Interested in a career in finance but not sure how to start preparing for it? We’ve got you covered!
In the banking industry, you can find a variety of jobs for all experience levels. Many professionals pursue careers in banking for the fun, tasks, and rewards. If you enjoy analysis, numbers, and working in a fast-paced environment, you may have a job in banking. In this article, we explain how to enter the banking business and the benefits of working in this sector.
What is a banking business?
A banking job is any position in the financial industry. Banking professionals manage money, loans and investments of individuals and companies. The sector of the sector that serves individuals and small businesses is retail or retail banking, while the sector that serves large companies is commercial banking.
Banking jobs are available for all skill and experience levels. Types of banking jobs include:
Why should you work in a banking business?
Banking is a challenging but very rewarding industry to work in. Reasons why people decide to work in a banking business include:
Competitive salaries, bonuses and benefits
A wide variety of jobs, from management to accounting to investment banking
Opportunities for career development
Good working conditions and hours
Job satisfaction and stability
High demand for banking professionals
Possible discounts on loans, mortgages and credit cards
If you work hard at a banking job, you have the opportunity to advance quickly in your career, earn a high salary and save for retirement.
How will you continue your career in banking?
Banking professionals have a wide range of educational backgrounds, experience levels and skill sets. If you want to pursue a career in banking, follow these steps:
- Finish high school
The minimum education requirement for some entry-level banking jobs is a high school diploma or GED. After graduating from high school, you can apply for jobs such as bank clerk, loan clerk or accounting clerk.
- Get a Bachelor’s degree
Many banking jobs require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. While any degree can help prepare you for a career in banking, consider studying areas such as finance, accounting, economics and business. Mathematics, information technology, corporate law and international business courses can also give you valuable information for a banking job.
- Develop the right skills
Develop hard and soft skills for banking that you can list on your resume and reference in job interviews. Skills for banking jobs include:
attention to detail
There is self-confidence
Consider taking online or in-person courses to hone your skills and practice using these skills in your everyday life.
- Choose a specialization in banking
As you earn your degree, you may determine that you are the most skilled and relevant person in a particular field of banking. For example, if you enjoy interacting with people and have strong customer service skills, you may decide to pursue a career as a financial advisor or a bank human resources manager. If you enjoy problem solving and analysis, you may seek careers as a banking systems analyst or investment banker. If numbers and organization motivate you, consider a career as an accountant or auditor.
Enroll in college courses that can give you a foundation for the type of banking career you plan to pursue.
- See a career counselor
Schedule a meeting with an advisor at your university’s career center to learn how to prepare for a banking job and to find internship or entry-level job opportunities. Career centers usually have many resources and links they can use to help you find a job in banking. They can also connect you with industry alumni and review your resume to suggest ways to strengthen it.
- Do an internship
Get a paid or unpaid internship at a bank or financial institution during college or after graduation. These opportunities can offer you a wide range of experience in different bank departments and help you choose what kind of banking job you want to do. Or if you already know your specialization, apply for an internship in that field. If you perform well in your internship, it may even lead to an entry-level job offer at that company.
Make connections with as many people working in the banking industry as possible. The benefits of networking include:
Addressing important banking contacts
Getting career advice from experienced professionals
Learning about job openings
Making lasting impressions on hiring managers when positions become available
Finding a mentor
Networking opportunities may include:
Local or national membership associations
College alumni events
Social media or professional networking sites
Remember to be professional, polite and courteous when approaching professionals and asking them for advice.
- Enroll in training programs
You can find a variety of financial training courses online that can help you improve your banking knowledge, especially if you have no banking experience or have not received a banking-related degree. If you want to work in investments or analysis, for example, consider taking a financial analyst training program that can teach you about financial modeling and forecasting. Also look for educational opportunities, webinars and training through organizations like the American Bankers Association.
- Follow the market
Prepare for a banking job and show employers your determination to succeed in the industry by learning banking terminology and procedures. Read financial articles and blogs, and monitor markets and news for trends and events. Use online stock trading simulators to learn how investments and markets work. You can impress hiring managers with your knowledge of banking in your resume and cover letter and during interviews.
- Create a website or blog
Show off your banking knowledge and establish yourself as a voice in the industry by starting a financial blog or website. Write posts and commentaries about banking news, your market observations or investment ideas. You can include your website link in your resume, and potential employers will see that you understand the industry and its concepts. This step is particularly useful if you have strong writing skills.
- Get a master’s degree
- Consider getting a master’s degree if you are:
Earned a bachelor’s degree unrelated to banking
Your previous work experience was in a field other than banking
You want to maximize your career advancement opportunities
Master’s programs usually take two years to complete. Programs that can help you get into banking jobs include a master’s in business administration, finance, financial engineering or legal studies.