A career in finance can be extremely rewarding. Not only does it pay a generous salary, but it allows you to work in the core of powerful companies in the market places. You actions cause change, and move entire markets, and as a financial professional you weld a lot of power over the economy and society itself.What are the best careers in finance? In other words, what careers should you be pursuing?#7 Money Management Salary range: $50,000 to $100,000 / yrIf you like crunching numbers then money management might be a good finance career to consider. Money managers usually work for investment firms and like the title hints, they manage institutional money, investing it in stocks and bonds.ConsSome of the downsides to money management are that it is a very competitive industry. You will need to work hard to stand out and advance in your career. Since you will need to work your way in, often times you have to accept lower paying positions to gain experience.ProsYou can work for many large firms like State Street Global and Barclays who manage billions of dollars. Also, you get to work with stocks and the stock market, which attracts a lot of those who love the excitement Wall Street has to offer.#6 Corporate Finance Salary range: $45,000 to $75,000 / yrWorking in Corporate Finance basically requires you to manage the businesses cash flow. You will help find money to keep operations going, manage money the corporation has on hand, and help make decisions on how to manage the business finances.Cons The environment of corporate finances is quick changing, and if you are unable to adapt quickly this might not be the job for you. You are responsible for the corporations success and a lot of people are relying on you to do your job well. This added pressure can be stressful. Another downside is you don’t make as much money as you would working for a bank.Pros You job will be relatively stable. You don’t have any sales quotas to reach, or a customer survey score you have to keep at a certain point. Your success in this career depends on your long term performance.#5 Financial Planning Salary range: $60,000 – $250,000 /yrA career in financial planning will have you helping people plan out their financial future. You are basically a sales person for different financial products. You offer people insurance, college savings products, investment plans, and other financial goods that allow them to reach their financial goals.Cons Success in a career in financial planning can really depend on who you know. In order to get clients you must first have access to people with money and you must gain their trust in order for them to want to work with you. There have been many scams involving financial planners and people are more skeptical now than ever. Before people are going to be willing to trust you with their life savings, you are going to have to make a name for yourself through other avenues.You are also going to need some good selling skills. Most of your job will be selling different products, so if you are no good at selling, or don’t enjoy selling, this career might not be the best fit.Pros If you enjoy sales then this job will offer you a great array of products that help people reach their financial goals. It can be rewarding when you help clients afford the home of their dreams or send their children to college. Also, you have great potential for advancement, and talented financial advisers make a lot of money.#4 Insurance Salary Range: $55,000 – $88,000 / yrWorking in insurance is all about helping people manage risks in their lives. You will help people decided the right types of polices and how much coverage they need. Also, people working in insurance do a lot of analytical work determining the value of things and the likely hood of certain events and disasters occurring.Cons Insurance is a great field with little cons, but some people think negatively against insurance and companies that sell it. If someone has had a bad experience in the past they make take it out on you and look down on you.Pros Insurance has great potential for advancement. The industry is growing more and more and there are plenty of opportunities for entry level workers to make a name for themselves in insurance. You get to help people in times of need by offering them support.#3 Real Estate Salary range: $55,000 – $300,000 /yrA career in real estate means you will be brokering properties like land and buildings. It will provide you with many opportunities and freedom unlike any other financial career. You can make great money and work in a variety of fields from mortgages to being an agent. Cons Having freedom isn’t always a good thing. Most jobs in real estate will require you to work as a contractor. This means you will have to run your own business on your own. This requires learning how to be a good business person, and perhaps hiring some help to keep things running smoothly (which means a pay cut for you).Pros In real estate your income is only limited by the amount of work you put into it and the knowledge you have about what you are doing. The added freedom allows you to set your own vacations and work as many hours as you want (or as few as you can afford). Most of the time you will get to work in different locations each and every day which keeps work from getting boring and dull. Plus, you dealing with large transactions, which means big rewards for each successful adventure.