How to get a bachelor’s degree in financial work

It is not impossible to find a financial job with just a bachelor’s degree, but the competition is fierce. The digital and physical inboxes of industry professionals and human resources personnel of banks and brokerage companies are filled with student resumes, dreaming of a wealth of wealth, a luxurious lifestyle, and embarking on their path to becoming a master of the universe On track. It’s 30.

If this is not enough, the financial and investment services job market is cyclical. When the stock market flourishes, financial work also flourishes. But when returns decrease, so does the number of listings and vacancies.

Of course, even if the market is flooded with jobs, they are not all the jobs you want. Following these five tips can significantly increase financial job opportunities for a bachelor’s degree-possibly even before graduation.

Key points

  • An MBA is not required to work in finance, but the field is highly competitive, especially at the entry level.
  • Internships provide experience, exposure, and full-time work trials.
  • If you qualify, take advantage of the diversity-oriented programs that many companies use to recruit women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQI community.
  • If you don’t want to major in finance-related fields, you can minor in one of them—or at least one or two courses.
  • Read financial publications and literature regularly; learn the basics.
  • Consider taking a financial industry qualification exam, such as the CFA or SIE.

1. Seek internship opportunities early and often

During college, during college, or even after college (if courses are open to graduates), internships may be ideal. It helps to make up for the lack of full-time experience, and it is not as hard to find as a real job.

Many financial internships are paid — so if you need to get some green, there is no excuse — or provide credits. If you want to find a summer job anyway, it’s best to do something that will promote your career instead of just making hamburgers. The same goes for working during the school year. Instead of doing a part-time job in a local clothing store, it is better to actively submit documents or prepare PowerPoint presentations for local investment consultants.

Most internships may have many daily tasks. It is expected that it will take several days to print documents, assemble presentation materials and similar housework. But they also provide learning experiences, reference materials, social opportunities, and specific content that can be discussed in interviews. You will also learn about the atmosphere of different types of workplaces and whether this type of work suits your interests and work style.

Don’t pursue it blindly: multiple internships can not only build your experience and contacts, but also show strong professional ethics-this is a popular quality in the financial industry. Try to choose jobs strategically. Unless you are 100% sure that you want to make a living trading stocks, don’t do five internships for stock traders. Try to change a little bit and do internships throughout the industry. This will not only help you gain a better view, but exposure to different financial sectors can also give you an advantage in the job market.

Most importantly, work very hard in any internship you get. Try to arrive before your supervisor arrives, and then leave. If opportunities arise, please always redouble your efforts and voluntarily provide more services. The financial industry is notoriously demanding, especially in the early stages, you need to show that you can handle it and so on. In any case, a good referrer is valuable, but more importantly, impressing your boss during the internship is a good way to open the door to full-time work in the company in the future. Many summer analyst/internship programs at large banks are aimed at finding entry-level employees for next year.

2. Use your background

“Diversity” is a hot topic in the financial field today. The industry is highly aware of its ranks dominated by white men, and is striving to change and keep pace with the multicultural society.Part of its initiatives is to provide internships, entry-level training programs and seminars specifically for women, ethnic minorities and other protected classes (such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) [EEOC] Call them), at the undergraduate or even high school level.

For example, Goldman Sachs organized a 4-week HBCU Possibility Summit for students and recent graduates from historically black colleges or universities. Credit Suisse sponsored a female mentor program for female sophomores, including multi-day professional meetings and summer internship interviews. Morgan Stanley’s Richard B. Fisher Scholarship Program provides funding and internship opportunities for black, Latino, Native American, and LGBT college juniors and sophomores. Students with disabilities are eligible to participate in JP Morgan’s We See Ability-Undergraduate event, which outlines the company’s different departments and internship opportunities, as well as a fast application process. The dbAchieve Internship provided by Deutsche Bank requires a variety of veterans or LGBTQI applicants, as well as people of color and people with disabilities.

(These are just some plans-for other ideas, check out job resource websites such as the Financial Work Committee or 10X EBITDA.)

