How to Get Into Finance: Essential Tips and Strategies

Landing a finance job can be highly competitive, but with the right tips and strategies, you can increase your chances of entering the finance industry. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking to make a transition, these essential steps will guide you towards success.

To get started on your finance career journey, it’s important to understand the qualifications and requirements of the industry. While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement, having additional certifications and credentials can give you an edge in the job market. Familiarize yourself with the specific qualifications needed for the finance roles you’re interested in.

Furthermore, internships, diversity-oriented programs, and targeted studies can help you gain valuable experience and make industry connections. Staying informed about the finance industry through reading financial publications and obtaining industry credentials will also enhance your chances of success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the qualifications and requirements for finance jobs.
  • Seek internships and participate in diversity-oriented programs.
  • Target your studies towards finance-related disciplines.
  • Stay informed about the finance industry through reading financial publications.
  • Obtain financial industry credentials to demonstrate your commitment.

Seek Internships, Early and Often

One of the most effective ways to gain valuable experience and get a foot in the door in the finance industry is by seeking internships. Internships provide a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience, exposure to the industry, and a chance to impress potential employers with your skills and work ethic.

It is essential to actively pursue internships throughout your academic journey and even after graduating. Consider internships between college years, during the academic year, and during the summer. Internships can be instrumental in helping you gain career-related experience, build connections, and develop a deeper understanding of the finance industry.

Many internships offer academic credit or are paid, providing a valuable opportunity to not only learn but also earn. By doing multiple internships, you can diversify your experience, network with professionals, and demonstrate your commitment and drive to future employers.

Benefits of Internships in Finance

Internships in finance provide various benefits that can greatly enhance your career prospects. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Gaining Real-World Experience: Internships offer a chance to apply your theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, enabling you to gain relevant skills and learn industry-specific practices.
  • Networking Opportunities: Internships provide an excellent platform to connect with professionals in the finance industry, including mentors, potential employers, and peers. Networking can open doors to future job opportunities and valuable connections.
  • Exploring Different Career Paths: Internships allow you to explore different sectors within finance, helping you determine which area aligns with your interests and strengths.
  • Enhancing Your Resume: Internships on your resume demonstrate your commitment to gaining experience and highlight your abilities to future employers.

The value of internships in finance cannot be understated. They not only provide hands-on experience but also contribute to your overall professional development and increase your chances of securing a full-time finance job.

Company Internship Opportunities
Goldman Sachs Summer Analyst Program
J.P. Morgan Finance Internship Program
Morgan Stanley Global Capital Markets Summer Analyst Program
Bank of America Finance Analyst Program

Use Your Background

In the finance industry, there are diversity-oriented programs, internships, and training specifically designed for women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Take advantage of these programs if you qualify.

Not everyone pursuing a finance career has a traditional business degree, and that’s okay. In fact, your non-business degree can be an asset in finance, as it brings unique perspectives and problem-solving skills to the table.

When networking and applying for finance jobs, make sure to highlight your diverse educational background and transferable skills. Emphasize how your non-business degree gives you a unique edge in the finance industry.

Leveraging Non-Business Degrees in Finance

While a finance-related degree can provide a solid foundation, companies in the industry also value individuals with diverse educational backgrounds. Non-business degrees bring fresh insights and different ways of thinking to financial roles.

Here are some examples of how non-business degrees can be leveraged in finance:

Degree Finance Career Path
Computer Science Financial Technology (FinTech)
Psychology Behavioral Finance
Engineering Quantitative Finance
Environmental Science Sustainable Finance

Keep in mind that while your non-business degree brings value, it’s important to continually develop your finance knowledge and skills through certifications, courses, and on-the-job experience. A combination of a diverse background and relevant finance expertise will help you stand out and succeed in the finance industry.

Target Your Studies

When aiming to enter the finance industry, having a finance-related degree can significantly enhance your prospects. Focusing on numbers-oriented disciplines will provide you with a solid foundation for finance roles.

Finance-Related Degrees

Choosing a finance-related degree can give you a competitive edge when applying for finance jobs. Consider pursuing a degree in business administration, economics, or applied mathematics.

Numbers-Oriented Disciplines

Numbers-oriented disciplines are highly valued in the finance industry. In addition to finance-related degrees, other fields of study such as science, engineering, or information technology can also be relevant for specific finance roles.

Non-Finance Majors in Finance

Don’t worry if you didn’t major in finance. Many finance companies hire individuals from diverse backgrounds. Highlight how your non-finance major brings unique perspectives and problem-solving skills to the table.

