Not everyone is cut out for corporate America…even finance professionals. There are many “out-of-the-box” finance careers out there for those who would prefer to apply their financial knowledge in other industries. If the prestige of a big investment or accounting firm does not appeal to you, this list of unusual finance careers may help you find your dream job.
As sustainability and environmental awareness has grown, so have careers in this field. Environmental accounting is among the many “green” careers that focus on a company’s resource management and environmental impact. The environmental accounting role may include advising clients on what environmental impact their decisions would have, and how that would in turn impact the company’s bottom line. Some roles in this field include collecting information on material flows and pollution controls for executives internally, creating reports for external audiences like investors and regulators, and analyzing how natural resources are used and how they impact the environment on a larger scale. Organizations that hire environmental accountants include large corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits. In addition. there are opportunities for those in the insurance industry to sell sustainable building and other "green" policies. We have information on those in our article about green insurance.
People often think of financial jobs in the corporate sector, but there are many government agencies that need financial analysis as well. Among them is the CIA. If you want to work closely with political, leadership, and military analysts, this is a good job for you. This role would allow you to apply your economics and finance background to dive into the technical microeconomic and macroeconomic issues that impact certain countries or regions, and in particular, areas of potential concern to US national security. Believe it or not, a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or economics, with a strong concentration on international finance or business, could qualify you for this job.
Accountants in the entertainment industry have many different titles: showbiz accountants, entertainment CPAs, or production accountants. Generally, accountants in this field provide a broad range of accounting services for employers, such as an entertainment firm, television or film production company, or a firm that specializes in the entertainment industry. People in an entertainment accountant role manage the finances of a film or TV project, or an entertainment professional’s personal finances. This is an ideal role for anyone who loves the entertainment industry and frequent changes of scenery. Entertainment accountants often move from project to project as they finish.
The FBI is among several government agencies that need accountants. Forensic accountants at the FBI conduct the financial investigative portion of complex cases, such as investigating terrorists, spies, and criminals who are involved in financial crimes. In this role, you would investigate cases, gather evidence, and prepare search warrants associated with financial analysis. Other duties include tracing funding sources, meeting with attorneys to discuss strategies, and presenting findings in court as an expert. While a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification would give you a leg up to get a forensic accountant job, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is enough to get you in the door.
The insurance industry is always looking to recruit undergrads with a finance or business degree. As an insurance analyst, you would investigate insurance claims to determine if there is fraudulent activity. Other important tasks of an insurance analyst are to determine risks associated with covering individuals or businesses and how these risks should impact premiums. There are other options beyond insurance companies for insurance analysts. Companies, schools, government agencies, or nonprofits hire insurance analysts to analyze potential risk issues that could arise and find ways to avoid potential claims against the organization.
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.