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Is there a good way for a teenager to learn about financing?

I am a high school student trying to get good advice for my future career. I am mostly debating between computer science and financing. It seems that computer science is something that is easier for me to get into at a young age. I want to know about some ways I can prepare for that career field. #career #college #finance

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Jolanta’s Answer

I was able to bridge the gap and worked in technology at a financial company. It's possible to do both! Find out what you are more passionate about and good at, then see if you can bridge those interests with your skillset. There are ample opportunities out there, and technology/computer science is used at every company and industry. Consider if you want to be more client facing (such as a financial advisor) or if you want to work with a team to build and deliver technology solutions/applications. Having these insights will provide you with the clues to pursue your next steps.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Jolanta for the advice. Daniel
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Michelle’s Answer

You can try " Pathway to Financial Success" program by Discover card. the program's goal is: help student gain the financial skills they need to succeed, preparing them for a brighter, more responsible future.

Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Michelle Daniel
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Patsian’s Answer

You have chosen 2 very interesting fields that have a lot of interaction and dependency with other parts of society and economy. I'm not sure what you mean by "get into at a young age" but even in high school, you can already be exposed to both fields if you find the right opportunity.

The first step you can take is by researching and learning more about either fields. Computer science may be a technical field but there are many jobs that can potentially need computer science knowledge, not just in the traditional computer/technology firms. Some examples:
Developing and analyzing technology programmes/applications
Cyber security analyst
Data analysts and Database administrators
Forensic computer analyst
Game designers and developers
Information systems manager
IT consultant
Software engineer
Web designer & Developer
IT sales professionals or trainers

Many things in our lives now are using important technology and tools that require computer science knowledge - e.g. your school online learning system, your bank account, etc. you can do a bit more research in any of these to understand the technology behind these tools - this may give you new ideas to learn more about this and possibly even get your hands wet. You may also want to explore if there are coding or web design classes in your community, and speak to the teachers/seniors there to know what they do and what kind of career paths they took. You may want to explore an opportunity to intern or do an apparentice ship with offices/businesses in your community that have people holding the jobs above, it could be a good way to learn.

In Finance, there are more traditional pathways like working for banks, financial institutions, etc. This is also called the "financial industry" and there are many pathways beyond studying a degree in Finance that can take you there. However, studying Finance can give you a foundation in understanding this industry.

You could also learn more about roles like finance managers, financial analysts, etc which are present in all other organisations even if they are not financial companies. This is because all organisations/businesses need to manage their finances to survive, so it can be a transferable skill this way.

Last but not least, there are some interesting finance-related fields that may also be exciting to explore, although there may be different opportunities in different markets. There are fintech developments, cryptocurrency, digital wallets/banks, sustainable finance, microfinance, etc. You can already read a lot about these developments in the news, and you may wish to speak to your teachers or local counsellors to find out if there are fintech or digital startup professionals in your communities who may be open to share their "day in the life".

Below are a few steps to get you started in learning about the opportunities in each field.



Patsian recommends the following next steps:

1. Do some research - online, you can already find a lot about companies and organisations that are in either fields, and the kinds of services/products that they offer. Go beyond what are the "traditional" computer or finance companies, there is a lot you can read in the news.
2. Check out your local community - if there are businesses or persons who are in these fields, talk to them and invite them to share their experience/history with you or in your school
3. Talk to your teachers/counsellors about alumni from your school that may already be professionals in these fields, they could come to your school to share their experience with current students.
4. Ask about opportunities to intern or be an apperentice to someone in your community that is working in these roles - you could learn a lot.
Thank you comment icon Wow. Thanks for the in-depth response. I'll continue to look around, learn, and get a taste of both fields. Have a great day! Daniel
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Luke’s Answer

Hey Daniel! Honestly technology and Finance are very intertwined. Having a background in tech is a big bonus if you are looking to land a job in Finance!
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Madi’s Answer

Some ways you can prepare for the finance career field (or any career field) is to take actions such as the following:

- You can make a LinkedIn account and contact people who work at finance companies that interest you. You can ask them about how they got into the career, their daily life and so on.
- You can watch YouTube videos from people who work in finance. YouTube videos are free and very informative. You can find videos about a day in the life of a Financial Analyst, the application process for jobs, etc.
- You can read online articles about the career field.

Essentially, technology and social media has made it very easy to access information about potential career fields. Leverage those tools to help you decide which career path you want to go down. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Daniel
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Linyun’s Answer

Hi Daniel,

As a computer scientist, I will recommend you to learn some basic financing knowledge no matter what kind of future career you will be in.

We are taught that please choose your career based on your passion and interest, not money. It is for sure true, but the assumption is that you have enough money to guarantee your personal life.

But, how? Getting it from parents? Well, for most of people like us, no way.

Thus, how can you plan your financing is the key.

When lots of us mentioned the financing, we all think it is a very professional skill, just like you mentioned, you think computer science is easier to understand compared with financing.

But however, it is not true.

Financing is all about money, and money is the thing we used every day. But for the computer science, you may not know the programming language your game is built on. Then what do you give yourself the blocker that financing is not the thing you can learn at a young age?

I start to learn financing when I got my first job and now I have achieved my first milestone of $1M, way more than my age. And after that, I can say very proudly that I do my job because "I love it" not "I need it".

I will recommend some books you can learn the basic financing knowledge as a beginner. It may directly help you to make the decision on your career, but it will still help you to achieve the life you want.



Linyun recommends the following next steps:

Change your idea about financing: Rich Dad Poor Dad, A Dog called Money
Practice: The Intelligent Investor, A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Daniel
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Nino’s Answer

For very simple concepts, there is a great set of videos on YouTube by Khan Academy. You can find detailed concepts, but also the basics, with walkthroughs of the mathematical concepts.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Daniel
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Dana’s Answer

You can always talk to your high school counselor! They are there for you to talk to whether it be about emotional problems or about school. You can also research about the two to see which one you like better :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Dana. Daniel
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