Why choose a career in banking and finance?

09 July, 2021Juno Baker

In the UK, one in 12 jobs is in financial services. So if you’ve just left school or university – and haven’t yet decided on your next step – you might want to consider a job in a bank or finance firm. Here are a few reasons why.

The finance sector is varied

Street scene from the City of LondonThere are so many different roles in banking – covering so many areas – with fantastic opportunities to specialise or progress.

As well as retail banking, insurance and pensions, other sectors include business banking, investment banking, investment management, life assurance and regulated financial advice. And within those sectors there are a range of roles.

If you enjoy problem solving, a career in trading may be right for you. Perhaps you like computers and gadgets? IT may be a good fit. And if you’re outgoing and enjoy talking to people, there are lots of roles in sales, customer services and human resources.

Jobs in finance vary hugely and so do the people who work in the financial services sector – from techies to creatives and people with great soft skills. 

Speaking at one of our REACH events, Jagdeep Rai, Regional Director at HSBC, told us she believes she has “the best job in the world”.

“You get to meet so many different kinds of people from all different walks of life, all kinds of customers, all kinds of businesses – from your farmer up in East Anglia to your high tech company.”

Financial companies are pioneering

Fintech companies like Moneybox, Pento and Truelayer appear in the top ten of start-ups to work for in 2021. And, thanks to digital banking and finance, the whole industry is changing at a tremendous pace.

New markets will be discovered for services that have yet to be designed. And technology is taking the place of pen pushing and customer-facing roles are becoming more complex.

Banking and sustainable finance also play a vital role in tackling climate change and helping the world adapt to its consequences.

You can enter banking at different levels

Many successful financial services professionals join straight from school or move into financial services from another sector. If you take this route, you train as you work and can take professional qualifications as you go.

If you’re leaving school now, at either 16 or post-A’level, look for school-leaver schemes and apprenticeships. Degree level apprenticeships are open to all ages and combine working with studying for a degree.

Or you can just apply for a job!

There are also some great graduate schemes if you’re just leaving university. Or if you're thinking about your what to study for a degree, you might consider a relevant degree.

There are some very good banking and finance degrees, at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. These are a fantastic foundation for a career in the sector or to move your career on.

Banking offers opportunity to progress

Banking and finance is always changing and adapting, so throughout your career you’ll be able to take advantage of training and studying opportunities.

As with most careers, the more experience you gain, the more responsibility you can expect. That can lead to promotion, a higher salary and the chance to develop your expertise.

There are professional qualifications in all kinds of subjects, including banking ethics, trade finance, investment management, risk, customer relations and financial advice. Your employer will most likely cover the cost.

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