#2 Investment Banking Salary range: $100,000 to $230,000 /yrWorking in the investment banking industry you will help companies and government issue securities. You will also help people purchase securities and provide financial products. Mergers and acquisitions are handled by investment banks. It is an exciting face paced career with high stress levels and lots of challenges.Cons Investment banking takes a lot of expertise, and because of that workers must slowing climb their way up the corporate ladder. Also, when financial crises hits, which the enviably do, this industry is one of the hardest hit. One day you might have the most successful day of your career to be blind sided the next day with a huge downswing. You need to be able to take the pressure.Pros The biggest attractor is the large salaries. Next to that is the excitement the career involves. Every day you will be faced with new challenges and different demands making your work exciting and ever changing. You also get to help people and institutions manage the money to get the most out of it.#1 Hedge Funds Salary range $100,00 to $250 million /yrA hedge fund job is the holy grail of any financial professional. Not only is the money the best in the industry, the respect and notoriety is also very nice. The road to working in hedge funds in long and hard. You must be smart and trustworthy, as well as passionate about your work. You will basically be running the hedge fund trying to maximize return.Cons The job is stressful and highly competitive. Your career is based on the results you can provide. In order to pursue a career in this field you must go through a long career ladder that takes many years to navigate.Pros Hard working professionals in the hedge fund industry can make upwards of $2 million a year before they reach 35. Plus, since hedge fund managers work with such large sums of money, everyone is suddenly your friend and you get to enjoy a financial world celebrity.In ConclusionThere are many different career options in finance, and these are just a few. These might not be a perfect match for you, but in the financial industry these are the jobs that most people want and seek. They pay well, and many offer opportunities to improve your community and people’s lives. What financial career is calling out to you?
In the not so long-gone past, many career advisers were advising young people seeking to start out a career to go into finance. The financial markets were doing well then, finance jobs were in plenty and MBA schools were bursting with young students seeking to build a career in finance. And the finance jobs were, of course, not limited to the financial markets. With a strong economy, finance graduates who couldn’t get jobs in the financial markets and investment banks could quite easily be absorbed into commerce and industry accounting jobs. Other would get middle office finance jobs in the public service, and going was good.Then the bubble burst.The economy went into recession mode, the financial markets shrunk and finance graduates who had taken up jobs with investment banks found themselves facing the axe, as the investment banks are the worst affected by turmoil in the financial markets. And as if on cue, companies, in a bid to cut costs, were also cutting on their head counts, thus also shaking the fortunes of the finance graduates who found commerce and industry accounting jobs in the private sector. In the midst of all this, it seems that the only secure finance graduates are those who took up middle office finance jobs in the public sector, but even this is not fear-proof for we do not know for sure what the full effects of the economic turmoil will be on civil service staffing.So in the face of all this, what is the future of finance jobs?It might seem counter-intuitive to say, but the future of finance jobs is still bright, in spite of the current turmoil in the financial markets. As it were, economists tell us that the current economic turmoil is largely short-term to medium term, which is to say that it won’t be with us forever. Which means that the people who chose to pursue a career in finance need not regret their choice, as better times are coming. But even before the better times arrive, the people with finance backgrounds who are currently getting laid off might not find themselves in the cold for too long.As governments unveil the various economic stimulus plans, there will be need for people to manage the money as it goes into various sectors – which translates to some finance jobs. Of course the finance jobs created in this way will be for the best brains in finance.And then there is the fact that all companies, like human beings, have a native survival instinct, which they are likely to find handy in these hard economic times. One survival strategies for companies in crises is to hire the experts who are likely to navigate them through the particular crises. And since the current crisis is financial, the companies are likely to find themselves hiring financial experts to help them address the economic crisis. Of course, the companies are not likely to be overtly looking for finance experts to help them address the financial crises. What we are likely to see is an increase in commerce and industry accounting jobs, but the accountants so hired are bound to be almost exclusively tasked with cost and revenue management tasks, geared towards helping their employers sail through the turbulent times successfully.And finally the good times will surely come back again. If the history of the financial markets is anything to go by, we know that all bursts are always followed by booms.