If you’ve ever considered pursuing a degree in finance, it’s a very versatile course of study. For example, as a finance major, when you graduate, you may be able to work in investments, corporate finance, financial services, or more.
The following are some specific examples of what you might be able to do with a finance degree, particularly in terms of entry-level positions.
A financial analyst can work in many different settings.
For example, financial analysts work at corporations, insurance companies, investment companies, and consulting firms.
A financial analyst organizes and analyzes budgets, creates reports, and develops income projections. A financial analyst may also be responsible for creating forecast models, looking at industry trends, and analyzing the fundamentals of the company they work for.
A financial analyst can help identify ways to reduce costs and improve performance.
Most financial analysts have IT skills, in addition to a degree in finance, economics, or accounting.
A financial planner is someone who advises their clients on the best ways to invest their money. Each plan they come up with is personalized to the individual client, based on their goals and their budget.
A financial planner can help clients with things like budgeting and saving, and they can create a roadmap to help their clients get where they ultimately want to be.
Financial planners have a broad education that can help them look not just at client needs but also larger trends they can then integrate into their customized plans.
A budget analyst can work in the private sector or for a non-profit or governmental organization. A budget analyst goes over organizational budgets and then considers the financial impact of current and possible future decisions.
Budget analysts need to have not only financial skills but communication skills as well because they work with different stakeholders, train staff on budget development, and often have to present their findings to non-financial people.
An accountant is someone who can build but also interpret financial statements, which you learn when you’re pursuing a degree in finance. An accountant also has to be able to create and then present visual aids like charts and graphs.
An entry-level accountant job is often a position that leads to advancement into financial management within a corporation, or governmental leadership jobs.
Similarly, a bookkeeper is considered an entry-level position in finance. Bookkeepers record financial transactions that an organization or department makes. They maintain the businesses’ ledger and verify transactions. Then, they can create reports used for strategic decision-making.
A bookkeeper might enter transactions in various databases and spreadsheets, and they create income statements and balance sheets and make sure all information is accurate.
A loan officer works to vet borrower’s ability to repay a loan they take out. When you apply for a loan, a loan officer goes over the financial information you present, and they use underwriting software as they determine whether or not you’re eligible for a loan.
As a financial manager, you’re considered a senior-level professional. Your role is to create a financial strategy for a company or a division within a company and make sure that strategy is adhered to.
Specific things you might do as a financial manager include reviewing financial reports and forecasts for profitability and planning organizational investments.
Financial auditors have become more important and in-demand since the financial crisis that started in 2007, leading to a financial crash.
Organizations, including governments and regulatory agencies, have put in place more rigorous compliance standards for businesses, investment practices, and all financial transactions.
A financial auditor can help a business make sure they are compliant and reporting properly as well.
There are some overlaps between an auditor and an accountant, but auditors also do things like risk assessments.
An auditor goes over financial records makes sure they’re correct and compliant.
Junior-level tax associate is considered an entry position. For this role, you need accounting skills, and if you want to advance in the position, you’ll probably need to obtain your CPA license.
Tax associates keep up with changing IRS regulations and state laws. They create policies that relate to taxes, like estimating payments and preparing returns. A tax associate may also work with auditors.
For finance professionals, the ultimate goal is often to move from entry-level positions to high-level roles like investment banking, commercial banking, or hedge fund manager. Chief financial officer is another senior position for finance professionals.