Choosing a career path is one of the most crucial decisions in life.
And it’s not always easy!
Because too many factors come into play when picking a career path. For instance, what’s your passion, what are you good at, and what income level are you targeting?
So, with so many career choices to pick from, is finance a good career path for you? And again, the answer varies depending on the angle you look at it.
Let’s dive in and see if the finance sector makes a good career path…
Finance: a good career path?
In short: Yes, finance is a good career path to pursue.
Finance is a promising career path for individuals with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, as well as excellent attention to detail. This field offers diverse job prospects and attractive earning potential, alongside opportunities for growth and development. Additionally, finance skills are in high demand across various industries, further enhancing its appeal as a rewarding and dynamic career choice.
According to IBISWorld, there are approximately 7M+ people employed in the finance and insurance industry in the US as of 2023. (source)
However, as with any career path, you have to research the specific industry and job you’re interested in to ensure it’s a good fit for your skills and interests.
Why is finance a good career path?
The followings are the factors that make this an ideal career path:
- High demand for finance professionals: As businesses and economies grow, the need for qualified finance professionals increases, ensuring a steady supply of job opportunities in various sectors and industries.
- Opportunities for advancement: The finance industry offers a clear career progression path, with the potential to move up the ranks from entry-level positions to management and executive roles.
- Intellectual challenge: Finance careers involve complex concepts, critical thinking, and analysis, providing an intellectually stimulating environment for those who enjoy problem-solving and continuous learning.
- Global opportunities: Finance professionals are in demand worldwide, allowing for the possibility of working and living in different countries, thus experiencing diverse cultures and expanding one’s professional network.
- Versatility and transferable skills: Finance equips individuals with skills in analysis, decision-making, and risk management that can be applied to many different industries, providing flexibility in career choices.
Now, we can’t just not talk about the cons of the job and move ahead. Let’s take a look…
Cons of finance jobs
While the career in finance can be rewarding, it also has its downsides.
- Intense competition: The finance sector is known for its competitive nature, with professionals vying for promotions, pay raises, and prestigious positions. This can create a demanding and high-stakes atmosphere that may not be suitable for everyone.
- Steep learning curve: Pursuing a finance career may require a considerable investment in education and continuous professional development, including acquiring specialized certifications and staying updated with industry regulations.
- Vulnerability to economic fluctuations: Financial markets and industries are susceptible to economic downturns, which can directly impact job security and advancement opportunities for finance professionals during challenging times.
Top skills required for the job
Here are some top skills that are commonly required for finance jobs:
- Data interpretation
- Financial analysis
- Accounting proficiency
- Microsoft Excel expertise
- Attention to detail
You can also learn more about all the essential skills for finance.
Best paying jobs in finance sector
Like any other job out there, the satisfactory level might depend on the type of finance job you choose. Here are some of the best-paying jobs in finance you can consider:
|Job Role||Average Salary|
|Financial Software Developer||$114,253 per year (*)|
|Financial Analyst||$95,570 per year (*)|
|Financial Adviser||$81,000 per year (*)|
Keep in mind that the salary range can vary widely depending on the location, the size of the company, the specific role and responsibilities. And also, these are high-paying jobs that usually require a significant amount of experience and expertise.
Average annual salary of finance jobs
The average annual salary for finance jobs varies greatly depending on the role and industry.
Some common finance jobs include financial analysts, accountants, and financial managers, which have median salaries ranging from $60,000 to $120,000 per year in the United States.
More senior positions such as finance directors, chief financial officers (CFOs), and investment bankers can earn salaries upwards of $150,000 or more per year. However, salaries in the finance industry can vary greatly depending on location, education, experience, and the specific company or organization. — (source)
Companies like Berkshire Hathaway Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., PayPal Holdings, Inc. and many more have multiple positions with some awesome remuneration.
Explore other interesting career paths:
- Is Real Estate Investment Trusts a Good Career Path?
- Is Energy a Good Career Path?
- Is Public Utilities a Good Career Path?
Whether or not finance is a good career path depends on your individual skills, interests, and goals. But as a broad field that encompasses many different industries and job opportunities, the path offers diverse options for those with Data interpretation and Financial analysis skills.
Additionally, it can provide job stability, career progression, and the potential for growth and advancement. However, always keep in mind that finance jobs can also have some cons like Intense competition, Steep learning curve, and Vulnerability to economic fluctuations as compared to other fields like Real Estate Investment Trusts, Energy, and Public Utilities.
Ultimately, it is important to do your research and carefully consider your own strengths and interests before pushing a career in finance.
- “Investment Industry Career Paths.” CFA Institute, https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa/charterholder-careers/roles. Accessed 13 May 2023.
- Kenton, Will. “Financial Sector: Definition, Examples, Importance to Economy.” Investopedia, 29 June 2021, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/financial_sector.asp.
- “2023 Financial Services Industry Outlooks.” Deloitte Insights, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/financial-services/financial-services-industry-outlooks.html. Accessed 13 May 2023.