Breaking Into the Financial Services Industry

While you may think of the finance sector as Wall Street and hedge funds, there is much more to it than that. Financial services encompasses a wide range of activities that include deposit-taking, lending and all other types of credit facilities; financial leasing; international payment and money transfer systems; securities trading and investment banking; credit reference and analysis, actuarial services and other advisory and intermediation services. It also includes debt resolution services, global payment providers (like Visa and MasterCard), and clearing and settlement services for financial instruments such as stocks, derivatives and commodities.

While most of us are aware of things like insurance – the system that covers you for those large expenses that aren’t covered by your regular income – we often have little understanding of the broader picture of the financial industry. That’s because the field is so broad and encompassing.

The world of finance is a huge one and the opportunities within it just as vast. From banks and mortgage lenders to stock brokers and credit card companies, there is no shortage of opportunity for those who have the right skills and ambitions.

Like any other field, networking is important when it comes to breaking into the financial industry, particularly for jobs that require more specialised skill sets, such as advisory and portfolio management. But, as in any industry, it’s not just who you know that counts; it’s how well you can demonstrate your abilities and character that will give you the best chance of getting a job.