Financial services are a key component of the world economy, not only for consumers, but also small businesses, large companies and nonprofits. The practices, standards and regulations set by the industry influence the way other industries do business.
The industry is broad, with a number of different types of jobs and career paths within it. Some of the major players include banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, brokers and insurance agents. Some people are surprised to learn that investment firms, Wall Street and finance professors are all part of the financial services industry as well.
Because the industry is so vital to everyone, jobs in financial services are usually very secure. This is especially true if you work for a large company with a solid reputation. You can expect to receive generous paychecks and plenty of room for promotion. Many employers in the field of financial services also offer a great benefits package, including free or heavily discounted healthcare and retirement options.
In addition to security, other reasons to consider a career in the financial services industry include a high level of job satisfaction and great opportunities for advancement. This is especially true if you choose to work in one of the more highly specialized areas, such as private banking or investment management.
There are also a wide variety of different jobs in the field of financial services, so it’s important to decide what type of role is best for you before embarking on a path in the industry. For example, if you dream of becoming an investment banker, working as a teller at a community bank probably won’t help you reach your goals.
Some of the more specialized positions in the financial services industry include family office services – an investment and wealth management firm that handles the assets of a wealthy family or small group, similar to private banking. Broker services – brokerage firms that buy and sell securities on behalf of their clients, typically with the added service of financial consulting and research. Prime brokerage – a bundled brokerage and research service that caters to high net worth individuals.
As a whole, the financial services industry is continuing to expand, thanks to the continued push toward universal access to banking, and digital financial inclusion. There are now over 1.2 billion adults who have gotten access to accounts, and the industry continues to innovate in order to meet the needs of underserved populations, as well as address growing customer demand for a more personalized experience and better debt and money management tools. To stay competitive, financial services providers will have to continue to bolster their technology and make it easier for customers to manage their finances remotely. This will ensure their continued growth and create a stronger bottom line.