If you’ve just received your A-Level results, you might be wondering what your next steps should be. Why not consider a career in banking and finance? It’s exciting, challenging and varied and there are many different pathways into it.
Pursuing banking and finance as a school leaver
Many successful people working in financial services get a job straight from school and work their way up. This includes taking professional qualifications along the way. If you can show initiative, are willing to learn and work hard, you can thrive in this industry.
Many financial services companies advertise entry level positions, and trainee and school leaver schemes on their career websites. Typically, these will be front line roles – at a local bank or in a call centre – where you will gain experience and increase your knowledge of the industry. But the good news is that the finance business is vast, so there are plenty of opportunities to move around and expand your skills.
Banking and finance apprenticeships
More and more young people are looking to apprenticeships to begin their career in finance. It’s an opportunity for you to gain experience in the finance sector and be paid a salary, but you’ll also gain a professional qualification. Apprenticeships are usually advertised on company’s career webpages.
The structure of apprenticeships will vary depending on the organisation you’re working for. But apprentices spend most of their time in the workplace, applying knowledge to practice while receiving on-the-job training.
Most employers will sponsor you to study a relevant qualification, where they’ll not only pay your fees but also provide you with time off to study. At the end you’ll receive a recognized qualification such as a foundation degree or bachelor’s degree, depending on the apprenticeship that you are on. Be sure to check the specifics on how each apprenticeship is delivered when applying.
Studying a degree in banking and finance
If you chose to study a degree in Banking and Finance, you open up many opportunities to develop your career. You can choose to do an internship or, if your degree offers it, a year-in industry placement. These are great ways of getting a foot in the door with companies and you gain invaluable work experience and can build a network of contacts in the industry.
Increasingly, employers are looking for relevant work experience on your CV when applying for graduate jobs and internships and placements are an excellent way of doing this. Internships, placement opportunities and graduate schemes are usually advertised on company’s career webpages.
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