In recent years, the finance industry has been growing at a rap
id pace. People are looking to start their careers in this industry because of the opportunities for growth and higher average salaries. However, sometimes it can be quite difficult to get started, especially if you don’t have any guidance. If you have been considering starting your career in finance but don’t know where to start, here are some tips to get you on the right path.
How to kickstart your Career in Finance?
For Complete Beginners
Get a bachelor’s degree
Once you have decided which career option you want to pursue and have done your research on what is expected of you, it is time to prepare yourself for your dream job. If there are some courses that you are required to take or certain licences that you are required to have, get started on earning those first.
Most professional courses and degrees in Finance have a minimum eligibility requirement that you must have completed graduation or should be in your final year of graduation. Getting your Bachelor’s degree, preferably in the field of accounting and finance, will help you enrol for courses like Chartered Financial Analyst or MBA in Finance.
- Take finance and accounting based skill building courses
One of the first things you should consider when working on improving your CV and giving your career a boost is looking into additional qualifications and certifications. Such certifications and licences can increase your chances of getting a higher salary package.
As we already mentioned earlier, in order to get hired as a Finance professional, you need to have all the necessary qualifications in Finance. Courses such as Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or FRM can be pursued right after Class 12, so if you can start sooner, you will be able to excel in your career much faster.
- Find challenging internships
Regardless of whether your desired job requires you to have some work experience or not, it is a good idea to explore some internship opportunities in the field of finance. It helps you gain some valuable insights into the practical aspects of your desired work profile and learn more about the skills you may be lacking.
- Start an entry-level job
The most important step in getting started with any career path or profession is to dip your feet in. Try to get entry-level jobs in finance companies or accounting firms to get some first-hand experience of the work environment or to understand the expectations of finance professionals. While you may start with a smaller salary, this experience will help you a lot in the long run in getting promotions and higher packages.
- Attend career fairs and alumni events
Another great way to get introduced to reputed companies in the field of finance is by attending career fairs or job fairs. Not only can you submit your CV to the companies that appeal to you, but you can also connect with the hiring managers to get a better understanding of the field and how you can improve your chances of being hired.
Attending networking events and alumni events or reaching out to experts on platforms like LinkedIn can be a good starting point to start connecting with people from the same field. When reaching out to people or initiating conversation, always be polite and respectful of how you converse.
For those already working in Finance
- Enhance your resume with additional financial qualifications
If you are already in the field of finance, you have a huge advantage over freshers because you already have the necessary work experience to get started. So if you aren’t already holding these qualifications, you can consider opting for shorter courses such as Financial Modelling or Financial Planning courses.
If you are up for it, you can also pursue longer courses like MBA in finance or even ACCA if you want to make the switch to accounting and finance. For those that wish to learn about the business side of accounting, US CMA is also a great option to consider and can be completed in 6 to 9 months.
- Improve your leadership skills and knowledge of business strategies
If you are looking to excel in the field of Finance, you need to be able to lead a team and command the room with your confidence and expertise. Working on your leadership skills will be extremely important in the long run because it paints a good image of you with your seniors and lets them know that you are ready for a promotion or a change in your current responsibilities.
- Create a mock portfolio
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a mock portfolio or virtual investments, they are nothing but pseudo investments. This practice is great for beginners in the field of stock investing and broking since it helps build some confidence in their stock-picking skills and investment strategies.
To create a mock portfolio, simply create a list of stocks that you might invest in based on your analyses and keep track of them over time. There are numerous online platforms such as Google Finance and Yahoo Finance that allow you to set up a mock stock portfolio and since you aren’t actually putting money on the line, you can take bigger risks to have a better understanding of the financial market.
Highest paying Career Options in finance
- Private Equity Associate
A Private Equity Associate is a professional who works in the field of investment banking. They work at private equity firms and monitor the existing financial data to look for lucrative investment opportunities for the firm. Some of the most important skills to develop in order to be a successful Private Equity Associate are data analysis and effortless communication. Such professionals should be able to analyse large amounts of data of a company and be able to convey it to the senior team in a short, one-page summary. The average salary of a Private Equity Associate in India is approximately INR 7.73 lpa.
- Hedge Fund Manager
Another finance profession that pays incredibly well is that of a Hedge Fund Manager. The job profile of a Hedge Fund Manager is quite similar to that of an Investment Banker. A major difference between these two profiles is that a Hedge Fund Manager deals with high-risk high-return investments for high net worth individuals whereas an Investment Manager deals with regular investments with relatively smaller risk. The average salary of a Hedge Fund Manager in India is INR 15 lpa.
- Financial Risk Manager
As the name suggests, a Financial Risk Manager looks after the fiscal landscape of the company and manages the potential risks to the profits and financial growth. Such professionals are required to have good mathematical and analytical skills and should be able to keep up with the constantly-changing financial market. They should also be aware of the latest rules and regulations that could directly affect the company’s financial position. Since risk management directly affects a company’s overall revenue, such Financial Risk Managers are in great demand in the current economy. The average salary of a Financial Risk Manager in India is INR 9.31 lpa.
In a business organisation, an Economist is a person who analyses the resources of a society and analyses its direct and indirect effects on the production or output. They use this data to make projections and forecasts about future trends so as to help their employer make the right decisions. Depending on how much experience you have and your skills as an economist, you may be required to study smaller communities or entire nations. Such professionals may work for academic research organisations, government organisations or even private companies. The average salary of an Economist in India is approximately INR 9.85 lpa.
A career in finance can be quite rewarding once you get a hang of how things work. Most finance professionals lead a very fast-paced lifestyle and tend to work in exciting and high-pressure scenarios. If you have built a significant client list, you can also work for yourself in the potential future. The field of finance offers numerous growth opportunities to those who are willing to put in the effort and have a passion for their profession. Moreover, if you eventually plan to work for yourself or explore opportunities abroad, a career in finance might be the right fit for you.
The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course.
What are some basic courses to pursue in Finance?
Some of the most basic and beginner-level courses that you can pursue if you are just getting started in the field of finance include Introduction to Financial Markets, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or any other course that teaches the basics of finance, accounting and excel.
What are the top 3 skills for a Financial Analyst?
To be a successful Financial Analyst, a student must develop significant accounting skills, mathematical skills, as well as analytical thinking.
What is the eligibility to pursue CFA?
The primary requirement to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is that the candidate must have either completed their graduation or should be in their final year of graduation.