Careers in Financial Services

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When we think about Financial services, it’s easy to think of bankers, brokers and mortgage lenders. However, the sector extends to include not just these for-profit companies but also small community banks, nonprofits that offer counseling services and money management advice, and even your local credit union. It also includes securities traders, investors and financial advisors. “Financial services is everything that touches money in some way,” says Ryan Duitch, president and CEO of Arro.

The wider financial services sector consists of three overlapping parts – financial enterprises, financial markets and financial intermediation. Financial firms make up the bulk of this group and earn their revenue by taking deposits, lending, investing, insurance and providing other services like cash management. Financial markets are the places where investors buy and sell bonds, equities and currencies. Financial intermediation is the activity of converting savings to investment and vice versa through intermediaries such as banks, credit unions, building societies and other similar institutions.

A career in the industry can be rewarding. Not only do you have the potential to be paid very well, but you can work in many different sectors and locations. You can also move quickly up the ranks and develop a very strong set of transferable skills that can take you anywhere professionally. That said, it can be stressful, especially if you’re working in a highly regulated industry. In addition, the pace of technological innovation can be rapid, so you’ll need to be adaptable and willing to learn new tools often.