The finance industry is full of exciting opportunities. Accounting and finance affect all aspects of business, commerce, and the economy. This means it is always going to be relevant and there are many different career paths to choose from. Still, trying to land a job in accounting and finance can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to get hired in the industry.
Degrees Can Vary
Generally, you will need some kind of degree. Usually, for an entry position you need at least a BA, but there are exceptions. But the kind of degree isn’t as important as you might think. Degrees in accounting, business, math, etc. might seem like obvious choices, but as mentioned earlier there are many different career paths to choose from. Most hiring managers in the field recognize that communication and interpersonal skills are often more important than technical skills. Some hiring managers might even prefer candidates who have communication degrees. Two, some positions in the finance industry don’t involve numbers at all. If you don’t have an accounting degree, don’t let that intimidate you during the job search.
Consider a Two-Year Program
If you want to expedite entry to the field, many colleges have financial analyst programs, which normally take two years instead of four. With an associate degree, you can get your foot in the door and then build up your skill set on the job. There are often opportunities for internal advancement. Plus, many companies train on the job. You can often learn more about finance and accounting by working entry level jobs than you could in a classroom.
Go for an Internship
Internships can be an excellent launching pad for a paid job. Most companies do not expect interns to have all the necessary skills because they are meant to be learning opportunities. With an internship, you can learn valuable lessons and make contacts. It also looks great on your resume. In some cases, companies will hire interns after the internship is over because they have an established relationship with the intern. This can make them safer hires. You don’t know what to expect when you hire someone you’ve never worked with before.
Take Advantage of Your Network
Especially if you want to transition into the finance industry from a different field, your network can make all the difference. Finance is a large and diverse industry. You likely have friends, family, colleagues, etc. who have experience with or connections within the industry. Buy them a drink and talk to them about your goals. They can give you advice on how to set goals or nail an interview. In some cases, they might be able to even get you an interview.
Job hunting in the finance and accounting industry can be intimidating because it is such a huge field. It can be hard to assess what jobs you are and aren’t qualified to do. It is important to note that job descriptions are often just generalizations. Many of the skills listed are ones that can be learned on the job. The important thing is to have a clear understanding of what you are good at. If you excel at communication, for example, you can easily use that as leverage during interviews. Self-awareness is key.
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