Is Finance a Good Career Path to Pursue in 2023?

diana veronica
Diana Veronica

Published on 1 June 2023

finance career path

If you're considering a career in finance. You may be wondering if it's a good choice. In this article, we will goes over the question: "Is finance a good career path?"

We will explore its potential for growth, job prospects, and the skills required to excel in the field. Are you ready to explore the fascinating world of the finance industry? Let's get started!

Dive Into the Finance Industry

The finance industry is a complex and ever-changing field. It covers a range of tasks including budgeting, investing, risk management, and so on. Basically, the core goal of finance is to meet financial goals by maximize asset value and optimize the allocation of funds.

That’s why finance-related job can be a good fit for those who enjoy working with numbers, making profitable investments, and helping people make financial decisions. the field of finance can be a good fit. In fact, many finance companies are actively looking for talented individuals who are eager to learn and grow, including fresh graduates.

The following entry-level positions in the financial sector will be in high demand in 2023:

  • Financial analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Insurance agent

Finance Job Landscape Overview

To provide a better understanding of the finance career landscape, here are some key areas within the finance industry.

Investment Banking

Investment banking is a dynamic yet exciting field that offers the opportunity to work on challenging yet rewarding financial transactions. Investment bankers advise companies, governments, and other institutions on a wide range of financial matter. Including capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings. 

Investment bankers must have a deep understanding of financial markets and a strong analysis and problem-solving skills. They have to work under pressure within tight deadlines.

  • Average base salary in US: $125,110/year
  • Average base salary increase from 2018-2023: 16.1%

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of job roles. These roles are focused on managing the financial activities of corporations. Corporate finance task such as financial plan, budget plan, investment analysis, capital management, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting.

  • Average base salary in US: $95,960/year
  • Average base salary increase from 2018-2023: 12.2%

Investment Management

Investment managers are responsible for investing money on behalf of clients, such as individuals, institutions, and governments. They will try to achieve client’s investment goal by using a variety of investment strategies, such as stock picking, bond investing, and asset allocation. Investment managers typically have a strong understanding of financial markets and a deep understanding of the investment products they offer.

  • Average base salary in US: $105,150/year
  • Average base salary increase from 2018-2023: 14.1%

Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

FP&A is an exciting field within the finance sector that combines financial planning, analysis, and strategic decision-making. It offers professionals the chance to work closely with companies to shape their financial future, analyze data, forecast outcomes, and drive growth. With its dynamic nature and direct impact on organizational success, FP&A is an attractive career path for finance enthusiasts looking to make a significant difference in the business world.

  • Average base salary in US: $75,940
  • Average yearly base salary increase from 2018-2023: 10.2%

Risk Management

Risk management in the finance sector involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks that organizations face. Professionals in this field are responsible for evaluating various types of risks, such as market risk, credit risk, operationl risk, and regulatory risk. They develop strategies and implement measures to minimize these risks, ensure compliance with regulations, and safeguard the company’s financial well-being. 

Risk management professionals utilize tools, such as risk assessments, risk models, and risk mitigation plans, to proactively identify potential threats and devise appropriate risk management strategies, ultimately protecting the organization from financial losses and ensuring its long-term stability.

  • Average base salary in US:  $90,120
  • Average yearly base salary increase from 2018-2023: 11.3%

Future Challenges and Opportunities for Finance Career

Finance industry has a lot of benefits and opportunities. Below are a few of them:

1. Career Progression

Finance careers often offer clear paths for advancement and professional growth. As you gain experience and expertise, you can progress to higher-level roles with increased responsibilities and opportunities for leadership positions.

2. Financial Reward

The finance sector is known for its potential for high salaries and lucrative bonuses, particularly in roles such as investment banking and private equity. A successful career in finance can offer financial stability and substantial earning potential.

3. Job Security

Job security is a significant advantage of working in the finance sector. Due to the industry's crucial role in the global economy, professionals in finance often enjoy a higher level of stability and protection against economic uncertainties compared to other sectors.

4. The Rise Of New Technologies

The rise of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, has indeed brought significant transformation to the finance industry. This is creating new opportunities for finance professionals who are able to adapt to these changes.

On the other hand, finance sector is a rewarding but challenging field. Here are some challenges that finance professional might had to face

5. High Pressure Environment

The finance industry can be highly stressful, particularly in roles that involve risk management, investment analysis, or trading. Handling high-pressure situations, making time-sensitive decisions, and managing financial risks can contribute to stress and pressure.

