finance careers

Careers in Finance - Find Your Financial Career Path

When it comes to careers in finance, there are myriad options that only increase as you gain more education and on-the-job experience. In the field of finance there are three main categories of industry: public, corporate, and personal. From financial planning to investment banking to insurance, people who pursue careers in finance power the world. Read on to learn more about how managing the assets of others can lead to a very rewarding career.

Finance Career Paths
Finance Career Education Requirements

Finance Worker Job Descriptions
Your GMercyU Path to a Degree in Finance
4+1 MBA Option

Finance Career Paths

Careers in finance can take you to companies of all sizes, as well as to the nonprofit sector or even a self-owned business. Below are some common careers that you can pursue after earning your bachelor’s in finance degree.  Many of these options will allow you to advance in your finance career as you gain further training, experience, and education.

Commercial Banking


Commercial banks provide banking services to individuals, small businesses, and large organizations. From providing face-to-face client services at your neighborhood bank branch to international finance, you’ll have many options based on your personal interests.

Corporate Finance


Corporate finance centers on handling the funds necessary for a business’ activities, from analyzing risk and profitability to choosing a portfolio of investments.

Financial Planning


Financial planners help individuals make informed decisions about their net worth and cash flow while planning for investing and saving for the future.

Hedge Funds


A hedge fund manages a pool of money for large investors. Hedge fund managers strive to maximize returns on a wide range of financial assets from stocks to corporate bonds to currencies. Other roles in this industry include: analyst, trader, portfolio manager, sales, quantitative specialist, or risk manager.


Strong math and financial planning skills are essential to the insurance industry where finance professionals are needed in roles such as: actuaries, risk managers, underwriters, and corporate finance officers.

Investment Banking


Investment banks help companies and governments raise capital, trade securities in global markets, and provide financial advice. You can work in sectors including: sales and trading, equity capital markets, debt capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions.

Money Management


Money managers hold stocks and bonds for institutional clients to make gains on Wall Street using a combination of sophisticated quantitative techniques and intuitions. Get your start in state and local pension funds, insurance companies, and bank trust departments.


Private Equity


Private equity firms drive leveraged buyout transactions, partial stake purchases in public companies, and investments in private companies, offering some of the most sought after careers in finance. Entry level finance professionals begin as an analyst and work their way up to associate when they earn a master’s degree.

Real Estate


Working in the real estate industry directly connects you to the development of your community, making for a very rewarding and challenging career. A finance career in this sector varies from lending in commercial banks to savings and loans, and even insurance companies.

Finance Career Education Requirements

Earning a bachelor’s degree in finance is the first step toward starting your career in finance. Courses will provide you with a solid knowledge of financial insight, technology, and interpersonal skills. There are two advanced degrees you can pursue that will prepare you to take on managerial positions: Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in finance, or a master’s degree in finance. An MBA degree gives students a broad-based knowledge of business skills, while a master’s in finance is highly specialized and focused exclusively on finance-related issues. If you’d like to enter academia to teach the next generation of finance professionals, as well as research and publish, doctorate programs in finance and business are available. Various certifications exist for stockbrokers and securities traders through organizations such as the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Financial advisors enhance their reputation and credibility when they earn Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, and a master’s degree will increase an advisor’s chances of moving into upper management positions within a company. Actuaries can advance in their career by passing a series of professional level exams administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

Finance Worker Job Descriptions

Finance career paths offer a wide range of opportunities for those who want to help others succeed financially, and track and predict economic change in order to increase profit. Here, we take a look at the responsibilities of two different finance career areas.

Personal Finance Job Description

Decisions about paying for education, financing large purchases such as real estate or vehicles, buying adequate insurances, and investing and saving for retirement are among the key aspects of personal financial planning, which include:

  • Understanding what resources are available by evaluating household net worth and cash flow
  • Analysis of protection from unforeseen risks
  • Tax planning
  • Investment and accumulation goals
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning

Corporate Finance Job Description

Corporate finance is all about handling funds for a business’ operations, requiring:

  • Balancing risk and profitability
  • Studying and forecasting economic trends
  • Reviewing company reports and suggesting efficiencies
  • Maximizing stock value
  • Managing funds and choosing a portfolio of investments
  • Executing financial risk management

Finance Salary and Job Outlook

Finance careers are in high demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Occupational Outlook Handbook states that employment of financial analysts should grow by 11% through 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. Some financial careers far surpass others. According to the Bureau, the job market for personal financial advisors will grow by 27%, market research analysts by 32%, and cost estimators by 26%.

So how much money can you earn while managing the assets of others? The median annual salary for typical careers in finance ranges from a minimum of $67,000 to a maximum of $110,000. And depending on the level of education, professional certifications, and years of experience, it’s not uncommon for finance professionals to earn much more.


Median Annual Salary



Financial Manager


Personal Financial Advisor


Financial Analyst


Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook


Job Outlook Over the Next Decade



18%, much faster than average

Financial Manager

19%, much faster than average

Personal Financial Advisor

30%, much faster than average

Financial Analyst

11%, faster than average

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent

10%, a little faster than average


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook


Your GMercyU Path to a Degree in Finance

Our bachelor of science in finance business degree will prepare you for today’s ever-evolving marketplace by helping you develop specialized finance skills, while also building your communication and leadership abilities. Careers for finance majors are on the rise, and GMercyU’s degree in finance can help you land a job in this dynamic field.  

As a student in GMercyU’s bachelor of science in finance degree, you will have access to GMercyU’s well-rounded business program where you will learn about money management ranging from both business and personal finances, as well as how to navigate the stock market through understanding the use of stocks and bonds.

The BS in finance program at GMercyU is accredited through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), and offers a number of specialty areas including investments, risk management, sports business finance, and taxation.

4+1 MBA Option

For students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GMercyU offers a unique 4+1 MBA option that allows you to earn both a bachelor of science degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in just five years.
(link to: 4+1)

Visit GMercyU’s Bachelor of Science in Finance page for more information.