscal data to predict investment performance. Their findings are used by businesses and individuals to make decisions about stocks, bonds and other financial stakes. They might work for financial institutions, corporations, insurance groups and securities companies. A bachelor's degree in finance or another relevant field is the minimum qualification, but many financial analysts improve their employment prospects by earning master's degrees. Professional certification, which calls for a degree and passage of examinations, is another way to advance a career. Some positions, such as those that involve the sale of stocks and bonds, require licensing, which is acquired after employment. The average Financial Analyst salary in the United States is $59,000 as of June 28, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $54,000 and $65,000. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

FINANCIAL ADVISOR
Financial advisor requirements generally consist of a college education, training, and professional licensure or certification. Although there is not a specific financial advisor degree, most financial advisors need at least a bachelor's degree. Aspiring financial advisors may pursue degrees in areas like finance, business, accounting, mathematics, economics, or even law. Some helpful college courses for financial advisor training may include topics in estate planning, taxes, investments, and risk management. Financial advisors, or personal financial advisors, inform and offer suggestions to their clients about a wide range of financial options and issues. Financial advisors help their clients plan for specific financial events in their lives and discuss different ways to help their clients reach their financial goals. This may involve researching and discussing various investment opportunities, savings accounts for things like college or retirement, mortgage options, or different insurance policies with their clients. The average Personal Financial Advisor salary in the United States is $64,000 as of June 28, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $58,250 and $80,000. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

LIFE INSURANCE UNDERWRITER
Life insurance underwriters assess the potential risks of providing insurance coverage to policyholders using a specific set of criteria. Computer programs help underwriters make calculations to determine risk. Life insurance underwriters then use the provided data to decide on the appropriate coverage and insurance premium. Many work hours may be spent seated at a desk and looking at a computer screen. A bachelor's degree is preferred by many employers, though related experience can sometimes be used in place of a degree. While there is not one specific major required, having completed coursework in mathematics, finance, business and economics can be beneficial. Several industry certification options are available and preferred or required by employers. Life insurance underwriters typically have the ability to work well with others, have attention to detail, strong evaluation and analytical skills. They use computer software related to the insurance industry and make mathematical calculations. The average Life Insurance Underwriter salary in the United States is $85,500 as of June 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $79,000 and $96,000. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

INVESTMENT BANKERS
Many financial sale agents are referred to as investment bankers. This position involves connecting businesses with investors. Investment bankers advise companies on which stocks or bonds to pursue, and they sell securities to investors to try and ensure that investors are protected. Most employers require applicants to hold the minimum of bachelor's degrees. Investment bankers usually must be licensed or registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In order to do so, a worker must be employed for a minimum of four months before passing the General Securities Registered Representative Exam. Many states also require the completion of a second examination, which is the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination. Although bachelor's degrees are suitable for many positions, higher level positions in this field may require job applicants to hold master's degrees in business administration or finance. The average Investment Banker salary in the United States is $96,000 as of June 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $88,000 and $114,000. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

FINANCIAL CAREER WITH A MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DEGREE

Master of Business Administration (MBA) with finance concentration jobs are typically in the field of finance, but often differ in their specific job duties. Finance degree programs at the graduate level are plentiful. Many states, such as Texas, offer several different finance schools that may also include MBA in Finance degree programs.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGER
Portfolio managers advise businesses and executives on a variety of financial decisions, such as what investments to make. They need a master's degree in a finance-related field and may need licensure depending on what their work involves. A portfolio manager is a high-level financial analyst who makes executive decisions for a company or client. These managers typically work for portfolio management firms or investment banks; however, they can find employment at a variety of firms. A master's degree and several years' experience as a financial analyst are common prerequisites to becoming a portfolio manager. Some jobs dealing with the transfer of securities require federal licensing, and many portfolio managers seek optional professional certification as well. The average Investment Portfolio Manager salary in the United States is $127,500 as of June 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $108,000 and $148,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

If you’re intrigued by the financial markets, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, and you also like to think about numbers, then a finance major is worth considering Saumya.

