Business Degrees & CareersHow to Work in Business & Finance

Become Team
Become Team
November 17, 2020

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From financial advisors to human resources to real estate careers, business and finance careers give those who enjoy facts and figures an opportunity to put their analytical skills to use. This guide discusses the different professional paths in the industry, the education, training and degrees these professionals need, the tools they use to be successful, and the salaries that different business and finance jobs command.

Business and Finance Degrees & Career Paths

Accounting

Advertising

Business Consulting

Insurance Training

Sales

Students who pursue a business finance education will find a myriad of professional paths available to them. While these careers all require a solid foundation in financial principles, each career requires a different approach. Find out about the different business finance career paths, including information on job duties and required education.

Accounting

Accountants and auditors are responsible for preparing tax returns and determining how much money is owed to the federal, state, and local government. They may also scrutinize the financial statements of a business to ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are being followed. Other responsibilities may include creating a budget for clients, investigating whether or not financial mismanagement is occurring in an organization, and preparing internal reports for managers to use when making business decisions. Accountants and auditors also make recommendations on how an organization can cut down costs and maximize profits.


Education requirements
A bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or a related field is typically required for entry-level positions, though some bookkeepers and accounting clerks may gain those positions with an associate degree and experience. Some accountants may earn master's degree in accounting, finance or business administration (MBA) with emphasis in accounting, and those who wish to become certified public accountants (CPAs), will be required to meet all requirements for that designation, including becoming licensed as a CPA in their state.

Budget Analysts

Finances are the lifeblood of any organization, so it's imperative that information about money matters is up-to-date and accurate. Budget analysts help both public and private organizations keep their finances organized. This is done by looking over budget proposals to ensure they are accurate and complete; consolidating the budgets of different departments within an organization; keeping an eye on a client's spending so that expenses do not exceed the established budgets; and making predictions about the financial needs of a company. Budget analysts also must stay informed about the law and understand how legislation will impact their client's finances.


Education requirements
At the very least, budget analysts need a bachelor's degree in finance, business, accounting, statistics, or a closely related field. Some may also wish to pursue a master's degree and/or earn a credential as a Certified Government Financial Manager from the Association of Government Accountants.

Financial Analysts

当企业需要帮助做出明智的财政决策时,他们会求助于金融分析师的专业知识。这些专业人士就企业和个人应该把钱投到哪些投资项目上提供建议,并解释为什么这些交易是可靠的;为客户准备报告;管理金融投资组合;并决定一个组织如何偿还其债务。此外,金融分析师及时了解影响市场的消息也很重要。为此,他们研究商业和经济趋势,了解如何将当前的气候与历史信息进行比较。


Education requirements
A bachelor's degree in economics, accounting, business, finance or statistics is typically the minimum requirement to work as a financial analyst, and a master's degree in business or finance is required for some positions. Several certifications are available, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential.>.

Financial Examiners

The laws that govern the financial industry are complicated and constantly changing. In order to ensure that they are conducting business lawfully, organizations often work with financial examiners who use their understanding of financial regulations to advise them on their transactions. The specific job duties of these professionals include reviewing documents such as balance sheets, loan applications, and expense accounts; reviewing an organization's finances to ensure that it is working within the law; and preparing reports for clients. In addition, financial examiners may be charged with training other professionals on how the examination process works.


Education requirements
Financial examiners typically have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or a related field. Some may choose to go on and earn a master's degree or become a CPA.

Financial Managers

无论他们的工作是控制人、信贷经理、财务主管还是风险经理,财务经理都负责保持组织的货币事务健康。这些职位作为专业人士肩负着监督公司长期财务目标的重任。具体来说,财务经理负责监督一个组织的资金,以便做出预测,创建财务报表和业务活动报告,并确保该组织遵守法律。此外,这些专业人员还监督负责制定和维护预算的员工;探索降低成本的方法;并帮助其他经理根据财务信息做出决策。


Education requirements
The minimum requirement for most financial managers is a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, finance or a related field. A master's degree in business administration, finance or related may be preferred by some employers.

Personal Financial Advisors

Those who do not work in the business finance industry usually don't understand the intricacies of the markets—but they do know that they have financial goals to fund their children's education, buy a home, and comfortably enjoy their retirement years. Through the help of personal financial advisors, people are able to meet these goals. The career entails helping clients understand different financial services that are available, making recommendations about investments, and monitoring accounts to ensure that clients' investments are performing in a favorable way.


Education requirements
A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business, math or economics can be useful for personal financial advisors, though requirements vary depending on the employer. Specific training in taxes, estate planning and investments is usually a requirement as well. Some employers offer this training. Depending on the job requirements, personal financial advisors will be required to be licensed also.

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

这些专业人士帮助投资者在复杂而快速变化的证券、大宗商品和金融服务领域找到方向。这个职位需要买卖股票和债券,为客户提供实现财务目标的最佳投资建议,并监测金融市场的表现。有几种类型的证券、商品和金融服务代理,包括场内经纪人、投资银行家和投资银行销售代理和交易员。


Education requirements
进入该领域通常需要金融学、会计学或商学专业的学士学位。有些人还会选择获得MBA或相关学位。根据职位的不同,可能还需要执照和证书,特别是经纪人和投资银行家。

Components of a Successful Career in Business Finance: Skills, Tools, and Technology

Skill

Learning the principles of business finance is just the beginning to building a successful career in the field. These professionals must also cultivate a number of skills to perform well in their jobs. The following are examples of these skills and why they're important.

