Is a Finance Major the Right Choice for me?

Finance Major

A finance degree is a great tool to have in your arsenal and can lead to many opportunities. It is a very broad field and you can do many different things with this degree. Finance is defined as the “management of revenue.” All this means is that finance is the management of money. Every business in the world will have some sort of position that deals with finance.

There are 3 main sectors in which finance majors will find themselves working in:

  1. Public
  2. Corporate
  3. Personal

Public:

The public sector is anything controlled by the government. This includes federal, state, and local governments. The public-sector accounts for roughly 20% of the United States’ national economy. Like we said, everything generates or deals with money, even the government.

Corporate:

Also known as the business sector. This sector includes all the businesses and corporations. This is the biggest sector in terms of finance jobs. If you have a job in corporate finance you are in charge of helping find the money to run the business, grow the business (through acquisitions and mergers), plan ahead for the future of the company, and manage all the cash on hand. One skill most employers will look for in corporate finance is problem solving skills. There will be many different problems that arise throughout your career, and your employers will want to see how you handle these problems. You may end up working for a huge, fortune 500, company or a small local business with potential for growth. Job stability is relatively good in corporate finance because it is not as dependent on how much you sell but rather if you keep the company’s long term success in mind.

Personal:

Personal finance entails helping others make investments, creating a financial plan, and helping them chose the right insurance and other financial products. If working in personal finance, more likely than not you will be a financial planner/advisor or a financial consultant. They have different names, but you will end up doing the same sort of things: college funding/planning, retirement planning, estate planning, portfolio management, and give out general investment advice. The personal side of the financial world is heavily based on relationships. In order to get new clients, you will need to win over their trust, because at the end of the day you are advising them about big decisions regarding their money.

 

Like we said earlier, the financial field offers a broad variety of jobs. Below we have listed some potential job opportunities.

Financial Analyst:

A financial analyst provides advice to businesses and individuals with regards to investment decisions. They will review stocks, bonds, and other types of investments before advising clients. This job is usually reserved for corporate finance. Companies have financial analysts that they rely on for investment decisions.

 

Average pay (per year) $80,300
Education Bachelor’s degree
Number of jobs (2014) 277,600
Job outlook (2014-2024) 12%
Employment change (2014-2024) +32,300
Budget Analyst:

A budget analyst helps companies organize their finances. Their main job is to keep spending in check and develop a budget report for the company. A budget is a major key for a company. A budget keeps spending in check and allows the company to grow and expand. This job could work in any of the 3 sectors (public, corporate, or personal). Government agencies use budgets all the time when creating new projects. Corporate businesses use budgets to help growth and to remain profitable. Some people in the personal sector may hire you as a consultant to help them create and manage a personal budget plan.

 

Average pay (per year) $71,590
Education Bachelor’s degree
Number of jobs (2014) 60,800
Job outlook (2014-2024) 3%
Employment change (2014-2024) +1,500

 

Financial Manager:

A financial managers main goal is the financial health of the company they work for. Some tasks they may be in charge of are creating financial reports, directing investment activity, and keeping in mind the long term financial goals of the company. You may be wondering what the difference between a financial manager and a financial analyst. A financial manager is in charge of a financial analyst. As a financial analyst, you are working your way towards being a manager.

 

Average pay (per year) $117,990
Education Bachelor’s degree
Number of jobs (2014) 555,900
Job outlook (2014-2024) 7%
Employment change (2014-2024) +37,700

 

Financial Advisor/Planner:

A financial advisor will be working in the personal sector of finance. The main goal of a financial advisor is to advise clients to make the best decisions with their money, based on their goals. Each and every client will need different advice because they will have different goals in mind. This means that a financial advisor should have good problem solving skills and be able to think critically. Not only do you need good problem solving skills, you should also have a good personality and be trustworthy. The personal side of finance is all about building relationships and trust. You will get most of your business from referrals from other clients, so it is important that all of your clients trust you! You will advise clients in investments, college planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

 

Average pay (per year) $89,160
Education Bachelor’s degree
Number of jobs (2014) 249,900
Job outlook (2014-2024) 30%
Employment change (2014-2024) +73,900

 

These are just a couple of jobs available in the financial sector. As you can see, the financial sector is a very broad field and there is a type of job for just about anyone. Is it important to have good business ethics when working in the financial sector, as you are dealing with other people and other businesses money. Some additional jobs in the financial sector include: securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent, bank tellers, treasurers, investment banker and stock broker.

 

*statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *