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Money is all around us. Every aspect of life has a financial consideration, and it is one of the few things in life common to all people in Western society - young and old.

Our world revolves around money, and peoples’ lives can be governed by it; from pursuing more money to fund a more lavish lifestyle to scraping together enough to feed a family, money has a different meaning to everyone.

Money comes with an emotional charge. It is relevant to us all, and therefore when important decisions or claims are made by powerful entities, they can provoke impassioned responses; interest rate changes within a country affect both individuals and businesses.

Why Finance Matters

The finance sector directly affects all industries and people. People rely on financial products at different times in their lives; from a young couple applying for a loan or mortgage to a newly retired person withdrawing from their pension fund for the first time, access to sufficient funds is crucial. Similarly, startup business owners rely on loans to get up and running; over time, businesses use financial products to expand, and if they ever get into financial difficulty. Stocks and shares are also hugely influential to the private sector; trading South African markets is becoming an increasingly popular option for people around the world.

Finance companies are responsible for dealing with huge sums of money every day; this money consists of peoples’ life savings or a business’ capital; therefore the careful management of this money is vital.

People working within key finance roles have great power to influence the world around them.

What Career Options are Available?

The breadth of the financial sector means that a wide spectrum of career opportunities are available. Retail banking - providing everyday money management for many - is one of the biggest areas of finance. From bank tellers to bank managers and beyond, this sector presents many opportunities for people to develop their careers.

Insurance is another growing industry, providing a range of career options. The crux of insurance is the balance between risk and reward; insurance companies can act as a safety net for businesses when they are at their most vulnerable. An insurance company becomes profitable by successfully analysing risk in its favour. Careers include risk analysis, insurance brokerage and claims management.

Compulsory pension-enrolment is becoming increasingly commonplace, with governments around the world realising that state pensions will not be sustainable in the future due to an ageing population. Pension management is important due to the sheer length of the financial investment. People expect to be able to trust pension providers with their money; this offers a large range of potential careers.

Am I Suited to a Career in Finance?

Before you make a commitment to forge a career path in the financial sector, it is important to consider some of the traits exhibited by those in successful finance careers. The sheer pace and pressure associated with many careers within the industry means that you must be resilient, confident and calm under pressure. Focus, commitment and adaptability are also crucial to success.

How Do I Get Into a Career in Finance…

Although different employers within the finance sector have different educational standards for their prospective employees, there are some general educational benchmarks for careers within the industry.

As a School Leaver?

School leavers require good grades (especially in Maths and English) to begin a career in finance. For example, large accountancy firms offer programmes for people to qualify in accountancy whilst earning a living. This offers a practical way for people to learn from within the industry and gain a professional qualification.

As a College or University Graduate?

Whilst a relevant degree is of course beneficial, it is by no means essential. However, qualifications awarded prior to Further Education may also come into consideration in the recruitment process. Generally, a 2.1 degree is accepted. Graduate programmes offered by businesses can help to quickly kick-start and develop a career in finance.

Have You Found Your Dream Career?

Whilst careers in finance can be extremely demanding and pressurised, it also offers the right person a rewarding career with great future opportunities. The industry offers very competitive starting salaries that can quickly develop with experience; fittingly, successful careers in finance often demand top salaries. Have you found your dream career?





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