Careers in Economics, Finance and Banking - CV Plaza

Careers in Economics, Finance and Banking

Overview

Do you have outstanding mathematical skills?
Are you interested in working in a finance-oriented environment?
If so, a career in Economics, Finance or Banking could be the right option for you!

We have all dealt with financial or banking issues at one point or another in our lives. This sector opens the opportunity to be at the “other side” of these processes by working in all types of organisations such as banks, businesses, universities and private think tanks.

Professionals in these fields range from Business Advisers and Investment Analysts to Accountants and Economists.

It is this sector which builds relationships and trust with clients in order to provide financial services. These clients could be other companies, the public or even the government.

Working within this particular field could vary from offering advice on large financial decisions to researching the latest government policy and establishing an action plan.

Specific areas of work

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This sector is divided in the following three key areas:

1) Economics

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Economics is a field that is primarily based around providing specialist knowledge on a specific issue through the implementation of economic theory and knowledge, with the aim of improving efficiency through the analysis of data and statistics.

As this role is very much research-based, professionals can specialise in numerous areas including; supply and demand, taxation policy, employment levels, market research, business statistics and international development.

Even though professionals specialise in a variety of sectors the type of work they carry out remains consistent throughout. Examples of common duties are as follows:

  1. The analysis of data and statistics to ultimately produce an action plan or risk assessment based on the customers financial or economic situation;
  2. Explaining conclusions from data and other sources based on the methodology they have used;
  3. Evaluating past trends of economic data in order to predict possible future outcomes.

2) Finance

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Professionals with the Finance sector are often responsible for offering financial advice to customers and clients – unlike Economists, they do not carry out the initial research, but commonly offer support based on the research that has already been produced.

Similarly, professionals work in numerous fields and tend to specialise in one area, however, they are often involved in the creation of budgets both for long and short term. Compared to a role in Economics, this area is very much hands on and often requires professionals to work on the development of policy or financial decisions.

There are numerous graduate-schemes which are based within finance, including accountancy and investment and often offer excellent job progression.

3) Banking

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Banking is a broad area of work which focuses around the financial services provided to third-party companies and the general public. Professionals working within Banking include branch managers, cashiers and specialist business advisers.

This area also covers the investment sector which covers a number of areas including trading on the stock market through the selling of stocks and highlighting any possible venture capital.

Professionals are expected to make decisions which will ultimately result in their customer or client making a significant profit, this differs to Economics and Finance as they often only offer financial advice to their customers and not make decisions on their behalf.

Education and qualifications

Entry requirements for trainee, apprentices or entry-level positions vary but candidates with GCSEs grades A-C or equivalents are generally accepted.

More senior positions will benefit significantly from the following:

  1. A degree in Economics, Finance, Maths or Business
  2. Courses and training provided by ICA– The Institute of Chartered Accountants
  3. Relevant work experience

Note: In some cases employers may consider an application in which a candidate doesn’t have a degree; however, it is often a requirement.

Skills and personal attributes

  • Mathematical skills: Economics, Finance and Banking are all about working with numbers and particularly with money. The ability to understand, calculate and interpret data is essential for individuals looking to work in this sector.
  • Communication skills: Professionals within this sector are often required to hold numerous meetings, produce reports and give presentations. Therefore both written and verbal communication skills are vital to this role.
  • Determination / drive: This sector is a highly competitive, fast-paced environment which requires professionals with to have a strong drive and determination to achieve the best possible outcome. Lack of motivation can be a real obstacle to being successful in this sector.
  • Business acumen: Having a business mind is vital to this sector as professionals are relied upon to make decisions which will ultimately benefit their clients or company. Having a good understanding of how businesses work and operate will be a great advantage in these roles.
  • Team working skills: Many companies have large groups of people working in this particular area to ensure everything runs smoothly, therefore an individual must be prepared and be able to work in teams and groups across different sites and sectors.

Pay and benefits

Professionals within the sector can expect to enjoy exceptional salaries right from entry-level positions.

Depending on which area the individual will work in will ultimately determine their salary. The breakdown below highlights the salary differences:

  1. Economics: Starting salary of £25,000 – £35,000, rising to £40,000 with experience.
  2. Finance: Starting salary of £24,000 – £35,000, rising to £45,000 with experience.
  3. Banking: Starting salary of £35,000 – £40,000 rising to £50,000 with experience.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

It’s also common that high-performing professionals in this sector can enjoy generous bonuses on top of their fixed salary.

Likes and advantages

  • Working in any field: So many sectors are influenced by economics and they all need financial management to function. This provides an excellent opportunity to work in a sector of your choice.
  • Always in demand: As this sector is crucial to the economy, business and the day-to-day lives of the public there is always going to be a great demand for individuals working in this sector. Gaining a good foothold in this area can pretty much guarantee work for life.
  • Rewarding: This role may be extremely rewarding to a candidate especially on the completion of a research task or the outcome of a suggestion made. This role will ultimately allow a candidate to see the fruits of their work in real-life.
  • Challenging: This field will definitely push a candidate to achieve their full potential as well as presenting some challenging tasks. This is an ideal careers option for the one who wants to grow and develop in a money-oriented environment.
  • Job Progressions: Due to the broad nature of this sector and given all the access routes in this sector, job progression can present itself very easily to the right candidate. The harder a candidate works, the more experience they gain and the more exposed they will become to higher positions.

Challenges

  • Stressful: Being one of the fastest moving sectors, professionals really do work every hour of the day! Even at entry level candidates may be given a significant amount of work to carry out and the workload will only increase as they progress in their positions. A candidate really must be prepared for high stress levels right from the words “You’re hired!”
  • Long hours: A candidate needs to be expected to work long hours, as with any demanding industry, they may be expected to work late nights or weekends.
  • Competitive: Even though the sector is continuously growing it is still very much a competitive industry with tens of thousands of students applying for jobs within this sector each year.

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According to a recent TheCityUK report; financial services sector employ more than 1m people in the UK, while almost another 1m work in associated professional services – that is one in 14 of all jobs.

While The Economics, Finance and Banking sector – collectively – has suffered from recent recessions and downturns in the economy; it has picked up over the years and is still considered one of the most important sectors to the UK Economy with good prospects for the future.

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    OVERVIEW

    • SALARY RANGE
      £23.000 – £50.000+
    • ENTRY
      Degree or Relevant Work Experience
    • WORKING HOURS
      37 – 45 hours per week

    SKILLS PROFILE

    • Numeracy Skills
      Dealing with data, numbers and figures in a financial context
    • Analytical Skills
      Ability to analyse business finances and market information
    • Commercial Awareness
      Having a sound commercial awareness and business knowledge
    • Budgeting
      Ability to plan a budget and make long- and short-term projections
    • Decision Making
      Making decisions and solving problems involving varied levels of complexity and risk
    • Foresight
      Having a strong foresight for the direction in which things are going
    • Interpersonal Skills
      Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate and interact with others
    • Multitasking
      The flexibility to handle different jobs, tasks and projects when required

    JOB DESCRIPTIONS