Hope this was Helpful Saumya
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Larry’s Answer

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Jobs in finance have the potential to be the most lucrative and there is a wide range of fields and jobs to choose from. To start, balancing the level of stress involved in a job with the pay you get for that job, particularly in finance, is like risk reward, which hopefully you have learned about. The more risk you take in a trade, there had better be a comparably high expectation of reward. Similarly, the more stressful the job in finance, the more you have the potential to make.
For example, a portfolio manager is one of the highest paying jobs in finance (if you are very good), but all the pressure is on you to decide on the ideas to execute, when and how much to buy and sell etc. High paying and also high stress.
So you might be looking to be in an area that supports the people taking on all the stress. There a lot of jobs that are behind the scenes, crunching numbers. Budgeting, financial forecasting, risk management, profit and loss reporting are all areas that can pay well while having a lower level of stress and pressure than jobs we would refer to as the "front office" where people are expected to produce.
An entry level position at a bank or financial advisory firm would probably be a good start that exposes you to the world of finance and get you started figuring out in what direction you want to go.
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JAYAKRISHNAN’s Answer

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A degree in Finance will give you opportunity to work with Investment Banks, Asset management firms, Insurance firms, Retail Banking, Auditing ,Consulting etc.
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Asha’s Answer

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There's a ton of different options for a finance degree! This is what my college says are potential careers for finance majors.
•Asset management
•Commercial and investment banking in an international context
•The financial management (“treasury function”) of commercial and industrial enterprises and of financial institutions
•The financial aspects of venture capital, mergers, and acquisitions
•Most aspects of management consulting in both domestic and international sectors

Concentrating in finance also equips students well for careers in law and government in addition to the private sector.
More info: https://catalog.upenn.edu/undergraduate/programs/finance-bs/
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Cathy’s Answer

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Jobs in finance have a wide range of fields and jobs to choose from. You mentioned that you would like to find a job that is less stressful. I'm not exactly sure what your definition of less stressful means. Is it having harmony between work and personal life? Does it mean that you want to be an individual contributor as opposed to managing people? Do you only want to work 40 hours as opposed to 60 hours per week? There are many different choices you can make when selecting a company to work for that could potentially give you the environment of less stress. Will you go into a manufacturing, retail, public or private company. Small, medium or large company? I worked for a medium sized manufacturing company that had a small accounting/finance department. I typically did not have people to perform my tasks if i went on vacation/holiday and would have to catch up when i got back into the office. The upside was that you really got to know your co workers and there is less of a hierarchical structure. I currently work for a larger for-profit company that has more cross training and co workers that are able to back me up when i go on vacation/holiday. With it being a larger company there is more opportunity to work in different areas of the company. You would be able to network with others within the company to learn about the other areas and the types of stress levels involved with that position.
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Connie’s Answer

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Getting a finance degree is a great idea. It opens up opportunities with financial institutions but also with the vendors that support financial institutions. Digital Banking is a critical strategy for all financial institutions. There are a large number of traditional and fintech companies that support this space.
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Cherie’s Answer

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Saumya - The area of personal financial planning is growing and will need many new college graduates as more people need professional advice. If you have a "head for business and a heart for people", this might be a great match for you.

One way to explore is looking at Personal Financial Planning majors in the colleges where you are interested in attending. You may want to look for a CFP Board registered program, so that you earn the education with your degree that allows you to be able to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam upon graduation.

A career in Personal Financial Planning is very rewarding because you get to help people achieve their life goals, through their management of money. PFP is more than investments, but rather getting to know people and helping them identify what will make them happy and satisfied with their lives. Then you help them understand what financial products, strategies, and decisions will help them use their money to achieve their goals.

Texas Tech University has one of the top ranked PFP programs. If you would like a personal email introduction to one of their faculty members, please let me know!

