Financial services are vital to individuals, businesses and even governments. They provide people with the means to borrow money for mortgages, cars and education; allow individuals to save for retirement or a rainy day; and safeguard property and health through insurance. Financial services also employ millions of people with good-paying jobs, which boosts the economy.
Many different types of companies and roles make up the financial services industry, including central banks; depository organizations such as banks, building societies or credit unions; insurance and reinsurance firms; credit-card issuers, and other providers of payment processing such as credit-card machine networks; and global exchanges that facilitate stock, commodity and derivatives trading. Non-profits that provide counseling services and money management advice also are considered part of this industry.
While there are plenty of opportunities to find work in this sector, it is important for those interested in a career in this field to know what they are getting into. For instance, an employer may ask you why you chose a specific role or company during an interview, which can help determine whether your goals and interests align with the job and its responsibilities.
A great way to get started in the financial services industry is through networking. Contacts with whom you have a mutual connection can vouch for your character and abilities, which can open the door to an interview. Another option is to start in a entry-level position at a bank or other financial institution, such as a broker or consultant. These positions can give you hands-on experience in the industry while you learn new skills on the job.