Finance careers jobs description info
So you want to work in finance?
The finance industry revolves around something that interests everyone – money. It's not just about counting it, but looking at ways to help customers save, increase and protect their finances. The emphasis in this global industry is on service. Employers are always looking for people who can connect with customers, gain their trust and build long-term relationships.
More than 1.25 million people are employed in the finance sector. Virtually every adult in the UK has at least one financial product and businesses could not exist without the protection and income the sector provides. Finance is the second largest UK industry and is vital to the well-being of our economy.
Who are the main employers?
The industry is dominated by the biggest 200 companies, many being international firms with offices around the world. However, more than 50,000 financial firms exist in the UK, 35,000 of which employ fewer than ten staff and 12,500 companies employ fewer than 100 people. While the City – at the heart of London – is the focus of investment, insurance and the financial markets, jobs in accounting, financial advice and banking exist in all our towns and cities.
What careers are on offer?
The industry covers personal and private banking, insurance protection and pensions, investments, the financial markets, accountancy and financial advice, and management. There are over 50 different job roles – some are specialist, like insurance underwriting, surveying, or pension management, while there are many others that don't require formal training. Professional, technician, claims handling, customer service or administrative support – the opportunities are numerous.
There are also important roles developing new and better ways to service customers using the latest technology. Advisory and counselling roles exist to help educate people, and of course there are vital business support functions like human resources, IT, project management, marketing and training. To protect consumers, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulates the entire sector.
What sort of tasks would I be doing?
You would be helping people to make vital financial decisions, protecting their money or perhaps helping them through a crisis. Mortgages are typically the biggest commitment individual customers make, but on a corporate level you may be coordinating a multi-million pound business deal or investing pension funds on behalf of thousands of people.
What personal qualities/qualifications are important?
Getting into high-level financial positions usually requires a degree, however there are alternative routes for entry and progression. For some jobs, entrants have to pass qualifications within set timeframes before they can give advice or carry out financial transactions. However, non-academic qualities are equally important. Employers usually look for a broad range of personal skills, including team-working skills, good self-motivation and an interest in financial and business affairs.
Can I earn and learn at the same time?
Around 73 per cent of financial companies in the UK have employees working towards professional qualifications and attract people by offering funded learning opportunities and support. Most of these are world-renowned qualifications offering a wide range of useful skills. New career paths open after qualifying in both general and specialist areas, with excellent prospects for professional development.
How secure are financial jobs?
A downturn in the economy can affect the number of graduates being employed and the stability of high-level positions. The sector is continually undergoing transformations, with traditional High Street banks and insurance providers competing in new markets. However, with pension concerns and growing personal debts, finance will continue to remain high on the agenda. Reassuringly, many skills developed in one role will apply to another, so qualified people in this industry tend to move around.
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