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It’s no secret that carving out a high-flying career in finance hinges on more than just good grades.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an executive with decades of experience, can you recall what led you to this career choice?

In today’s fast-evolving workplace, accounting and finance professionals must demonstrate everything from razor-sharp analytical ability and stellar interpersonal skills, to a sharp understanding of industry-standard software. Let’s answer some of most frequently asked questions by students looking to pursue a career in the financial sector.

Is finance still a good career in 2021?

A career in finance or financial services is surely lucrative – that we have all heard. However, is it still a good long-term career choice with all that is going around the world? If you are a young driven individual with an affinity for money and don’t mind putting in the long hours then a career in finance is still the best option. Upskilling can happen through online courses, during our tenure you gain valuable insights and opportunities of exits do come more often than any other job.

The demand for a degree in finance is strong, with some of the fastest-growing occupations seeing job increases of up to 14, 15 or even 19 percent. Of course, the best opportunities will belong to finance professionals who acquire the most in-demand skills. While the role of analyst, examiners and consultants see a healthy growth there is a decline in new recruitment of tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents in developed countries. Under-developed countries still see a healthy growth in double digits for all the roles.

The Australia Salary Benchmark 2019 revealed that the past year has seen a 21% increase in the number of finance and accounting jobs posted. ( Click here to read the article by Alexis See Tho in FM-Magazine on the rise in salaries in the financial sector)

Can roles in the financial sector go remote in the future?

Thanks to the pandemic over 94% of males and 93% of females currently working in financial and professional state their job can be done flexibly in terms of location without impacting their performance. Pre-covid only 54% males and 75% females believed so. As per The Wisdom Council, a financial services consumer insight and engagement specialist, and The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). (Click here for a detailed report on Cityam)

This is an indicator that many rolls in the financial services sector may go virtual forever. This will give one greater flexibility and geographic liberty in the future. So, while one can still enjoy the high remunerations one could limit expenses by opting to stay away from expensive neighbourhoods or cities in general!

work from home financial sector

How do I start a career in finance?

Landing a finance job with just a bachelor’s degree isn’t impossible, but it’s highly competitive. The in-boxes, both digital and physical, of industry professionals and HR folks at banks and brokerages are stuffed with the resumes of students who have dreams of big money, lavish lifestyles, and getting on the path to being Masters of the Universe by the time they are 30.

If that weren’t enough, the financial and investment services job market is cyclical. When the stock market is booming, finance jobs boom, as well. But when returns dwindle so do the listings and openings.

One of the best ways to penetrate the market and get your resume to shine is via an internship. At ECA Internships we help students aspiring to be financial sector wizards get selected at graduate program and internships at some of the top financial services recruiters. Our experts not only help you with your cover letter and resume but also pre-select you for top recruiters, making sure that your resume gets the attention it deserves. Over the last few years, we have helped over 7500 students get recruited for an internship at over 500 firms. 65% of these students were offered a full-time position. So, beyond a doubt one of the best ways to get started with a career in finance is via an internship.

Don’t just stop after one: Doing several internships not only builds your experience and connections; it also demonstrates a strong work ethic—a sought-after quality in the finance industry. Try to pick the jobs strategically. Don’t do five internships for equity traders unless you’re 100% sure you want to trade stocks for a living. Try to switch it up a little and land internships around the industry. Talk to ECA experts to help you navigate and shortlist opportunities.

What jobs in finance pay the most?

In Australia, Investment bankers tend to make the most, the average starting base salary for an investment banker is between $75,000 and $96,000 per year. However, a first-year banker can add to this amount significantly with bonuses, and the better they perform, the more money they make.

This is followed by positions like compliance and financial analysts who tend to make about $75,000 a year.

What makes the financial sector fun?

The financial sector is incredibly fun and most bright young graduates aspire to take a position in the financial sector. This is because the sector offers a fast-paced, continuously challenging career and provide opportunities for development and professional training. The salary and perks surely add to the excitement around the sector. However, it is not easy to survive in the sector if you are not passionate about the field as the work can become extremely demanding as you progress up the ladder.

Still unsure whether the financial services sector is right for you? Talk to our guidance counsellor and take up an internship to get a first hand taste of the industry.

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