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A career in finance can be rewarding, intrinsically and monetarily. Today the role of finance professionals varies from helping corporates and individuals make financial planning decisions to helping businesses raise capital for expansion and running business operations. A degree in finance opens a wide domain for employment in areas such as banks, finance companies & financial institutions, insurance companies, mutual funds, large MNCs, private equity firms, consulting companies and investment companies. Successful financial professionals also earn good salaries, as a reward for solving complex problems.

Career Opportunities in Finance

  • Financial planner/Financial Analyst/Financial Consultant
    Financial planners help individuals develop plans that will ensure their present and future financial stability. Typically, they review a client's financial goals and generate an appropriate plan for saving and investing that fits the client's individual needs. The plan may focus on wealth preservation or investment growth and may even include estate and tax planning.
  • Relationship Manager or Agent/Broker
    If you love meeting people and nurturing strong working relationships, "client-facing" positions like these are often a good fit. Agents, brokers and relationship managers are the lifeblood of the financial services industry, and their work often determines the longevity and success of the organization they work for.
  • Investment Banking
    Some of the most glamorous - and intense - financial careers are jobs in investment banking. Investment-banking jobs deal with facilitating the issuance of corporate securities and making these securities available for investors to purchase, all while trading securities and providing financial advice to both corporations and wealthy individual investors.
  • Commercial Banking
    Commercial Banks from large entities to local institutions, offer a range of financial services, from checking and savings accounts to IRAs and loans. Career options available in this sector include bank tellers, loan officers, operations, and marketing and branch managers.
  • Corporate Finance
    Corporate finance jobs involve working for a company in the capacity of finding and managing the capital necessary to run the enterprise. This is done while maximizing corporate value and reducing financial risk.
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital
    Private-equity professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for a number of corporate business transactions, such as managed buyouts and restructurings. Venture-capital professionals (VCs) spend most of their time with startups or small, fast-growth companies. Venture-capital firms evaluate pitches by founders and small-company leaders to determine if the firm will make an investment.
  • Investment Management
    The investment management area includes mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds, and other private investment companies. As the name implies, investment management involves the soliciting of funds from investors with the objective of generating good returns for the investors. Jobs range from very sales oriented, to very quantitative, to very customer service focused.
  • Retail Banking
    Retail bankers assist individuals with their personal financial needs, including auto and home loans, deposit and savings accounts, and insurance and investments (usually as a referral). A retail banker has extensive customer contact each day. Most of this customer contact would occur in their branch, either in person or on the phone.

How to Pursue a Career in Finance

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
path 1
Clear Class XII in Commerce with Math or Science stream Pursue Bachelors in Any Stream for 3-4 yearsPursue Post Graduation Diploma in Finance/ MBA/ Masters in Finance or Certification Program like CFA for 1-2 years -
path 2
Commerce Pursue Bachelors in Finance/ BFIA/ B.Com (H) for 3 years Pursue Post Graduation Diploma in Finance/ MBA/ Masters in Finance or Certification Program like CFA for 1-2 years -
path 3
Commerce Pursue Certification Course in Chartered Accountancy/ Cost AccountancyPursue Post Graduation Diploma in Finance/ MBA/ Masters in Finance or Certification Program like CFA for 1-2 year -
path 4
Commerce Pursue Bachelors in Finance/ BFIA/ B.Com (H) for 3 years Pursue Certification/ Diploma Program in Finance-

Important Facts

  • Most Colleges have an eligibility of at least 50% aggregate marks in class 12th.
  • Most examinations have an eligibility of at least 50% aggregate marks in class 12th and graduation.

Leading Institutes

Top Finance Institutes in India
College Location Website
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Multiple Locations
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India Multiple Locations
Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India Multiple Locations
Indian Institute of Financial Planning New Delhi www.Website Link not available
NIILM Centre for Management Studies Greater Noida
Asia Pacific Institute of Management New Delhi
International College of Financial Planning New Delhi
Delhi University, Department of Financial Studies New Delhi
Shaheed Sukhdev college of Business Studies, Delhi University New Delhi
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
International College of Financial Planning Mumbai
Top Finance Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
Harvard University United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
Stanford University United States
University of Chicago United States
University of Cambridge United Kingdom
University of Pennsylvania United States
London Business School United Kingdom
University of California, Berkeley United States
New York University United States
The University of Melbourne Australia
The University of New South Wales Australia
National University of Singapore Singapore
Yale University United States

Important Entrance Exams

College Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Chartered Accountant CPT Exam June and December
  • Accounting
  • Mercantile Law
  • General Economics
  • Quantitative Aptitude
Company Secretary Examination June and December
  • Company Law
  • Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Business Management
  • Tax Laws
Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Certified Financial Analyst Exam (CFA) June and December
  • Investment Analysis
  • Statistics
Common Admission Test (CAT) November
  • Verbal Ability
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation

Work Description

  • Provide financial information and analyze change
  • Monitor and interpret cash flows and predict future trends
  • Formulate strategic and long-term business plans
  • Analyze competitors and market trends
  • Develop financial management mechanisms that minimize financial risks
  • Conduct reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities
  • Manage a company's financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems
  • Develop external relationships with appropriate contacts, e.g., auditors, solicitors, bankers and statutory organizations

Pros & Cons of a Career in Finance

  • High paying potential
  • Opportunity to work in different areas, like accounting, auditing, pricing, taxes etc.
  • Fast growth in job and never-ending demand of professionals
  • Getting certification is a long process
  • Work-life balance may get affected due to tediousness of job
  • Can become boring in the long run
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