It is no secret that a career in finance is one of the most lucrative and dynamic paths. If you are pursuing a degree in finance but are unsure of the path you want to take in your future, you are not alone. It is easy to get caught up in academia without knowing what careers are out there to suit your personality and lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many doors that are opened to you once you obtain your bachelor’s. You may be surprised at how these different paths will open you to new experiences and plenty of opportunity for career advancement.
- Financial Analyst. This is one of the most common career paths for finance majors. A financial analyst is tasked with examining monetary and financial data in order to help a company make financial decisions. A financial analyst may create reports and developer spreadsheets; he or she must be able to see patterns and data and observe trends in the global and domestic markets. If the idea of looking at the grand scale to make strategy excites you, this may be the position for you. Likewise, an analyst’s potential for diversity is only as limited as the diverse array of business available. You may work for banks, mutual funds, hedge funds, and other financial institutions, along with a host of businesses in a variety of industries.
- Associate for a Non-Profit. This job is similar to that of a financial analyst. You will still study money markets, analyze stocks, and handle portfolios, but you can do so with a non-profit that suits your passion. You may work for many organizations, such as charities, hospitals, museums, and other non-profits like Doctors Without Borders. If you feel like you need more inspiration or purpose, then working for a non-profit might be best for you.
- Financial Manager. Typically, financial managers are involved in the analysis of complex data and market reports. However, the financial manager is issued more authority and is usually responsible for the financial direction of an organization. They are often in charge of payroll, mergers, and acquisitions. This is an excellent job for those with natural confidence in taking on a leadership position. In order to earn a career as a financial manager, you will have to likely put in years of experience as a financial analyst. In addition to getting a bachelor’s degree, many financial managers also obtain their master’s in order to stay relevant in this competitive position. To further boost your education and resume, consider earning your certification by taking the Charted Financial Analyst (or CFA) exam. It is a challenging exam that requires months of dedicated study, but by utilizing resources such as CFA prep courses, you should be prepared to take on the trial.
- Personal Advisor. As a personal advisor, you take on the task of helping individuals reach their goals. You act as a financial coach and work closely with them to help educate them and monitor their spending. For example, a young person may be interested in saving up to pay off their loans and invest in a mortgage for a home, but they need help to plan their future. Likewise, a retiree wants to manage his or her funds to maximize their retirement. This can be a highly flexible job if you are in charge a few clients.
- Become an Entrepreneur. When you graduate with a bachelor’s in finance, you are equipped with knowledge that many other small business owners may not have. If you enjoy independence and risk-taking, become an entrepreneur may fit your needs best. You may, for example, venture into making your own firm in which you are in charge of others. Or, you may have other interests that lie in virtually any field. If you have natural entrepreneurial talents, you will likely find fulfillment in creating a business of your own and utilizing the market to your own advantage.
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