6. Fast-Paced Environment

Finance careers often operate in fast-paced and dynamic environments, requiring professionals to adapt quickly to market changes, regulatory updates, and technological advancements. Keeping up with the latest industry trends and maintaining its competition can be demanding.

7. Strict Regulations and Compliance

Finance professionals must navigate through complex regulatory frameworks, such as tax laws, financial reporting standards, and compliance requirements. Staying up to date with changing regulations and ensuring adherence to legal and ethical standards can be challenging.

8. Complexity of Financial Markets

Financial markets are becoming increasingly complex, and this is making it difficult for even experienced professionals to keep up with the latest trends. This is leading to increased risk for investors, and it is also making it more difficult for financial professionals to provide accurate advice to their clients.

Is Finance a Good Career Path in 2023?

The finance industry is renowned for its continuous growth and transformation, offering abundant opportunities to individuals with suitable preference and experience. Finance professionals have the chance to work in diverse environments, including banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and government agencies. They can also work in a variety of roles.

The finance industry is also known for its high salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for financial managers was $134,290 in 2020. This is significantly higher than the median annual salary for all occupations, which was $56,310.

Of course, each career path has challenges of its own. The finance industry can be demanding and stressful, and it requires a high level of knowledge and expertise. However, for those who are up for the challenge, a career in finance can be very rewarding.

In-demand Skill Set to Build Career in Finance

Let’s take a closer look at each of these must-have skills that will help you achieve more in a finance career!

1. Analysis skills

Data and numbers are everything in finance. Thus, having strong analysis skills are vital in finance careers. It is necessary for you to be able to interpret financial data, evaluate financial statements, or identify trends and patterns. A solid understanding of financial ratios, valuation techniques, and financial modeling can improve your capacity to provide valuable insights.

2. Data Management

In finance roles, you will often work with large volumes of financial data, such as transaction records, market data, or customer information. Data management includes tasks like data entry, data cleansing, data validation, and ensuring data accuracy and integrity. Effective data management ensures reliable and accessible information for financial analysis, reporting, and decision-making. It also contributes to regulatory compliance and enables efficient retrieval of data for audits or inquiries,  which is crucial in today's data-driven finance industry.

3. Risk analysis

Risk analysis involves identifying, assessing, and managing potential risks associated with financial decisions, investments, or projects. It enables finance professionals to understand the potential impact of risks on financial outcomes and make informed decisions to mitigate them. Strong risk analysis skills demonstrate a thorough understanding of the complexities of the finance industry and enhance one's ability to assess and mitigate potential risks, making them a valuable asset in finance roles.

4. Quantitative skills

A strong foundation of quantitative skills is also vital for every finance professionals, as it forms the basis for critical tasks such as data analysis, financial modeling, risk assessment, and decision-making

5. Ethical conduct

Finance professionals are charged with managing financial resources and making critical financial decisions. Upholding ethical standards is essential for fostering credibility, preserving trustworthiness, and ensuring compliance to legal and regulatory frameworks.

6. Business acumen

Finance professionals must have a thorough understanding of the business landscape as a whole. Developing business acumen helps you align financial decisions with the company's goals and strategy. It requires having an in-depth understanding of market dynamics, industry trends, and the competitive landscape.

7. Adapt to Technology

The finance industry is rapidly adopting financial technologies and data analytics tools. Being familiar with financial software, data analysis tools, and automation systems can give you a competitive edge. Stay updated with industry-specific software, such as accounting software or financial modeling tools, to streamline processes and enhance your efficiency.

8. Communication

Since you frequently need to explain complex financial information to both technical and non-technical stakeholders, strong communication skills are absolutely essential for careers in finance. You can present your analysis, suggestions, and financial insights in a clear and compelling manner by using effective communication skills.

9. Attention to detail

Precision and accuracy are of utmost importance in finance. A keen eye to detail ensures the accuracy of financial reporting, calculations, and analysis.  It helps to minimize errors, maintain compliance with regulations, and build trust in your work.

10. Problem solving

Dealing with challenging financial issues is a common part of finance careers. Hence, having critical thinking, problem-solving, and problem-analysis skills is very important. You can navigate financial complexity, identify risks, and suggest successful strategies with effective problem-solving abilities.

Conclusion

Well, the finance industry presents a vast ocean of opportunities waiting to be explored. To embark on this exciting journey, it is crucial to equip yourself with the in-demand skills that will set you apart from the competition. 

That's why we encourage you to download our curated list of free online courses designed to enhance your skill set. Download now and take the first step towards a successful finance career. Remember, the path to success begins with knowledge, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

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