Finance is a broad term that describes money management and how funds are acquired. This includes banking, det, credit, capital markets, money, and investments. Working in finance can be incredibly lucrative, especially if you have the right technical skills and culture fit for the industry.
Entry-level positions in finance include Financial Analyst, Research Analyst, or Investment Analyst. Financial Analyst and Investment Analysts work in investment banks or mid- to large-sized businesses. They analyze financial data, market indicators, and business information to recommend the best financial moves for their employer.
A Research Analyst can work in almost any industry, but they most commonly work in finance. They research the current market, gather data on companies that a bank might invest in, and compile reports. They usually work alongside or in a lower position than a Financial or Investment Analyst.
Investment Banker is a general title for anyone who works in an investment bank, but usually refers to those whose positions are Associate level or above. They oversee all of the analysts in their department, put together reports and paperwork, and make the final call on the decisions that analysts are making recommendations for.
Private Equity Associate is a coveted role in finance. It’s the best paying Associate level position in finance. Private Equity Associates oversee the activity of a private equity firm on the mid-level. They make sure that the deals their firm specializes in go through smoothly and report to senior and c-level management.
Each one of these positions relies on understanding the landscape of the finance industry. They also need to do a deep dive on the exact specialty their bank focuses on. Lastly, in order to land a role in finance, you’ll need to learn how to use Excel, Quickbooks, and most likely get a college degree.
Finance Career Options
Here are a few career paths for which you’ll likely need Finance skills in order to succeed. We also include additional info about their average salaries, their day-to-day responsibilities, and a link to learn more about each career.
Financial analysts use their business, finance, or accounting background to analyze data and make recommendations for investments. They study past, present, and future business and economic trends to provide data-driven insights for business decision-making. Financial analysts take on roles as fund managers, portfolio managers, investment advisors, and risk analysts. Many earn additional credentials in the field, such as Certified Public Accountant or Project Management Professional certifications.Learn about becoming a Financial Analyst
Private Equity Associate
Private Equity Associates are responsible for leading deal processes from beginning to end. They work with private equity firms to analyze and monitor data, look for potential investment opportunities for their firm, and raise capital from outside investors.Learn about becoming a Private Equity Associate
A Research Analyst researches, analyzes, and interprets data on markets, operations, finance, economics, and customers in their industry. They can find work in nearly any industry but are found at the highest concentration in the financial services sector.Learn about becoming a Research Analyst
Investment bankers are financial advisors for corporations. These professionals help clients with mergers and acquisitions and advise on investments in capital markets. Companies looking to make capital investments or to expand operations may turn to an investment banker to help locate and acquire capital. Investment bankers have nearly limitless earning potential, as they are compensated for the value they provide.Learn about becoming a Investment Banker
Investment analysts are experts in analyzing financial and investment information and using it to make recommendations. Buy-side investment analysts help mutual fund managers target investment opportunities, and sell-side analysts work with investment banks. Using their deep expertise in stock, bonds, commodities, and currencies, these financial professionals continuously analyze trends to forecast performance. Experienced analysts can become certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).Learn about becoming a Investment Analyst