Attention to detail
Crunching numbers is essential in these jobs, and if one tiny detail is incorrect, it can have a huge impact on an organization's financial data. Business finance workers need to be highly detail oriented, paying attention to every piece of information they encounter when creating and reviewing financial documents.
Interpersonal relationship skills
When working with busy professionals, it often takes finesse in order to nurture a mutually beneficial relationship. Some clients that business finance professionals encounter can be difficult personalities to deal with, so it's important to have good interpersonal skills. Being able to get along with different kinds of people can go a long way toward getting the work accomplished and keeping the peace.
Listening skills
People disclose the intimate details of their finances to workers in these jobs, so they must have strong listening skills. Business finance professionals must be able to get the information they need to help clients make investments and manage their finances, and this can only be done by effective listening.
Time management skills
Business finance jobs are driven by deadlines, so it's imperative that these professionals manage their time efficiently. They are often working with several different clients or projects at once, so they regularly juggle multiple deadlines. As a result, workers must ensure that none of their work falls through the cracks of procrastination and time wasting.
Written and verbal communication skills

People in this industry must communicate complicated concepts in ways that others can understand. Whether they are discussing a fiscal strategy with clients or drafting reports detailing the activity of an account, they are required to have good verbal and written communication skills.

Credentials

Those who pursue certain business finance jobs, such as accountant and financial analyst positions, are required to obtain a license from their state. However, there are other credentials that professionals can voluntarily earn. These help workers differentiate themselves in the job market and make them more attractive to employers. The following are some examples of industry certifications that are available.

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is granted from the Institute of Management Accountants for those who have completed a bachelor's degree and a minimum of two years of management accounting experience.

Certification Organization Description
Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Institute of Management Accountants The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is granted from the Institute of Management Accountants for those who have completed a bachelor's degree and a minimum of two years of management accounting experience.
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Institute of Internal Auditors The Institute of Internal Auditors offers a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) credential to internal auditors who have two years of professional experience. This organization also has Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), and Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) credentials.
Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers several certifications, such as Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) ISACA The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), which is available through ISACA, is for professionals with five years of experience auditing information systems.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) CFA Institute The CFA Institute offers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification for financial analysts with a bachelor's degree and four years of work experience.
Certified Government Financial Manager Association of Government Accountants Budget analysts who work with the government can earn a certification from the Association of Government Accountants called the Certified Government Financial Manager.
Certified Treasury Professional Association for Financial Professionals The Association for Financial Professionals offers the Certified Treasury Professional credential for financial managers who have been in the profession for at least two years.

Tools and Technology

要想在商业和金融领域取得成功,知识和技能是必要的,但这些专业人士也需要一些工具和技术。Some examples of these technologies and tools include:

  • Accounting software
    Such as Intuit QuickBooks, Sage BusinessWorks, Lead Activity Analyzer, Accurate NXG, and ATX Total Accounting Office.
  • Financial analysis software
    Like Delphi, Oracle E-Business Suite Financials, and ARES Corporation PRISM Project Estimator.
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP software)
    Including Oracle Hyperion and Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  • Data mining software
    Such as Google Analytics, SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse, and Informatica Data Explorer
  • Inventory management software
    Like AIM Asset Management.
  • Tax preparation systems
    包括Thomson GoSystem Tax, Intuit TurboTax, Universal Tax Systems TaxWise和Abacus Tax Software。
  • Regulatory agency compliance software
  • Human resource information systems
  • Project management programs
    Such as Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Metadata management software
    Including CA Erwin Data Modeler.

Business and Finance Career Salaries

那些追求商业和金融职位的人通常能获得高于全国平均水平的高薪。以下是一些适合该行业职业的薪资信息。


$115,320

Fiancial Managers


$78,620

Financial Analysts


$76,310

Financial Examiners


$71,220

Budget Analysts


$65,940

Accountants and Auditors

Business and Finance Career Job Growth, Prospects, and Outlook

The landscape for business and finance careers differs depending on which career people enter and where they live. In the following table, the growth prospects of several careers are outlined, along with the top states for jobs in those professions.

Career Description Growth Between 2012 and 2022
Accountants and Auditors The improved economy and stricter regulations on businesses are driving the demand for these professionals. 13%
Financial Analysts 金融产品的复杂性增加了对金融分析师的需求。此外,公司希望分析师是特定地理区域的专家。 16%
Financial Examiners Growth will be slowed down as hiring in the federal government declines. New regulations may promote growth for financial examiners in other sectors, however. 6%
Budget Analysts 对这一职业的需求将由强调提高商业效率而产生。 6%
Financial Managers The slow growth of these jobs in the commercial banking industry will limit available positions. Other sectors, however, may have faster growth. 9%

Sources:Bureau of Labor Statistics and Projections Central

Related Occupations & Salaries: What You Need to Know

那些对从事商业和金融职业感兴趣的人也可以考虑一些相关的道路。以下是一些适合具有很强商业头脑和数字头脑的人的相关职业。

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

11%

Salary

$36,430

Education and Training:

A high school diploma and on-the-job training.

Loan Officers

8%

Salary

$62,620

Education and Training:

Bachelor's degree and hands-on training.

Insurance Sales Agents

10%

Salary

$47,860

Education and Training:

High school diploma.

Real Estate Brokers

11%

Salary

$57,360

Education and Training:

High school diploma.

Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

6%

Salary

$52,570

Education and Training:

Education requirements vary by state, but generally an associate's degree is required.

Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators

3%

Salary

$62,220

Education and Training:

A high school diploma or equivalent.

Cost Estimators

26%

Salary

$60,050

Education and Training:

Bachelor's degree.

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

6%

Salary

$60,600

Education and Training:

Bachelor's degree and related work experience.

Fundraisers

17%

Salary

$52,430

Education and Training:

Bachelor's degree.

Related Careers at a Glance

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Become Team
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