Career Opportunities in Finance
Money makes the world go around.No matter what type of business you’re in, profit or nonprofit, manufacturing or service, money management is the key to long-term success.Finance is the art and science of managing money. At the macro level, finance is the study of financial institutions and financial markets and how they operate within the financial system in both the national and global economies.At the microlevel, finance is the study of financial planning, asset management, and fund raising for businesses and financial institutions.
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The world of finance can be divided into its components: commercial banks, investment banks, securities and commodities, insurance and real estate, financial services operations, corporate and industrial finance, and accounting. Commercial banks make loans to businesses and consumers, accept deposits, and offer an array of related banking services. People who work in corporate financial departments are involved in raising money through issue of stocks or bonds and investment of various corporate funds. Investment bankers help their clients create issues of stocks, bonds, or other types of securities; they also underwrite (insure) and help market those securities. In addition, investment bankers often advise clients on mergers, acquisitions, and other actions that have a financial impact. Brokers and traders execute portfolio managers’ orders to buy or sell stocks, bonds, or other securities, such as commodities, futures, and options. Brokerage firms generally are affiliated with investment banking firms. Brokers also may offer research on various securities or investment strategies. Portfolio management professionals invest money for corporate and public pension funds, charitable foundations and educational endowments, and individuals.
There is a great attraction for the finance jobs. One reason is that the finance industry is relatively stable. Though some areas are susceptible to economic slumps (one example is loans, which decrease in times of recession), the finance industry is less likely than, say, manufacturing to see significant layoffs when the economy struggles. Though businesses and individuals may have less cash to put away, the need for both commercial and consumer bank accounts doesn’t abate when the economy slows. And more households are getting involved in the stock markets than ever before which translates into more brokerage accounts and more people to manage them.Another reason for the attractiveness of this industry is its generous compensation. Every year thousands of college graduates are lured to the industry by promises of hefty paychecks and the possibility of becoming the next Gordon Gekko.
In recent years, firms in the financial services industry have experienced a dramatic transformation in the way they do business. Computer technology has enabled companies to be more efficient, so there is less emphasis on number crunching and a greater focus on analytical skills. The globalization of financial markets has increased the challenges facing financial professionals and, at the same time, created the opportunity to expand careers across international borders. Innovative financial products are changing the very nature of the financial services industry, providing an opportunity for young, creative thinkers to succeed in a new era.
Most companies and nonprofit organizations that employ financial professionalshave no shortage of job applicants. Faced with an abundance ofpotential employees, they can be highly selective, giving many applicationsonly cursory consideration. And even when this is not the case, employersnaturally seek the most highly qualified workers available. As a result, itmakes sense to equip oneself with as many attributes as possiblethat are valuable to a potential employer.
The world, especially the world of finance, is changing much more rapidly these days, so companies have to react fast. They need people coming in the door who understand how business runs; people who have the required skill sets to help turnaround situations quicker, or to take start-ups into the marketplace.They will need people who will be responsible for the company’s financial direction and therefore, will need to have a solid foundation that will allow them to understand increasingly sophisticated financial topics.
Students who wish to do well in such a setting need to have built their core strength in finance having taken courses such as Corporate Finance, Financial Reporting, Valuation and Securities Analysis, and Banking. They need a curriculum that makes them comfortable combing through financial statements; that provides rigorous analytical tools for the measurement of risk-return tradeoffs in financial markets, the pricing of financial securities, the allocation of capital in the financial economy; that makes them understand how capital is raised, risk is managed, and companies are governed in the corporate sector; and that equips them to measure and manage risks at financial institutions.
Recruiters value courses whose curriculum prepares students for the emerging knowledge economy while emphasizing the latest concepts, practices, and skills in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. And it is where students of many programs suffer as they are still grappling with outdated course contents and archaic practices. Therefore, one needs to choose a program which is relevant and has an international orientation. One that fits the bill is the Post Graduate Diploma Programs in Finance offered by University of London with academic direction from the London School of Economics (LSE)at ISBF in New Delhi. ISBF is an Affiliate Centre of the University of London offering postgraduate courses from the London School of Economics at its campus in New Delhi, for more information you can visit www.isbf.edu.in
The Article written by a faculty at the Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), an Affiliate Centre of the University of London, LSE.
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