If you are fresh out of college or soon-to-be out of college with a finance degree, you have many relevant career options available to you. The trick is to know what entry-level jobs to look for. This article is designed to help you figure out what your ideal first job is and how to find those jobs in your search.
Financial analyst jobs come in many forms…you could take a job with a bank, buy-side or sell-side investment firm, insurance company, investment bank, and so on. The general tasks of this job remain consistent though regardless of where you work. A financial analyst will do research on stocks or companies and make recommendations on whether to buy, sell, strong buy, strong sell, or hold certain stocks. If you have an analytical mind, love research and statistics, and are comfortable presenting your findings to others, this job may be for you. When doing job research, know that financial or investment analyst jobs may have the word junior in front of them to signify entry-level.
A tax associate assists in the preparation of corporate, partnership, or individual tax returns to ensure clients or employers are compliant with IRS regulations. There are tax associate jobs available at accounting firms that do individual tax returns or at large organizations where the focus is on ensuring payroll is done with proper tax setups and deductions. Another common term for tax associate is tax accountant. If you enjoy researching tax laws, helping others, and preparing financial statements, this may be a great fit for you. When researching tax associate or tax accountant jobs, the word junior may be in front of either of those job titles to signify entry-level as well.
A financial advisor works with clients to determine their financial goals and creates a plan to achieve those goals. The advisor helps clients determine their assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. Then, the advisor puts together this information into a comprehensive plan for investing and saving. While you can become a financial advisor without an advanced designation, like the CFP® certification, you will need to pass regulatory licensing exams, such as the Series 66, in order to sell products like mutual funds and annuities. Many firms hire advisors and put them through training programs to help them pass licensing exams. To be a successful financial advisor, you should have excellent communication skills, an analytical mind, and enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life. Financial advisor jobs may also be called financial planners and could also have junior in them as well. Get more details on becoming a financial advisor here.
Personal bankers help clients manage their money in order to balance financial risks and returns. Some typical tasks of a personal banker involve getting customer information for new loans, selling financial products and services to customers, explaining bank services, and helping with new accounts, loans, bonds, and securities. To sell financial products, a personal banker will need to pass FINRA securities qualification exams, such as the SIE and Series 6 or 7. This may be covered by the employer after getting hired. Other titles you may find in your job search for this type of position include financial representative or securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. A personal banker also needs customer service skills, solid financial knowledge, and good problem-solving abilities.
Auditors check the work of accountants. They follow an organization’s cash flow from beginning to end to ensure all funds are properly accounted for. External auditors focus on the accuracy of an organization’s financial statements, while internal auditing covers internal controls and ways to improve financial management as well. An entry-level auditor may work closely with more senior auditors to learn the ropes of the business and support their needs. If you enjoy analyzing information, possess strong attention to detail, and have solid integrity, this may be a good entry-level route for you.
What if you could job shadow eight finance professionals in a wide variety of careers, with an array of career paths, all in a single day? We created this eBook to make that possible. Inside, we profile eight successful finance pros who at one time were in the same spot you're in now. We asked them what they do, what they like about it, and how they got to where they are today. We compiled their responses in this valuable eBook for college students planning to launch a finance career.