CoFounder of stock analytic app StockEdge and financial market learning portal Elearnmarkets.com
A head full of numbers understands finance like no other. Unlike old days where a degree in finance made you eligible only for maintaining books of accounts, finance skills are now more in demand than ever before. This can be attributed to the growth in the BFSI sector and increasing interest of people in myriad financial investment options.
Career choices in finance have increased manifold over the past few years. More people are advancing towards courses like CFA, FRM, MBA (Finance), MS (Finance), CWM, CMT and others. Thanks to the disruptive forces in the financial services sector and the advent of startups that are advancing ahead with new financial technologies, the employment landscape of financial professionals has greatly increased.
Moreover, educational institutions introducing new skills in financial management ensure that financial experts have an edge over other professionals in their respective organisations. Some of the online financial market learning portals train their students in Equity Research, Technical Analysis, conducts Trading Mentorship programmes. These courses are certified by NSE Academy, MCX, NCDEX and other industry powerhouses. Certified Capital Market Professional (E-NCCMP) course is one of the most popular stock market courses in India. These courses, apart from preparing the finance students in trading and investing, lend them a wide perspective of how the stock market actually works and how to excel in other financial domains.
Growing Demand for Financial Planning & Wealth Management Skills
Career choices in India are mostly in sync with remunerative professions adopted. There is an increasing demand for finance skills as the country witnesses a continuous growth of financial products and services. The Indian market has opened itself to investors pouring in money and ideas, thus, enabling innovative business ideas and novel payment gateways.
Advisory services have also gone up as an increasing number of people are more interested in new ways of financial planning as opposed to the earlier and banal techniques of growing money by investing money in bank deposits and government-sponsored monetary instruments. This is evident in the increasing number of Certified Financial Planners (CFP) or Certified Wealth Managers (CWM) that find career as wealth managers, tax planning advisors or financial advisors on their own or in some of the most reputed banks and financial houses.
Careers in Corporate Finance & Investment Banking
Finance professionals, depending on their interest and expertise, can take up jobs like asset management in big financial houses, investment banking, commercial banking, research on equity funds and debt instruments, corporate finance and risk management. Some of the most promising careers in financial services include:
- Compliance Analyst
- Corporate Finance Manager
- Cybersecurity Specialists
- Data Scientists
- Stock Trader
- Hedge Funding Manager
- Innovation Officer
- Investment Banker
- Portfolio Manager
- Public Accountant
- Quantitative Analyst
- Risk Management Professional
Most people associate financial careers with money. Finance professionals are known to earn more than other people and a degree in finance is the first step to ensuring a long and successful stint in a business house.
Like many other industries, the financial services industry has evolved from the monotonous job of keeping and auditing accounts or dabbling a bit into share markets. The financial services market has grown into a multibranched structure, thus, catering to different finance professionals with distinct interests and skills. The same industry is serviced by myriad small companies that provide niche services, thus, enabling specific opportunities for finance professionals in certain fields.
Key Trends in the Financial Industry
Some of the top financial institutions look for new age skills including big data analytics, market analytics, predictive modelling and business intelligence. With the boom in FinTech, the usage of technology in financial domain has increased substantially. From Algorithmic High Frequency Trading to Payment Wallets or P2P lending blends an aspect of finance with technology. Hence techies with finance knowledge will have an edge in their career.
Each year, thousands of freshers get added to the financial analytics workforce. Despite startups making their presence felt in both Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, Mumbai continues to be the ruling financial hub as the city experiences a surge of financial analytics each year. Finance professionals, both experienced and skilled, draw an average salary in the range of Rs 10-15 lakhs during the initial years of their career. Also, this sector does not resort to gender-biases, thus, allowing an increasing percentage of women workforce.
Financial Professionals’ Preference
Every year, there is an increase in the number of finance professionals. Finance professionals have a lot of employment opportunities to choose from. However, depending on their skill set, penchant and instinct, finance professionals may opt to work in commercial banks or investment banks like HSBC Bank, HDFC Bank, Citi Bank, ICICI Bank, American Express, etc.
Data analytics companies are the next in line to choose from amongst the most skilled and experienced finance professionals.
Research analysts and associates continue to be in high demand as some of the biggest firms queue up outside management institutions to recruit students, promising them better pay along with work-life balance. CFA, FRM as well CA are the sought after qualifications to get into research.
The role of Chartered Accountants and auditors has largely changed in the past few years and they are paid for more than just reconciliating books of accounts. Using knowledge and expertise of modern financial technologies, auditors are now more into reviewing business processes, inquiring about the validity of financial decisions taken and collating necessary information.
However, not all are good with numbers and some of them may be fearful of the undulating movement of the stock market. Good interpersonal skills may come in handy in such cases and these people can take up jobs that involve knowledge of finance coupled with marketing skills. Some of them can also find employment as corporate trainers as they can utilise their knowledge and experience in imparting necessary skills to those eager to do well in finance.
While there is a growing demand for financial experts and professionals, it is important to steer clear of the unwarranted noise and research on which field of finance may suit you best. Research well done in the beginning may save you from the much unnecessary pain and heartbreaks later. Pursuing a field in finance can surely propel you to the top provided you are ready to put in the much-needed efforts.