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Careers In Finance To Look Forward To

Careers In Finance To Look Forward To

Edited By Arushi Nagpal | Updated on Aug 19, 2022 02:37 PM IST

Finance - the one word people either seem to love or hate, but cannot ignore (thank the capitalists for that!). Given the rise of education to prominence in the 1990s, along with the exponential returns that our grandparents and parents have seen with the right investments, there has been an increasing fascination with professions that help manage the most sought-after thing in the world - money. However, it increasingly requires specialised education, a drive to learn intricacies, and the will to develop expertise in one field.

Careers In Finance To Look Forward To
Careers In Finance To Look Forward To

People believe that jobs in finance are highly lucrative. However, that is accompanied by the painstaking education effort needed – a stellar degree in mathematics/accounting/economics/statistics can help open these heavy doors for you, for starters. In many options discussed below, you may also require additional professional degrees to break-in, such as Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), Financial Risk Manager (FRM), and likewise. Typically, these are needed as roles become more complex, and start determining other’s life at scale as it relates to money (the responsibility for others’ money).

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Let’s jump into an overview of what careers behold us in this field and how to potentially break into this industry.


At its core, the banking industry is a network of institutions that help people and organisations deposit, lend, and raise money; banks may also provide other financial and advisory services. There are a variety of roles that professionals can undertake in this setup: relationship managers, credit analysts, security traders, economists, advisors, treasurers, etc.

Investment Banking

The most glamorous and intense job in the world of finance. Simply put, investment bankers help organisations raise money for their needs through one or more sources (stocks, bonds, mergers and acquisitions, Initial Public Offering, Follow-on Public Offer, etc.). Additionally, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a mammoth industry that advises clients (other organisations) on merging with other players or acquiring smaller ones.

1. Private Equity/Venture Capitalist Funds

The subset of investment banking that has seen a meteoric rise over the last few years. PE/VC firms invest in early-stage startups and aid the growth of the business. They may provide strategic advice based on their industry experience and/or funding tied to specific growth metrics of the startup.

2. Retail Banking

This caters to basic banking products and services provided to individuals and smaller organisations (e.g., loans, deposits, credit cards, fixed deposits, etc.)

3. Corporate Banking

Corporate banks provide similar services as retail banks but to large corporate clients (the likes of Reliance, TCS, HUL, etc.).

Investment Management

Investment managers manage institutional and retail clients’ money. This includes some of the largest funds in the world such as hedge funds, mortgages, pension funds, mutual funds, etc., cumulatively the value of which is upwards of trillions of dollars. The roles in this industry include quant analysts, fund managers, accountants, relationship managers, economists, traders, brokers, etc.

Portfolio/Asset Management

This is another high-prestige job in the world of finance. Asset managers typically manage the wealth of billionaires (called High Net-Worth Individuals in finance parlance) and institutions. They identify investment avenues to help clients build wealth in line with the clients’ financial goals and risk appetite.

1. Wealth Management

Wealth management incorporates tenets of portfolio management and more. It aims to balance all aspects of personal finance for HNIs, including accounting, tax management, estate planning, retirement planning, etc.

2. Research

Financial research entails understanding the fundamentals of any business or market, global economy, and industries to make predictions about their future performance. The end users of this research tend to be retail investors, banks, Asset Management Company (AMCs), etc.

Corporate Finance

finance jobs, careers in finance, jobs in finance, finance related jobs, banking and finance jobs, finance career optionsThe Finance Department Is Certainly One Of The Pillar Departments Of Any Organisation

The backbone department in every organisation. This department is responsible for handling all the finances of a business, including financial planning, bookkeeping, payrolls, budgeting, reporting, costing, etc. and may extend to include M&A, fund raising, capital restructuring, project financing, etc. The goal of this department is to maximise shareholder value. The roles typically include tax management, treasurers, financial analysts, accountants, internal auditors, controllers, compliance professionals, etc., with the aspiration ultimately tied to becoming a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The corporate finance function broadly is divided into three broad categories:

1. Financial Planning And Analysis (FP&A)

The sub-division is responsible for the profit & loss of the organisation, referred to as the “bottom line”. They are responsible for management accounting, budgeting, defining the strategic direction of the organisation as it relates to finance, etc.

2. Controllership

Responsible for the integrity of the organisation’s financial statements – whether they reflect an accurate and fair picture of the business. The controllership department also works closely in tandem with external auditors to deliver on the auditors’ objectives.

3. Treasury

You may have heard the phrase “cash is king”. The treasury sub-division deals with everything related to cash and cash flows. Businesses can die in a short timeframe without cash. The onus is on them to forecast the cash needs of the organisation, funding routes, investment avenues, revenue and expenses, etc.

Consulting/Professional Services

Consulting is the art of helping organisations improve their financial and/or operational performance. Management and strategy consulting organisations have seen a boom since the 1980s each year, with the aim being driving growth/reducing cost/helping organisations innovate. At the heart of it, consulting is all about solving problems for your clients. Given the skillset that finance professionals bring in, it is easier to break into this industry and add value to clients’ companies. Apart from the likes of McKinsey, BCG, Bain (MBB), the cream of strategy consulting organisations, there are a few niche areas within consulting which are heavily reliant on finance professionals:

1. Accounting/Audit And Assurance/Taxation

Accounting firms audit the financial statements of other organisations to determine whether fair and accurate information is being provided to shareholders. You may have heard about Deloitte, PWC, EY, KPMG (collectively known as the ‘Big 4’) who lead the accounting, audit and assurance, and tax professional services for the world, a majority of them being Fortune 500 clients. They also assist companies on how to optimise their taxes, by creating structured transactions which can potentially tax obligations. They may also support their clients in filing international and regulatory tax filings.

2. Restructuring And Turnaround

Restructuring essentially is the act of reorganising the structure of a company (legal, operational, ownership, etc.) to make it streamlined in line with its goals and the means to achieve those goals. The trigger for such an exercise may be internal (to increase profits, M&A, change in ownership) / external (crisis, bankruptcy, M&A). In the case of bankruptcy or performance issues, turnaround professionals help organisations return to solvency by understanding the root causes of failure and planning for the longer-term success of the organisation.

3. Valuation

Valuation is the art of determining the value of tangible or intangible assets and liabilities (land, securities, real estate, brands, patents, investments, businesses, data, trademarks, etc.). These values are typically used by a multitude of organisations for M&A purposes, reporting, determining tax liabilities, budgeting, etc.

4. Actuary

Actuaries use statistics, math, and financial theories to quantify and manage risks for their clients, which could be insurance organisations, banks, investment management funds, governments, etc.

5. Compliance

Compliance professionals are responsible for the organisation’s adherence to regulators’ and organisational guidance/policies/standards/processes. Professionals in this domain maintain oversight over the in-house and external controls of the organisation and act as gatekeepers to prevent and manage misconduct.

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Financial Risk Management

Everyday, organisations must manage a multitude of risks: market risk, credit risk, operational risk, reputational risk, interest rate risk, political risk, country risk, etc. Risk managers are responsible for understanding and managing these risks (the likelihood of these risks affecting the company and the impact of these risks).

Now that the readers hopefully have a fair idea of what each field entails at a very high-level, the ways to be sure about whether it interests you are the following.

Try Internships

John Keats, the magnificent poet, once said “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced”. No amount of reading can substitute on-the-ground, real-life learning. Reach out to professionals in these industries (LinkedIn is a great equalizer in today’s age to build these networks – don’t forget the power of your school and college alumni networks) and check if you can apply for internships in their organisations. The learning curve will be steep, and you will understand whether this aligns with your professional interests, even if they are unpaid internships.

finance jobs, careers in finance, jobs in finance, finance related jobs, banking and finance jobs, finance career optionsNothing Ever Becomes Real Till It Is Experienced

Talk To People

Connect with professionals in these industries to understand what their typical workday looks like, what are the organisation, department, and project objectives they start out with and what they do day in, day out to help achieve those objectives. Many times, the work objectives may sound fancy, while to achieve them, daily tasks may not necessarily align with your interests.

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Participate In College Events

Apart from the obvious music artists’ draw at college festivals, a variety of competitions (both online and offline) can help you solve real-life challenges in a simplified way. They can also give you the flavour of challenges faced by organisations and approaches for solving that challenge. It will enable you to build industry knowledge, learn from others who may be interested in similar fields, and try your hand at different problems in a short span of time.

With that, I will leave you to ponder upon a quote by Ellen DeGeneres, “I say always follow your passion, no matter what, because even if it’s not the same financial success, it’ll lead you to the money that’ll make you the happiest.”

Arushi Nagpal is Senior Consultant with the Strategy and Innovation Team at Deloitte. She drives technology transformation, growth strategy, market-entry, and service development projects, which drive long-term success for the firm. She also explores the business impact of emerging trends and technologies on the firm and its clients. However, the views expressed in this article are personal and do not represent the views of Deloitte or affiliate organisations.


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