So, You Want to Work in Finance? 5 Career Paths to Choose From

Alexandra Greenhalgh
31.03.21 – 03 Mins Read

A guest blog by graduate, Lily Harris

If you’re looking for a lucrative and fast-paced career that offers excellent continuing development opportunities and helps you make a difference in the world, finance could be your ideal match.

Whether you choose to work for an ambitious startup or a leading international tax and financial planning company, a small organisation or a large corporation, you’ll need excellent problem-solving skills and a genuine love for numbers to achieve success.

Here are five careers in finance that could be your ideal match.

1. Financial Planning

A career in financial planning is perhaps the most rewarding career in finance. Depending on your chosen role, you’d be supporting individuals closely and helping them achieve their long-term financial goals.

This can include assessing their financial goals, analysing the right savings, investment, property or tax planning approach for them and then helping them to develop a plan to get there. Whilst many graduates start their careers as financial planning administrators, they can quickly move up through the ranks and increase their earning potential.

The Fry Group. To build a better sense of trust with your clients and improve your career prospects, you should consider training to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

2. Commercial Banking

If you’re great with figures and great with people, a career in commercial banking could be for you. Most new staff members often start working in high street banks, supporting customers over the counter. Then they work up through the ranks, managing investments, savings and loans, dealing with marketing or even managing the branch itself.

Even though this career path may not seem as glamorous as some, there’s an excellent potential to gain promotions, become more specialised and increase your earning potential. There are also numerous graduate opportunities offered by banks such as HSBC.

3. Corporate Finance

Corporate bankers help companies to maximise their business value, reduce financial risk and achieve their long-term business goals. The role can be extremely varied and involve everything from preparing financial statements to devising the company’s financial strategy, forecasting profit and loss, providing financial advice and helping the corporate customer find the best financial product for their needs.

There are opportunities to work in a variety of companies from small startups to larger corporations and again, excellent promotion opportunities. To succeed in this highly competitive career, you’ll need to be confident, thrive under pressure and be willing to put in long hours. However, the salary can be excellent, starting at around £30,000-£40,000 and increasing to £50,000 within a few years.

4. Investment Banking

Investment banking is a high paced and stressful career that provides excellent financial rewards and excellent opportunities for career growth. Like corporate banking, you’d be working with businesses to support their finances, but in this case, focusing on investments that would help the business grow. This might involve managing mergers and acquisitions, helping to raise capital, buying and selling securities, underwriting deals and conducting risk analyses.

Most organisations will accept graduates from any discipline, provided they can demonstrate the personal qualities and work ethic that they require, however, good financial knowledge can make a big difference.

5. Insurance

Are you a people person who is fascinated by the key issues of the modern world? If so, a career in insurance could be an excellent choice for you. By working in this industry, you’ll help assess and manage risk, making the world a safer place for us all.

With a starting salary of around £30,000 on most graduate schemes, you can work for larger insurance companies or even move into not-for-profit reinsurance. The jobs themselves can be varied and include customer service, sales and marketing and insurance underwriting.


Careers in finance can vary widely, depending on whether you decide to follow the commercial, corporate, investment banking paths or focus more on financial planning or insurance. By considering what kind of working environment you’d like, how much pressure you can handle and your financial ambitions, you’re sure to find the right financial career for you.