Careers in Finance

Financial positions face growing demand and a need for specialized training and skills. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment growth of 23% for financial analysts, 9% for financial managers and 32% for financial advising. Demand is strongest for individuals with regional and technical knowledge. Specialized backgrounds, particularly in international finance, risk management and derivatives, will make it easier to find positions. Finance positions regularly place in the top 15 of Best Business Jobs and in the top 75 of Best Jobs in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings.

Choosing the right career

Is finance the right career for you? If so, which area of finance is your focus? You have a wide range of career opportunities in finance, including positions that involve substantial analysis and ones that require negotiation skills. There are many choices within finance, and you want to select the one that fits you best. The job market is competitive, and students with strong academic skills, campus involvement, internships and connections with professional associations have the best opportunities for placement.

The main skills used in finance include:

  • Strong skills in mathematics and problem solving
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Strong communication skills

Finance professionals also need technological and decision-making skills in order to succeed in this fast-paced career. It requires the ability to justify assumptions, evaluate options, adjust for risk and raise money while considering the costs and benefits involved. Finance is an integral part of all businesses, since all firms raise and spend money. Banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and similar firms provide financial advice, but most firms have a finance department involved with raising and investing money.

The information below provides some information on different career paths in finance. Identifying the area of interest will help you select courses, organizations, internships and professional designations to successfully advance your career in that area. For all areas, work experience, networking and building relationships will enhance your career prospects.

  • Investment Management: For careers in investment analysis and portfolio management. Major employers include investment companies, mutual funds and hedge funds. Please visit the CFA ® Institute website for more information.
  • Financial Analyst: The focus is on valuation and viability of a business or project. They use economic trends as well as firm and industry information to make buy and sell recommendations. They write analyst reports and communicate their views. Major employers include financial services and insurance.
  • Financial Risk Management: For professions in financial risk management. They look at financial risk awareness and testing. Employers include banks, financial services, government regulators and consultants. For more information on Financial Risk Management careers, please visit the GARP ® website. Only the MS in Finance has a concentration to prepare students for this area.
  • Energy Risk Management: Careers in applying quantitative methods to energy risk management and assessment. Major employers include energy firms as well as institutions, consulting firms and government agencies involved in the energy area. For more information on Energy Risk Management careers, please visit the GARP ® website. Only the MS in Finance has a concentration to prepare students for this area.
  • Management of Financial Institutions: For students interested in careers in banking or in other financial institutions.
  • Real Estate: For students interested in careers in the real estate industry, particularly in commercial and real estate investment. Professions include brokers, leasing, asset management, appraisal, property management and other areas. Please see the CCIM ® Institute website for more information.
  • Certified Financial Planner: For students interested in assisting people with their personal financial planning. They may be self-employed or work for other institutions. For more on careers in this area, please see the CFP ® website. Only the BS in Finance has a concentration to prepare students for this area.

If you are interested in combining financial analysis and information management, see the Business Analytics degree at UTD.

We also have a Career Management Center to assist students with interviewing skills, resumes and general career guidance.

Certification Granted By Additional Information
CCIM ®
Certified Commercial Investment Member
Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute www.ccim.com
CFP ®
Certified Financial Planner
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. www.cfp.net
CFA ®
Chartered Financial Analyst
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute www.cfainstitute.org
CIPM ®
Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute www.cfainstitute.org
CTP ®
Certified Treasury Professional
Association for Finance Professionals www.afponline.org
FP&A ®
Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional
Association for Finance Professionals www.afponline.org
FRM ®
Financial Risk Manager
Global Association of Risk Professionals www.garp.org
ERP ®
Energy Risk Professional
Global Association of Risk Professionals www.garp.org