Additional Courses for Non-Finance Majors

If you have a non-finance major, you can further enhance your finance knowledge by taking additional courses. Consider minoring in a numbers-crunching discipline or enrolling in courses that cover accounting, financial analysis, or risk management.

To help you visualize the relevance of different fields of study in finance, below is a table showcasing top finance career paths and the preferred majors or disciplines:

Finance Career Paths Preferred Majors or Disciplines
Financial Analyst Finance, Accounting, Economics, Business
Investment Banker Finance, Economics, Business
Financial Planner Finance, Economics, Business
Accountant Finance, Accounting
Risk Analyst Finance, Economics, Mathematics
Treasury Analyst Finance, Economics, Business
FinTech Professional Finance, Computer Science, Information Technology

Learn to Talk the Talk

When it comes to the world of finance, speaking the language of the industry is essential. To enhance your financial language proficiency, it’s important to immerse yourself in financial publications and news. Regularly reading respected financial publications like The Wall Street Journal and The Economist will not only keep you informed on the latest developments in the industry but also expose you to finance jargon and terminology.

Furthermore, expanding your knowledge by reading financial literature, such as investing books, can provide valuable insights and deepen your understanding of complex financial concepts. Additionally, watching financial news coverage can help you stay up to date with market trends and gain further exposure to finance-related discussions.

Learning finance jargon is similar to learning a foreign language. Just as practice is key in language fluency, practice using finance terminology in interviews and discussions will help you build confidence and demonstrate your financial language proficiency.

Benefits of Learning Finance Jargon
Enhanced communication in finance-related roles
Improved understanding of financial literature and news
Increased credibility and professionalism in the industry
Better participation in financial discussions and interviews

Start Garnering Credentials

Obtaining financial industry credentials can significantly enhance your prospects of securing a finance job. Among the most esteemed credentials is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Passing the Level I exam can set you apart from other job candidates and signal your commitment to the field.

Another valuable credential is the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam. This exam allows you to demonstrate your expertise in investments and financial products. Taking these exams showcases your knowledge and dedication, making you a standout candidate for finance positions.

By acquiring these credentials, you demonstrate your competence and commitment to the finance industry, making you more attractive to employers.

Understand Finance Career Opportunities

The finance industry offers a wide range of career opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in finance. Understanding the various roles available, along with their required skill sets, can help you determine which finance career path aligns with your interests and qualifications.

Common Roles in the Finance Industry

  • Financial Analyst
  • Investment Banker
  • Financial Planner
  • Accountant
  • Risk Analyst
  • Treasury Analyst
  • FinTech Professional

These are just a few examples of the many finance career paths available. Each role requires specific skills and knowledge, and offers unique opportunities for growth and advancement within the industry.

To help you better understand these roles, here is an overview of each finance career path:

Finance Career Path Description
Financial Analyst A financial analyst analyzes financial data, prepares financial reports, and provides insight and recommendations to assist businesses and individuals in making financial decisions.
Investment Banker An investment banker advises clients on various financial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, underwriting stocks and bonds, and raising capital for businesses.
Financial Planner A financial planner helps individuals and families create comprehensive financial plans to achieve their financial goals, including retirement planning, investment management, and tax planning.
Accountant An accountant prepares and maintains financial records, performs audits, and provides analysis and advice on financial matters to individuals and businesses.
Risk Analyst A risk analyst identifies and assesses potential risks that may impact an organization’s financial stability or profitability and develops strategies to mitigate those risks.
Treasury Analyst A treasury analyst manages an organization’s financial assets, including cash flow, investments, and banking relationships, to ensure efficient liquidity and financial stability.
FinTech Professional A FinTech professional leverages technology and innovation in the financial sector, working on projects such as digital banking, mobile payment systems, blockchain technology, and cybersecurity.

By gaining a thorough understanding of these finance career paths, you can make an informed decision about which role resonates with your interests, skills, and long-term career goals.

Image: Financial professionals discussing career opportunities in finance.

Take a Personality and Skills Assessment

Before pursuing a career in finance, it’s important to assess your skills and personality traits to ensure that it’s the right fit for you. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can determine if a finance career aligns with your abilities and interests.

There are various methods you can utilize to assess your skills and personality. Online career assessments are a convenient way to evaluate your aptitudes and match them with potential finance career paths. These assessments often include standardized tests and questionnaires that provide insights into your strengths, work preferences, and personality traits.

