Top 7 Careers in Finance

‘Finance’ refers to the management of funds, assets and liabilities over a period of time. It comprises of various different activities that are financial in nature including investing money, obtaining credit, banking etc. It also refers to the process of collecting and providing funds required by companies, firms or individuals for personal and business use. It can be divided into 3 basic categories, which include Public Finance, Corporate Finance and Personal Finance. A person employed by the Financial Sector will usually be working in either of these categories.

The ‘Top 7 Careers in Finance’ comprises of a list of the different types of careers that you can pursue in the world of Finance. As expected, all of these careers are a part of Commerce field. They require knowledge of topics like cash flow, asset and risk management, capital markets etc. Professionals in this field have to often make decisions based on their financial understanding and these decisions can have a major impact on the future of the financial health of an individual, firm or company. The basic aim of all the professionals working in this sector is to help an entity collect and use funds in a manner which is most profitable and has the least amount of risk involved. Careers in this field require highly skilled professionals who have financial acumen and excellent numerical skills. Like any other corporate job, you would normally start off with the entry – level jobs and then move higher up the ladder and earn bigger salaries while making bigger decisions. All of these careers have excellent growth opportunities and if you have the right aptitude and attitude, then there is no limit to the amount of success you can achieve and the amount of money you can earn.

Equity Research Analysts

In simple terms, Equity Research refers to the study of stocks and other financial instruments that can be traded easily for investment purposes. The basic purpose of Equity Research is to help an individual/firm/company invest their funds so as to yield the highest possible returns. Professionals working in this field are known as Equity Research Analysts. They use their financial acumen and forecasting skills to advise investors. They analyze a company’s past records and predict future prospects using a variety of methods. This prediction is then used by investors, brokers, traders and the general public to decide whether or not to invest in a particular company/firm and whether or not to sell their current share in a company.

Equity Research Analysts constantly study the companies that are listed on national and international stock exchanges. They work for a variety of firms, including Mutual Funds, Financial Research Companies, Brokerage Firms etc. Their job includes estimating what the growth rates of a company are going to be in the coming years. Equity Research Analysts are involved in studying financial statements of companies in detail, including cash flow statements and balance sheets. They interact with a lot of people and constantly keep track of financial journals and other sources of information that will help them predict future economic and market trends. It is a part of their jobs to review financial instruments that are listed on the stock exchange like stocks and bonds so as to help investors make sound financial decisions. They study the performance of the company, the general trend in the market and use their financial skills to predict the future financial position of that company. It is a career that offers massive opportunities for growth and can be very well paying. Equity Research is a suitable career for people who have great analytical and numeric skills along with financial aptitude and a genuine interest in the world of finance. You would normally start off as a junior level analyst and then go on to become a senior level analyst. To join this field, you would normally require a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Commerce or Statistics along with an M.B.A in related fields.

Investment Bankers

Investment Bankers are skilled professionals who have a very strong knowledge base in the field of Finance. They aim to help a company/firm or individual generate funding or invest their money in a way that is most profitable. Investment Bankers help firms take decisions regarding a variety of financial activities such as issuing bonds, acquisitions and mergers and selling of stock.  Their main job is to help organizations such as banks and individuals earn money by investing their funds in the right places at the right times. They are often involved in trading financial products on the behalf of their clients. Investment Bankers help provide an ‘external’ and impartial view on the business that is beneficial for the growth of the organization. 

Investment Bankers study the financial health of an organization and find ways through which it can be improved. They help firms and companies develop financial plans that will be beneficial for the future as well as the present. They are extremely important for any company that is planning to go public. Their job includes structuring and negotiating deals for their clients to ensure that their best interests are looked after. Investment Bankers research and study market trends, identify business opportunities and generate funds for big and small companies. They work closely with the heads of companies and help them invest their funds in the right places so as to earn profits. A major part of their time goes in finding new businesses with high potential for clients that are willing to invest their money. It is a career that is one of the Top 7 Money - Making Careers. Even though Investment Bankers need to work very hard, the financial and monetary rewards are well worth it. The job involves working for long hours, travelling and constantly dealing with clients. You will generally start of as an analyst in an Investment Banking firm and then climb the ladder of success. There are massive growth opportunities for people who have the necessary financial acumen, communication skills and dedication. A Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and an M.B.A in Investment Banking can help you succeed in this job.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Investment Banking Industry.