If you are eligible for a diversity program, course or scholarship, please don’t be shy-apply. Many of your classmates will use every family contact they can call when looking for vacancies. In the highly competitive job market, play every card in your hand.

How to get a bachelor’s degree in financial work

3. Targeted learning

Many companies say that your major is irrelevant, claiming: “We recruit all types; we even have art history students working here!” There is no doubt that they did, but it is best to apply for finance with a degree in finance. Work. Ideally, you should focus on number-oriented subjects: business, economics, applied mathematics, etc.

However, other research fields are also possible. The concepts learned in physics and pure mathematics provide a good preparation for understanding currency swaps, derivative transactions and structured investment products. Scientific or engineering knowledge is very useful, or even essential, to become a research analyst, investment banker or fund manager specializing in industries such as natural resources, energy, biotechnology, communications, and pharmaceuticals. In this era of robo-advisors, digital stock exchanges, and algorithmic trading, people with a degree in information technology or computer science will find their skills popular, especially in support systems or services.

Despite this, students majoring in art history or other humanities have not lost everything. The ability to research, synthesize, and analyze information—and write it well—is valuable in any industry, including finance. Even so, if you plan to major in liberal arts, try a minor in a subject that focuses more on numbers. At least, take one or two courses.

4. Learn to speak

Another great way to prepare for a career in finance is to make reading financial news a part of your daily work.Choose to subscribe (physical or digital) to Wall Street Journal and / or Financial Times And read it every day.Then there are journals like this economist (Suitable for international views) or Barron’s or Bloomberg Business Weekly This will also help expand your knowledge. As a student, you may get a discounted subscription.

Immersion in the financial literature will help you get used to Wall Street terminology and jargon, which is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. Do you know what MBS, CDS, BPS, EBITDA and federal discount rate mean? Regularly reading financial news throughout the university will help you master the basics in time. Even if you learn these vocabulary in the course, reading about real-world financial knowledge will help you consolidate this knowledge and discuss it more easily—and the topics and questions related to it (always good in an interview).

Other ways to gain financial knowledge include reading investment books, from basic to advanced topics, and tutorials and guides on financial websites (the fact that you are reading InvestingClue proves that you are on the right track). Learning a financial language is like learning a foreign language.

5. Start obtaining credentials

Many applicants will have a high grade point average (GPA) and a degree from a good school, and will complete the things listed above. How else can you surpass yourself and make yourself different?

Court of Final Appeal

One way is to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam. CFA enjoys a high reputation in the financial industry. You need to pass three exams and have four years of qualified work experience to truly earn the CFA title, but the first exam can be taken in the final year of the Bachelor of Arts program.

As of 2021, it is offered four times a year. In 2022, it will be available in the second month of each quarter.

Finance professionals know how much time and dedication the program will take (it is recommended to study at least 300 hours for each exam). An undergraduate course that passes the first exam will definitely make you stand out from other job seekers.

SIE

In the United States, brokers, registered investment advisors, and other people who plan to deal with investments and financial products must take certain licensing exams. Traditionally, one must be sponsored by a member company or self-regulatory organization to take these qualifying series of exams.However, in 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) completed a new exam, the Securities Industry Fundamentals (SIE) exam, which can be taken no Sponsorship or association with the company.

According to the FINRA website, the 75-question, 105-minute SIE is open to anyone 18 years of age or older and is ideal for “showing basic industry knowledge to potential employers.” It alone does not qualify you to work in the securities industry, but it does show your familiarity with the field and your strong interest in the field.

Bottom line

For entry-level positions, interviewers do not expect candidates to understand the nature of the industry; in any case, many companies have induction training programs that teach new employees specific details. Nevertheless, the more background knowledge you have, the better. The competitive nature of the financial job market means that early focus on learning, gaining internship experience, and gaining knowledge from the financial media will help you stay ahead.

Finally, doing something to get out of trouble, such as obtaining a financial certificate like CFA or taking advantage of a diversification plan, can increase your chances of getting your first job.

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