A career in finance has remained immensely popular and sought-after for a while now. Finance may be your calling if you have analytical skills, mathematical proficiency, and attention to detail.
There are many areas to go after once you complete your bachelor’s major in finance. This industry is associated with significant economic sectors like banking, capital markets, and investments.
If you are considering a future career in finance, here are its five pros and cons to aid your decision-making.
The cons of a career in finance include the following:
Tough and continuous education
While the job market varies and is on the verge of expansion, entering it via relevant education is not for everyone. Globally, finance is considered a demanding major. It takes a good amount of hours and years to earn a license or required qualifications.
Simultaneously, as the job market expands, some aspects of finance, such as trading, necessitate familiarity with platforms like MetaTrader 4. Moreover, the exams are nothing short of challenging. Financial jargon and complex mathematics can be pretty overwhelming. Nowadays, programs like Wiley Efficient Learning are designed specially to ease the difficulty for the students.
Moreover, your education does not stop once you obtain your degree. To keep pace with the ever-changing market, you have to update yourself by enrolling in relevant courses continuously.
All in all, significant hard work, persistence, and a passion for learning are required to make it into this line of work and remain embedded in it, and not everybody is willing and able to put these in.
In the finance sector, not only education is challenging, but also the subsequent employment. After all, a good salary coupled with commission can only result from immense hard work. Whether it is an investment banker or a financial analyst, all associated jobs demand sharp problem-solving skills and experiencing day-to-day challenges. Moreover, you have to be very focused and concentrated when dealing with numbers. Of course, many people are motivated by challenges, but facing them frequently can be nerve-wracking and frustrating.
Nature of career
Finance easily comes out as dull and monotonous among other majors and occupations. Those motivated by creativity and change may find this job limiting and repetitive. You may lose interest and motivation, which then compromises your productivity. Absenteeism might become the norm, and you may experience occasional stress and frustration.
All those years of hard work may seem fruitless if you don’t feel rewarded. Nowadays, the young workforce is less motivated by materialistic gains like salary and growth opportunities and more with a happening workplace, flexibility, and fascinating interactions. The finance line may not work for you if you prioritize these characteristics in an occupation.
Financial services are accompanied by challenges as well as stress. Many jobs are cyclical, so the workload varies greatly.
Moreover, a career in this industry revolves around clients, stocks, and quotas, and they fluctuate frequently. Dealing with such changes requires a lot of mental strength. Many people give in to the pressure involved, and their careers get jeopardized. Apart from this, your career here relies on many external factors. Taking the example of the stock market, political developments, interest rates, and global pandemics all have a significant role. It is not for the faint of heart.
Countless working hours
Financial workers typically work for 40+ hours a week, including the weekend. Working between 50 to 70 hours is also quite common. The numbers for investment bankers go up to 100. So the pressure is exceptionally high in your early years to stick and reach your ambitions.
Consequently, it gets difficult to maintain a work-life balance. In addition, your personal life takes a significant blow in this profession as you struggle with giving time to yourself, your family, and your friends.
The opportunity cost in this career line is enormous as to succeed in your career, you have to contribute a lot.
Meanwhile, the pros of going for a career in finance are as follows:
Jobs in the finance department are well-paid. A five-figure salary is guaranteed irrespective of your specialization. And as you accumulate experience over time, it upgrades to six figures. Moreover, as financial services come with a commission, you have the opportunity to take home more money than the median wages.
According to Comparably, with minor variations across different states, the average salary of a finance major in the United States is $101,038 per year. So if you are after big bucks, you should go for a finance major.
This line of work offers a stable career due to its in-demand and ever-growing nature. Therefore, employment opportunities are many and varied. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is expected to expand by 5% over the next ten years.
Moreover, job security also results due to the scale of specialization. For instance, in under-investment banking, you have further options such as Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), underwriting, venture capital, and private equity. Over time your specialized knowledge multiplies, making you a valuable employee. Therefore, finance can be labeled as a safe career path.
Various career options
A big perk of affiliating with this field is the amount of choice you have for specialization and subsequent employment. Be it banks, the stock market, public finance, or corporations, the finance department is integral to all. So you get the choice to associate yourself with whichever area you find the most likable, exciting, and fitting. Four of the most popular professions with high-end salaries are Financial Analyst (FA), corporate finance manager, investment banker, and portfolio manager. Of course, they have subcategories as well. For instance, as an investment banker, you can go for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), underwriting, venture capital, and private equity.
Among the numerous options you have at your disposal, look for your calling, do some research, and step into the industry accordingly.
A career in finance comes with ample opportunities for progress and advancement. Once you successfully gain entry into the market, there are numerous opportunities for you to advance in your career, and that too at a fast pace. You can tap top-tier positions relatively quickly. You can also explore opportunities abroad as this career path does not limit you to a specific area. You can also go on to work with organizations like the World Bank. Apart from this, you can start your firm as well.
With an incredible income, job security, and opportunities for growth and advancement, job satisfaction among finance professionals is of the highest order.
Professionals have reported their job satisfaction to lie between 9.6 and 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. And that too among all segments of their job. Over one-third of professionals associated with this career path mimicked this attitude. It may sound unbelievable, but it indeed is true.
Therefore, if you are uncertain about whether this path may work out for you or not, worry not. As per the experience of experts in this line of work, it is worth it.
Like other majors and career paths, finance also comes with its own set of pros and cons. Therefore, it would be best to familiarize yourself with them to help conclude whether this industry is a suitable fit for you.
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