Treasury Managers

Treasury Managers are those type of Finance Managers who are responsible for managing the funds and assets of an organization. They aim to invest and allocate those funds in the right places so as to help the business grow and look for ways through which the financial risk involved can be minimized. They handle a variety of financial matters for an organization such as creating financial plans, forecasting future revenue and costs, arranging funds and managing investments. One of their primary jobs is to determine the amount of cash or equivalents and organization should have so as to ensure liquidity. They work internally in an organization and work towards making sure that the necessary funds are arranged and allocated in a financially sound manner. Treasury Managers deal with a lot of entities, such as banks, investors, customers etc. They are closely involved in structuring funding deals to make sure that the organization benefits with minimum risk.

Treasury Managers work with Investment Bankers during the issuance of stocks and bonds. They constantly review their financial forecasts and make sure that the goals of the organization are being met. Treasury Managers are responsible for creating and governing policies and procedures that would improve the financial health of the organization. Their job includes coming up with risk management plans which will help the organization operate in a safe and sound financial environment. They head the Treasury Department which is involved in looking after the financial matters of the organization. It is a part of their job to motivate employees and guide them wherever necessary. Treasury Managers are involved in studying the finances of a company and helping the heads make decisions that will be beneficial for the financial health of the organization. They come up with strategies for cost reduction and supervise financial operations like lease financing that would include studying proposals and negotiating bids. They are very important for the success of any organization as their decisions and advice can impact the fortunes of the company. It can be a financially rewarding career for people who have numeric and forecasting skills, along with the ability to communicate and analyze. To become successful in this career, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce or a B.B.A along with an M.B.A in a related field.

Chartered Accountants

Accountants record and review an organization’s financial transactions. They create financial statements like Balance Sheets and Income Statements. A lot of Accountants are involved in analyzing these statements and using their financial skills to predict the financial health of the organization. Senior Accountants often give advice to the heads of companies and forms regarding major financial decisions so as to make sure that there are maximum profits and minimum risks. They work for all types of companies and perform a variety of jobs, including auditing, taxation and financial management. The financial statements they create are used by owners, investors, researches and the public to know in detail about the company’s financial structure and health.

Accountants are involved in recording financial transactions of an organization on a regular basis. They usually work for several clients at the same time and manage their day accordingly. A lot of Accountants work for big Chartered Accountancy firms whereas some prefer to work individually. Their job also includes providing advice to clients regarding tax planning and finding legal ways through which an organization has to pay the minimum amount of tax. They are sometimes also involved in guiding organizations during mergers and acquisitions along with Investment Bankers. They are also involved in creating budgets and reviewing them. Accountants work alongside internal and external auditors during the auditing process and ensure that there are no irregularities. As it is necessary for a company to get its accounts audited by a registered Accountant, there are massive job opportunities for Accountants. To become a Chartered Accountant in India, you will have to complete the 3 stages of the CA course offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). You can be successful in this field if you are determined, hard working and focused and you should also have numerical, analytical and financial skills. You will usually start off as an entry level accountant and can go on into more analytical and advisory roles such as Investment Banking.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Accounting and Auditing Industry.

Fund Managers

As the name suggests, Fund Managers are responsible for managing a company’s finances by investing in different types of funds. As the world of finance is constantly changing, Fund Managers are needed to spot new opportunities and discourage non – profitable investments. In India, they primarily deal in the trading of Mutual Funds. Their primary function is to invest the finances of a company in a fund that will suit their needs and goals. Fund Managers are responsible for ensuring that the client knows about the different policies, risks and expenses before investing in a fund. It is a part of their job to ensure that the documents are completed, filed and distributed as per the law. Fund Managers work with several companies at the same time and provide advice to all those companies regarding activities related to investing in funds.

