Careers in Financial Services
Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of professional firms that manage money, including credit-card issuers, banks, investment brokers, insurance companies and mortgage lenders. These firms can be for-profit or nonprofit ventures. Almost all of us use at least some types of these professional services throughout our lives.
These services include facilitating savings, providing credit and supplying other financing such as hire purchase and leasing. They also offer protection against unforeseen expenses, such as accidents or natural calamities. Financial services are a major driver of the economy. When they are strong, an economy thrives and people feel richer. When they falter, economies suffer and people lose confidence in their purchasing power.
The types of professional firms that make up the sector vary by country, but typically include the central bank; depository organizations such as commercial banks and building societies; other deposit-taking institutions, such as credit unions or credit cooperatives; and nonbanking financial companies, such as payment systems providers and digital banking technology developers. Other services offered include accounting and auditing; securities research (which may involve providing public stances on specific securities or industries); private banking for high net worth individuals; and currency exchange.
As a highly specialized and competitive industry, careers in financial services pay well and offer excellent career advancement opportunities. However, as Duitch points out, many jobs in this sector are not a great fit for people with certain goals, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.