You can also seek guidance from career services offices or professional career consultants who specialize in helping individuals determine their ideal career paths. These professionals can provide personalized assessments and offer valuable advice based on your unique skills and aspirations.

Additionally, consider utilizing online networking platforms like LinkedIn to connect with finance professionals in your desired industry. Through conversations and engagements with industry experts, you can gain insights into the skills and traits that are highly valued in the finance field.

By taking a comprehensive assessment of your skills, personality, and compatibility with finance careers, you can make informed decisions about your professional path, ensuring a successful and fulfilling career in the finance industry.

Benefits of Personality and Skills Assessments:
1. Allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses
2. Assists in determining if a finance career is compatible with your skills and personality
3. Provides insights into potential finance career paths that align with your abilities
4. Helps you make informed decisions about your professional development and future

Do Research and Conduct Informational Interviews

When exploring a career in finance, it is essential to conduct thorough research and gain career insights. One effective way to do this is through informational interviews. By reaching out to professionals in the finance industry and asking for their insights and experiences, you can gain valuable knowledge about the industry and specific career paths.

Prior to conducting informational interviews, it’s important to research the finance industry and potential career paths. This will not only demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm but also enable you to ask specific and informed questions during the interviews. Gathering information beforehand will help you make the most of these conversations.

Informational interviews provide an opportunity for networking in the finance industry. By connecting with professionals, you can expand your network and potentially uncover hidden job opportunities. Building relationships within the industry can also provide mentorship and guidance as you navigate your finance career.

During these interviews, make sure to listen actively and make note of the insights shared. Pay attention to industry trends, the required skills and qualifications, and any advice provided by the professionals. Their firsthand experiences can give you a realistic perspective on what it takes to succeed in the finance industry.

To truly benefit from informational interviews, it’s important to approach them with a genuine desire to learn and a professional demeanor. Treat these conversations as valuable learning opportunities and show gratitude for the time and knowledge shared by the professionals.

Networking and conducting informational interviews are essential steps in obtaining career insights and expanding your understanding of the finance industry. By taking the initiative to research and connect with professionals, you can gain valuable knowledge and increase your chances of achieving success in your finance career.

Building a Strong Personal Brand to Stand Out in the Industry

personal branding

Your personal brand plays a vital role in your success in the finance industry. A well-crafted personal brand helps you differentiate yourself from the competition, establish a professional image, and build credibility. By defining your unique skill set, values, and strengths, you can create a strong personal brand that resonates with employers and clients.

When building your personal brand, it’s important to ensure that your online presence, resume, and social media profiles reflect your brand identity. Use consistent branding elements, such as a professional headshot, a polished bio, and a cohesive visual style, to convey a consistent image.

Networking is a crucial component of personal branding in the finance industry. Engage with professionals in the industry through networking events, industry conferences, and online communities. Networking allows you to expand your reach, gain industry insights, and establish valuable connections that can lead to new opportunities.

Online Reputation Management

Managing your online reputation is essential in today’s digital age. Employers and clients often research individuals online before making decisions. Monitor your online presence regularly, ensuring that there are no negative or unprofessional mentions of you. Actively engage in online discussions, contribute thoughtful insights, and showcase your expertise to enhance your online reputation.

Creating and maintaining a strong personal brand is an ongoing process. Continuously cultivate your brand by staying updated on industry trends, honing your skills, and seeking opportunities for professional growth. By investing time and effort into building a strong personal brand, you can stand out in the finance industry and position yourself for long-term success.

Benefits of Building a Strong Personal Brand in Finance
1. Enhanced credibility and trust
2. Differentiation from competitors
3. Increased visibility and recognition
4. Improved career prospects and job opportunities
5. Ability to attract high-profile clients and lucrative partnerships

Tips for Navigating Career Fairs and Networking Events

Career fairs and networking events provide excellent opportunities to connect with finance professionals and learn about job openings in the industry. These events can be instrumental in building a strong network and making valuable connections that can open doors to various job opportunities.

When preparing for career fairs and networking events, it’s essential to do your research. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the attendees and companies that will be present. This knowledge will enable you to target specific individuals or organizations and tailor your conversations accordingly.

Crafting a professional elevator pitch is also crucial. Prepare a concise and impactful introduction that highlights your skills, qualifications, and career goals. This will allow you to make a strong impression and stand out when engaging in conversations with finance professionals.

