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Finance graduates usually begin their career by one of the following routes:

  1. an internship program
  2. clerical positions in bank insurance and corporate entities, or
  3. administrative assistants. After the acquirement of basic experience, leadership positions are open to those who demonstrate the capacity to assume responsibility.

Currently positions are open in the health-care industry, banks, and corporations. State and local governmental agencies have many openings for finance graduates in a variety of fields. Career options include Actuary, Attorney, Business Valuator, Financial Analyst, Financial Planner, Foreign Exchange Trader, Manufacturing Executive, Stockbroker, and Venture Capitalist.

Educational Qualifications

Most financial analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as accounting, business administration, economics, finance, or statistics. Employers often require a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.

Job Outlook

Employment of financial analysts is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.

Entering Salary

The median annual wage of accountants and auditors was $61,690 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,940 and the top 10 percent earned more than $106,880.

The median annual wage of paralegals and legal assistants was $46,680 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,460, and the top 10 percent earned more than $74,870. The median annual wage of lawyers was $112,760 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,130, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.

The median annual wage of financial analysts was $74,350 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,490, and the top 10 percent earned more than $141,700.

The median annual wage of medical and health services managers was $84,270 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,280, and the top 10 percent earned more than $144,880.

The median annual wage of management analysts was $78,160 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,900, and the top 10 percent earned more than $138,790.

The median annual wage of human resources specialists was $52,690 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,050, and the top 10 percent earned more than $93,260.

The median annual wage of market research analysts was $60,570 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,350, and the top 10 percent earned more than $111,440. The median annual wage for marketing managers was $112,800 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,750, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.

In May 2010 the wages for economists began at $89,450, for urban planners $40,410, and for political scientists $48,720

Career information adapted from:

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh