Which finance career would suit me?

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:40

Discover which sector of finance would best suit your graduate career.

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There’s bound to be a graduate role for you – we’re here to help you find it.

The graduate finance sector can seem a little bewildering at first. To help you get to grips with it, we’ve divided it into three sectors: investment banking and investment, accountancy and financial management, and financial services. Here you’ll find a brief introduction to each. Finance is a huge area that offers a wide range of work, so there’s bound to be a graduate role for you – we’re here to help you find it.

Investment banking and investment

The banking and investment sector makes money work as hard as possible. It’s borrowed, loaned and invested constantly – the financial markets are open 24 hours a day, straddling different time zones. London is key because its working day bridges that of the US and the Far East.

Who will employ me in the banking and investment sector?

Employers in this sector tend to be large global investment banks offering a full range of services, specialist finance houses (smaller organisations that may specialise in a particular kind of work), financial services organisations and investment management firms. We’ve got lots of information on employers to help you decide which banking and investment employer would suit you best.

Who are the clients in the banking and investment sector?

These businesses generally provide high-level financial services to other companies – corporate or institutional clients. This can include advice on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, trading, and asset management. Other crucial functions, such as technology and operations, work within the business to support these services. We’ve summarised the main areas of work in the investment sector for you.

Why would I want to work in the banking and investment sector?

Graduate work in this area is fast-paced and challenging, with a lot of early responsibility, high salaries and a global working environment. Find out if the skills, competencies and experience you have would impress banking and investment employers.

Accountancy and financial management

Every business, whatever its size, needs an expert to manages its finances and ensure all the figures add up. Managing cash flow and monitoring profit and loss are key areas of work – and somebody will also have to supply the crucial information that can influence the strategic direction of an organisation.

Who will employ me in the accountancy and financial management sector?

Employers in this sector range from small firms specialising in a particular area of accounting to large multinational organisations providing a huge range of professional services. You could also work in any industry requiring accountancy services (which is most of them!) or for a public sector organisation. We’ve got great advice about choosing the best accountancy employer for you.

Who are the clients in the accountancy sector?

If you work for an accountancy or professional services firm, the clients will be other businesses seeking advice and expertise. Working within industry, you would provide an internal service to your employer. In the public sector, you could work for the public good and ensure that taxpayers’ money is managed properly. Accountancy and financial management job roles range from working in assurance, to forensic accountancy to dealing with tax.

Why would I want to work in the accountancy sector?

Accountancy and financial management work is at the heart of how business are run – and the chance to gain an internationally recognised professional qualification. Find out if your skills and competencies would make you suited to the sector.

Financial services

Most individuals need day-to-day financial management products, such as bank accounts, loans, pensions, credit cards and insurance – and some of these are also needed by companies. Related areas such as reinsurance and underwriting also make up an important part of this sector, while financial regulators ensure a safe and fair service for all.

Who will employ me in the financial services sector?

Graduate employers in financial services include large financial series providers offering services such as retail banking, insurance or reinsurance companies, regulatory bodies, firms specialising in other areas that have diversified into financial services (eg supermarkets) and firms offering services such as actuarial consulting or underwriting.

Who are the clients in the financial services sector?

Clients in this sector include individual customers and small businesses, who need a range of day-to-day financial services. Some types of organisations (eg those offering specialist services) offer advice or finical services to other corporate clients.

Why would I want to work in the financial services sector?

This is an expanding sector with a focus on customer service, where you could gain management responsibility early on and still have a healthy work/life balance. Find out more here about the benefits of working in finance . We can also help you find out if your skills and competencies would make you suited to a career in financial services.

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