Another aspect to consider is dressing appropriately. Dressing in professional attire shows your respect for the event and demonstrates your understanding of the finance industry’s standards. Dressing professionally can also help you make a positive first impression on potential employers and connections.

During career fairs and networking events, make the most of your time by actively engaging with others. Approach professionals with confidence, initiate conversations, and ask insightful questions. Remember to exchange business cards, as this provides a tangible way to stay connected after the event.

Following up with contacts is crucial to solidifying the connections made at these events. Send personalized follow-up emails expressing your appreciation for the conversation and reiterating your interest in any job opportunities discussed. This gesture demonstrates professionalism and can help you stay top-of-mind with potential employers.

Career fairs and networking events are invaluable in the finance industry, as they present numerous opportunities to make connections and discover job openings. By adequately preparing, making a strong impression, and following up, you can leverage these events to your advantage and enhance your chances of securing exciting career opportunities in finance.


Breaking into the finance industry may be competitive, but with dedication, perseverance, and the right qualifications, you can achieve your career goals and build a successful future in finance. By following these essential tips and strategies, you can increase your chances of succeeding in the finance industry.

Seeking internships is crucial for gaining valuable experience and building connections. Leveraging your background, whether it’s through diversity-oriented programs or highlighting your non-business degree, can also give you an advantage in finance. Targeting your studies to include finance-related disciplines and staying informed about the industry through financial publications and news will further enhance your knowledge and skills.

In addition, obtaining financial industry credentials such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can demonstrate your commitment and expertise in the field. Building a strong network of professionals in the finance industry and cultivating a strong personal brand will increase your visibility and credibility.

Remember, achieving a successful finance career requires persistence and continuous learning. By implementing these strategies and staying proactive in your career development, you can strive towards your finance career goals and create a bright future in the finance industry.


How can I increase my chances of entering the finance industry?

To increase your chances of entering the finance industry, you can seek internships, leverage your background, target your studies, stay informed, obtain credentials, and build a strong network.

Why should I pursue internships in finance?

Internships in finance offer valuable experience, exposure, and a tryout for a full-time finance job. They provide an opportunity to gain career-related experience, build connections, and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

Can I still enter the finance industry with a non-business degree?

Yes, your non-business degree can be an asset in finance. Highlight your diverse educational background and transferable skills when networking and applying for finance jobs.

What should I study to prepare for a career in finance?

Concentrate on numbers-oriented disciplines like business, economics, and applied mathematics. Other fields of study, such as science, engineering, or information technology, can also be relevant for specific finance roles.

How can I stay informed about the finance industry?

Regularly read financial publications like The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. This will help you become familiar with finance terminology and jargon. Additionally, reading financial news, investing books, and watching financial news coverage can enhance your knowledge.

Are financial industry credentials important for a career in finance?

Yes, obtaining financial industry credentials can boost your chances of landing a finance job. Consider pursuing credentials like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam to showcase your commitment to the finance field.

What are some common roles in the finance industry?

Some common roles in the finance industry include financial analyst, investment banker, financial planner, accountant, risk analyst, treasury analyst, and FinTech professional. Understanding these different roles and their required skill sets can help you determine which career path aligns with your interests and qualifications.

How can I assess if a career in finance is the right fit for me?

Utilize online career assessments, career services offices, or professional career consultants to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and alignment with finance career requirements. Additionally, connecting with finance professionals on platforms like LinkedIn can help you see how your skills match with those in the industry.

How can informational interviews benefit me?

Informational interviews provide a valuable way to learn more about the finance industry and specific career paths. Reach out to professionals in the field and ask for their insights and experiences. Research the industry and potential career paths before these interviews to demonstrate your knowledge and ask specific questions.

How important is personal branding in the finance industry?

Personal branding plays a vital role in your success in the finance industry. Define your unique skill set, values, and strengths to create a strong personal brand. Ensure that your online presence, resume, and social media profiles reflect your brand. Network and engage with professionals in the industry to increase your visibility and credibility.

How can I navigate career fairs and networking events in the finance industry?

Prepare for career fairs and networking events by researching attendees, crafting a professional elevator pitch, and dressing appropriately. Take advantage of these events to make connections, exchange business cards, and follow up with contacts. They can lead to job opportunities and valuable industry connections.

How can I achieve my goals and build a successful career in finance?

By following essential tips and strategies such as seeking internships, leveraging your background, targeting your studies, staying informed, obtaining credentials, and building a strong network, you can increase your chances of success in the finance industry.

Leave a Comment