What Can You Do With a Finance Degree? 5 Finance Jobs to Consider
The most obvious answer to “what can you do with a finance degree”? Plan a career in finance.
Financial analyst, financial planner, financial advisor, and financial services sales agent are obvious opportunities that immediately come to mind. According to Rasmussen Education, those fields all are expected to show growth at a greater clip than the job market as a whole, and all bring in a more-than-respectable annual wage.
All four also offer opportunities for working in businesses of varying sizes – from major corporations to a small mortgage company.
These positions also present different opportunities in the type of work involved. Financial managers are responsible for overseeing the well-being of an entire operation--a great position for a detail-oriented person who doesn’t mind pressure. A financial advisor usually works closely with individual clients, a good fit for someone who enjoys the challenge of coming up with creative scenarios to meet each client’s unique needs.
Opportunities like these abound for holders of finance degrees. However, there are other less-obvious but certainly exciting career opportunities in finance. The LinkedIn Field of Study Explorer lists nearly 2.4 million members who hold degrees in finance. Only about 20 percent of them are currently working in finance.
Sales, operations, and accounting positions also are popular careers. In addition, tens of thousands of graduates with finance degrees work in other fields, including art and design, and social services. Explore these non-traditional career opportunities for finance majors:
Sales or business development
Even finance majors who plan to eventually work in areas traditional for their degree can benefit from working in business development, Investopedia observes. Working in sales lets employees become more attuned to customers and their needs. It also helps finance majors cultivate “soft skills” that those with numbers backgrounds sometimes lack, like communication and problem solving. Those abilities, in turn, can help hasten a rise up the corporate ladder.
Working for a nonprofit is a natural for someone with a talent for numbers and a yearning to change the world. It helps not to be overly materialistic--the Wall Street Journal says a business development manager at a nonprofit will start at around $40,000 a year. There are rewards other than financial.
Working for a small nonprofit is a great way to gain experience in areas like marketing and communications. Those skills will look great should you later decide to join the for-profit sector.
Who better to create financial or accounting software than someone who knows financial or accounting systems? In fact, many big software companies these days like to tout that their professional-level software is designed by financial professionals. Financial advisors or accountants need to know that the program they buy is going to suit their needs, and your skills can be brought to bear to assist countless companies succeed.
It’s a little-known fact that the FBI needs special agents in finance. With many of today’s criminal networks becoming increasingly sophisticated, savvy investigators are sought to match wits with the bad guys. It’s a fantastic job for someone who loves a mental challenge while doing good work for the community.
Risk management professional
Risk managers identify where companies are vulnerable, which can include anything from fraud risk to analyzing prospective loans for a finance company. Risk management professionals have a huge impact on their companies—from creating policies and procedures to providing training and technical support, all in support of the overall security and stability of their employers.
These are just a few of the nontraditional jobs available for finance majors. Whether you choose the path less followed or a more typical career track, the opportunities for satisfying, rewarding work are rich and varied.
Written by Ashford University staff.