You can learn more here about a career as a Certified Financial Planner and all the bachelor degrees that are registered. https://www.cfp.net/get-certified/certification-process/education-requirement/certification-coursework-requirement/find-an-education-program/results?limit=10&pg=1&q=&program_types=baccalaureate
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Rebecca’s Answer

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Hi!

There are tons of jobs to get into with a finance degree! I specifically work on the FP&A team which stands fro Financial Planning & Analytics. My team analyzes and reports the numbers to the business. We spend time creating budgets and outlooks, then report and compare them to the actuals for that month. I specifically deal with the expense and headcount portion of the business.
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Aditi’s Answer

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Saumya, great question! Getting a degree in finance opens you up to a world of possibilities. Not only is a finance degree great for the technical skills you learn, it also helps you develop a certain way of thinking which could help you in careers like law. Within finance, you have a ton of options - to mention a few, corporate finance, investment banking, consulting, investment management, wealth management, asset management, and so many more options. Hope this helps!
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Asha’s Answer

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There's a ton of different options for a finance degree! This is what my college says are potential careers for finance majors.
•Asset management
•Commercial and investment banking in an international context
•The financial management (“treasury function”) of commercial and industrial enterprises and of financial institutions
•The financial aspects of venture capital, mergers, and acquisitions
•Most aspects of management consulting in both domestic and international sectors

Concentrating in finance also equips students well for careers in law and government in addition to the private sector.
More info: https://catalog.upenn.edu/undergraduate/programs/finance-bs/
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JAYAKRISHNAN’s Answer

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A degree in Finance will give you opportunity to work with Investment Banks, Asset management firms, Insurance firms, Retail Banking, Auditing ,Consulting etc.
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Holly’s Answer

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Hi Saumya,

Great question! Like the others said, a degree in finance can lead you to many different career opportunities. I wanted to specifically address your request for careers that are financially stable, but also less stressful. Some careers in finance can be extremely demanding with a lot of external pressures and long hours. However, there are also great options within this field that are not as stressful and provide financial stability. A couple great examples of this that I would look into further include accountants and actuaries. Of course, these career stressors could also depend on your specific company and are not universal.

Hope this helps!
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Kent Taylor’s Answer

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A degree in Finance will open up multiple opportunites for you. i would suggest doing your homework on any company you are considering . Salaries will vary by company. Good luck to you.
Hey Kent, can you say a little more on what types of opportunities are available for someone in finance? Gurpreet Lally Translate
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Bill’s Answer

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Saumya - having a finance degree as many others have already stated opens you up to a full spectrum of job opportunities. When I graduated college with my Finance degree, I wanted to get into commercial bank lending as that's what my dad did and it seemed interesting to me from what I'd learned about if from him. However, banks were downsizing at that time and getting into a management training program at a bank wasn't in the cards.

Eventually, I looked at jobs at a local insurance carrier and found a job in underwriting. Insurance to me was not a job I had any desire in getting into as all my knowledge of the industry was insurance agents who sold life & health, home & auto insurance etc. and worked for commission. I wasn't too fond of the commission piece and wanted a job with a stable salary and I was willing to give up the potential of making a lot more on good years to have a stable salary year after year and not have to worry about the potential of bad years. Suffice it to say, over 25 years later, the insurance industry has served me and my family very well and allows for a good work-life balance.

The insurance carrier side is a very stable and a growing industry. While we have our ups and downs based on financial markets, you have to remember that insurance is a requirement for individuals and businesses. IE: personal auto, commercial auto, healthcare, etc.

As far as stress is concerned, all jobs have stress, but in no way is it the stress that a tax accountant would be feeling at tax time.

The career opportunities available on the carrier side are quite broad depending on what aspect of insurance or business you want to get into after you've learned more about the opportunities available that seem interesting to you. IE: Personal lines, commercial lines, healthcare, bonds, corporate finance, etc. I'd suggest reviewing various carrier web sites to see what opportunities are available to you.

Best of luck and if I can answer anything else regarding specifically the insurance industry, let me know.

Bill
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