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 and 9% for financial managers. 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

You have a wide range of career opportunities in finance, including positions that involve substantial analysis and ones that require negotiation skills. You need to select the career path 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. Banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and similar firms provide financial advice, but most firms have a finance department involved with raising and investing money.

  • Career Information
  • Online Resources
  • Certifications and Credentials

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. This concentration emphasizes material required for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) examinations. Please visit the CFA ® Institute website for more information.

    The MS Finance program at UTD is a member of the CFA® Institute University Recognition Program. The investment management concentration in the MS Finance program has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA® Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on the CFA® Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program. This program positions students well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.

  • 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.
  • Risk Management & Insurance: The focus is to identify, measure, analyze and manage exposures to loss and to help individuals and organizations reduce their total cost of risk. Professions in this field include risk managers and risk analysts for organizations; underwriters, claims, marketing or risk control/safety professionals for insurance companies; sales, consulting and coverage experts as a broker or agent. Students may earn up to 6 national examination waivers for professional certifications such as CPCU, CIC and CRM. Only the BS in Finance has a concentration to prepare students for this area.
Certification Granted By Additional Information
Certified Commercial Investment Member
Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute
Certified Financial Planner
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
Chartered Financial Analyst
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute
Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute
Certified Treasury Professional
Association for Finance Professionals
FP&A ®
Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional
Association for Finance Professionals
Financial Risk Manager
Global Association of Risk Professionals
Energy Risk Professional
Global Association of Risk Professionals
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter
The Institutes
Certified Insurance Counselor
The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research
Certified Risk Manager
The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research