17 Strategies to Develop Yourself in Finance Major Jobs

Finance major jobs: If you have an interest in learning how to manage capital assets and studying how money operates, you may want to consider majoring in finance while completing your undergraduate degree. Finance majors can develop a variety of in-demand skills and gain a better understanding of important areas such as risk management, data analytics, investment strategy and capital allocation. Learning more about what finance majors do and the careers available to them after graduation may help you in determining whether this area of study is right for you.

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In this article, we answer the question, “What do finance majors do?”, share how to decide if majoring in finance aligns with your career goals and provide a list of jobs you can pursue after graduating as a finance major.

1. What do finance majors do?

A finance major is an undergraduate area of study that prepares students to monitor financial markets, help companies or individuals assess their finances and provide investment advice. Finance majors learn how to help businesses and individuals make money and spend their money wisely. They may work in general finance, budgeting, investments, funds or several other specialties. Undergraduate finance programs typically take four years to complete. In such a program, you can typically expect to take a variety of math courses, including calculus, in addition to courses in economics, valuation, investing and business communications.

Before earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, many students choose to complete a finance internship to develop additional skills. They may also take courses specific to their preferred area of specialization within the field. A few of the concentrations that might be available to finance majors include:

  • Personal finance

  • Corporate finance

  • Asset management

  • International finance

  • Insurance

  • Banking

  • Real estate

  • Accounting

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Finance major jobs

How to decide if a major in finance is right for you

If you’re considering pursuing a major in finance, follow these steps to determine whether this career path matches your long-term goals:

2. Create a list of your interests

Consider creating a list of as many of your interests as possible, even if they don’t directly relate to finance. You can then review your list to determine if any of your interests align with a topic related to finance. For example, if your interests are in helping people with their finances or advising businesses on how best to invest their profits, then it may be worth it to research finance programs.

3. Evaluate your strengths

Certain the strengths may help you succeed in a finance program more easily. For example, strong organization, analytical and communication skills and a good attention to detail can benefit you if you choose to study finance. You may also enjoy the major if you already excel at math and have good problem-solving abilities, since finance often involves helping others solve their financial issues using mathematical concepts. If you enjoy being creative and excel at customer service, you may instead prefer a majoring in a field such as marketing or public relations.

Finance major jobs

4. Research finance careers

As you’re determining whether to major in finance, consider exploring the careers that might be available to you once you graduate. Educating yourself about your job outlook and the types of positions you might be eligible for can help you better determine what to expect after graduation. Review the average salary for each position, in addition to the daily responsibilities you might expect in the role. There are a variety of areas of employment for finance graduates, whether you prefer working in corporate finance, personal financial planning, investment banking, real estate or commercial banking.

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5. Meet with an adviser

If you’re still in high school, consider meeting with a career counselor or an adviser to learn more about the finance major and the courses you can expect to take in college. Advisers can help you prepare for college by recommending courses for you to take while you’re still in school. They can also offer you advice about which programs to apply for based on your interests and career goals.

Whether you’re in your first semester or you’re considering changing your major, it can also be beneficial to meet with your adviser regularly once you’re in college. An academic adviser can help you learn more about the different majors available to you and the various finance concentrations the university you attend offers. Depending on your educational goals, your adviser can also provide you with resources to help you explore your interests further. They may also offer you career advice and help you apply for jobs closer to graduation.

6. Shadow someone working in finance

Before declaring a major in finance, consider job shadowing someone who currently works in the field to determine what you might expect after graduation. Contact financial firms and companies to determine if they offer opportunities for high school or college students to job shadow for the day. Try to job shadow someone who works in an entry-level position in your preferred career. On the day of your job shadowing opportunity, bring a notebook with you to take notes about what you observed.

Finance major jobs

Careers for finance majors

When deciding whether to major in finance, it’s often beneficial to research typical finance careers. Here are 12 careers you might pursue after graduating as a finance major, with the national average salary and primary duties of each position.

6. Tax associate

Primary duties: A tax associate prepares local, state and federal income taxes for individuals and businesses. They ensure that the clients they represent comply with government regulations throughout the entire filing process. They also use their knowledge of deductions, exemptions and tax laws to reduce tax lability for their clients.

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7. Auditor

Primary duties: An auditor reviews an organization’s financial documents and accounting entries to ensure they comply with any applicable governmental regulations. They make sure the entries are accurate by thoroughly examining the company’s reports, operating practices and documentation. Some of the records that auditors review include cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements.

8. Accountant

Primary duties: An accountant reviews an individual or business’s finances. They organize financial records, perform audits, create financial reports and advise their employer or clients on their finances. They might also prepare income tax returns and budgets and publish financial statements on behalf of organizations.

Finance major jobs

9. Underwriter

Primary duties: An underwriter assesses an individual’s ability to pay off a loan in an effort to determine whether they qualify for one. Underwriters typically work for financial institutions or lenders, and they may use factors like a customer’s lending history, credit score and current debts to determine their level of risk. They might also assess a customer’s loan application and ensure that the information it contains is accurate.

10. Asset manager

Primary duties: An asset manager helps clients acquire and monitor their investments while ensuring that those investments remain profitable. They research various asset classes and provide recommendations to their clients on what they might purchase to better meet their financial goals and aspirations. They might also design and implement programs to increase revenue for their clients.

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11. Budget analyst

Primary duties: A budget analyst helps individuals and businesses create budgets to monitor their spending. They create reports so their clients understand how they’re adhering to their budget, make recommendations to help them reduce their expenses and identify trends in spending. They might also advise their clients on how to increase their profits.

12. Financial analyst

Primary duties: A financial analyst advises individuals and businesses so they can choose the best investments for their financial situation. They use their understanding of assets, bonds, stocks and other investment options to help their clients make more informed financial decisions. They might also create financial models for businesses, develop financial plans and reports and analyze economic trends.

Finance major jobs

13. Financial planner

Primary duties: A financial planner creates personalized financial plans for their clients based on their unique needs. They help with budget preparation and financial planing and ensure that their clients meet their goals. Financial planners usually retain long-term relationships with their clients so they can better understand their financial goals and objectives.

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14. Investment banking analyst

Primary duties: An investment banking analyst works with senior bankers, managers or investors to create investment strategies for clients based on their financial goals. They regularly review and analyze investment opportunities, create presentations for clients and help them make more informed financial decisions. They might also review market trends and financial information to ensure that their knowledge is up-to-date.

15. Real estate agent

Primary duties: A real estate agent helps clients purchase, sell and rent personal or commercial properties. They perform market analyses to determine the value of a property, update listings of available properties, promote sales and prepare paperwork such as contracts, leases and deeds. They might also maintain contact with mortgage lenders, contractors, appraisers and home inspectors.

16. Actuary

Primary duties: An actuary helps businesses minimize the financial risks related to the different programs that they may offer, including pension plans, insurance benefits and annuities. They’re often involved in selecting and designing a company’s employee plans. They might also evaluate the probability of certain events occurring and use their findings to develop proposals for minimizing risk.

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Finance major job

17. Loan officer

Primary duties: A loan officer helps consumers and small businesses secure loans. They may discuss different loan options with their clients, help them complete paperwork for the loan process and assess their credit histories. Loan officers also work with underwriters and create debt repayment plans to help their clients pay off their loans.

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