Fund Managers prepare and execute financial plans for a company and are also responsible for coming up with contingency plans to deal with unforeseen circumstances. They are involved in choosing the fund to invest in and deciding how much money is to be invested. A large organization usually hires a group of Fund Managers to handle its financial resources. It is their job to choose a fund while considering the regulations and risks involved. Their credibility is based on how well their fund performs. This requires them to be aware of the financial world and ongoing trends and practices. They are also involved in Equity Research. They have to ensure that the returns are consistent with the level of risk that has been mentioned in the prospectus of the Mutual Fund. Fund Managers are paid a percentage of the total amount of money invested in the fund. It is a continuous job that requires a Fund Manager to keep re – evaluating the profitability of funds. They are also involved in guiding and motivating their subordinates who assist him/her in this job. Fund Management can be a very profitable career for people who have sound financial and analytical skills and who have the ability to make quick decisions. You will normally require a B.Com and an M.B.A to get a good job as a Fund Manager.

Risk Managers

Risk Managers are the type of Finance Managers who advise the company regarding the risks involved in investments and other financial activities. It is their job to ensure that the organization performs its financial functions with the minimum amount of risks involved. They are involved in studying and identifying potential risks, and coming up with contingency plans in case the investment does not turn out to be profitable. They are responsible for ensuring that every level of an organization is at minimum risk during any financial activity, including the owners, employees, customers and stakeholders. They work in many sectors and areas including corporate governance, business continuity, and market and credit risks.

Risk Managers are responsible for creating and implementing a risk management process across the organization that has the potential to deal with unforeseen circumstances. They assess potential investments while keeping various factors in mind including the profitability of the venture, the amount of risk the management is willing to take, costs, legal requirements etc. An important task that Risk Managers perform is to purchase insurances and implement health and safety measures so as to minimize the amount of risks involved. They constantly study markets and the dynamic world of finance to ensure that an investment that was considered to be safe earlier has become unsafe due to the fluctuations in the financial market. They work with companies to ensure that they do not get involved in activities that might affect their reputation or business. Risk Managers ensure that a company is fully prepared to deal with the risks involved before investing its funds. They can be very well paid on the basis of their experience and previous track record. To be successful in this field, one should have excellent analytical and forecasting skills along with the ability to persuade people and ensure safety. A Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting or Business along with an M.B.A in a related field can be very helpful in establishing your credibility and getting you better jobs.

Private Equity / Venture Capitalists

Private Equity refers to the investment made by individuals and institutions in growing businesses with the aim of recovering a greater amount of money. Venture Capitalists are investors who invest in businesses that require start –up capital. By doing this, they become partners in the business. The difference between them and normal partners in the business is that they are not essentially involved in the day to day operations of the business and do not look to be a part of it for the long term. They look at it as an investment and sell their share to another investor when they are satisfied the returns the sale will yield.  Anybody can become a Venture Capitalist as long as you have the ability to spot the potential in a business.

Private Equity firms are responsible for investing funds of their clients with the purpose of yielding great returns. Unlike Venture Capitalists, they do not invest their own money, but use their client’s money to invest. They earn money by charging a yearly management fee and a gross profit fee from the final sale of the equity. They are involved in organizing deals between investors and businesses and also liaison with Investment Banks. Private Equity firms and Venture Capitalists are often involved in investing in established businesses as well to fund the process of expansion. These normally prove to be safer investments, but offer smaller profit margins. You can join the finance sector through a Private Equity Firm or as a Venture Capitalist if you have the required financial acumen and analytical skills. You will also need excellent communication, management and accounting skills. A Bachelor’s degree in Finance or Accounting along with an M.B.A in a related field can be instrumental for your success in this field.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Private Equity Industry.

Finance and Accounts

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.