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A 7% overall growth in business and financial jobs is projected from 2021 to 2031.
However, as they “crave stability” and evaluate financial foundation, support, and technological resources of the firms they currently work in, finance professionals–finance advisors in particular–are reconsidering their positions in companies, according to experts.
Will a career move be beneficial to finance professionals? If you’re a financial planner, accountant, or financial analyst, it pays to evaluate your own skills closely and determine which career tracks demand them the most. Similarly, seasoned financial consultants and investment bankers may have valuable business experience in other sectors.
Whether you are considering taking on a new role in another investment or accounting firm or other financial institution or starting your own financial planning or advisory practice, you can carve your own path toward career fulfillment!
10 Exciting Career Changes for Finance Professionals
A risk manager is responsible for identifying, analyzing, and mitigating potential risks affecting an organization’s financial or operational goals. A career change in risk management entails a solid finance background.
A risk manager’s typical duties and responsibilities are the following:
- Devise and implement the necessary measures for managing potential risks.
- Identify potential risks and determine the potential impact of each risk.
- Communicate with stakeholders and provide advice on risk management issues.
- Ensure compliance with regulations and best practices related to risk management.
- Conduct audits and assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of risk management strategies.
- Facilitate insurance claims handling and policy management.
- Provide training and support to employees on risk management policies and procedures.
What you need to accomplish to become a risk manager:
- Earn a degree in Finance, Economics, or a related field.
- Obtain relevant certifications, such as Certified Risk Manager (CRM) or Associate in Risk Management (ARM).
- Seek internships or entry-level positions in risk management or related fields.
- Develop skills in analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership.
- Keep yourself updated with industry trends and best practices.
A business owner or entrepreneur manages private equity, including developing business strategies, overseeing financial performance, and ensuring smooth operations.
Typical entrepreneurial duties:
- Develop and implement business strategies to achieve organizational goals.
- Oversee financial management, including budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting.
- Devise policies and protocols to keep the business compliant with legal and regulatory requirements.
- Monitor market trends and adjust business plans accordingly.
- Explore and capitalize on lucrative business prospects.
- Maintain communication and relations with key stakeholders.
- Manage day-to-day operations, including staffing and resource allocation.
- Foster a positive organizational culture that values teamwork and innovation.
- Understand financial statements to be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation and growth strategies.
- Mitigate risks and protect assets using a profound knowledge of insurance policies and contingency plans.
Becoming a risk manager:
- A combination of leadership, strategic thinking, financial management, and adaptability skills,
- Solid education and work experience in finance, investment, venture capital, and similar concepts for entrepreneurial success,
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree or specialization in Entrepreneurial Management, Venture Financing, Cash Flow Management, or Market research,
- Certification from a relevant field, such as Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation courses,
- Local business licenses and permits to ensure compliance with state and federal business laws.
A business analyst works closely with business stakeholders and IT teams to gather requirements and provide recommendations for improvements to processes, products, services, and software applications.
What a business analyst does:
- Conduct research and analysis to identify business problems and opportunities
- Gather and document requirements from stakeholders and subject matter experts
- Analyze and model data to create insights and identify trends
- Develop business cases, cost-benefit analyses, and other business planning documents
- Design and recommend solutions to improve business processes, products, services, and software applications
- Create detailed functional specifications for IT teams to implement solutions
- Test and validate solutions to ensure they meet business needs and requirements
- Provide training and support to end-users on new solutions
Expected skills of a business analyst:
- Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Accounting, or Finance,
- Experience in the financial industry, particularly in business analysis and project management, may be required by some employers,
- Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), Project Management Professional (PMP), and similar certifications,
- Knowledge of business analysis methodologies, such as Agile, Scrum, or Lean Six Sigma,
- Displays a high level of communication, problem-solving, and analytical aptitudes
- Proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques, such as SQL, Excel, and Tableau
A financial writer is responsible for creating informative and engaging content about finance, covering investment guides, personal finance tips, and industry news. The role requires a deep understanding of financial concepts and the ability to communicate complex information clearly and concisely.
Responsibilities in financial writing:
- Research and write articles, blog posts, and other content related to finance and investing.
- Conduct interviews with financial experts, investment firms, and industry insiders to gather insights and information for articles.
- Stay up-to-date with financial news and trends to provide timely and relevant content.
- Edit and proofread content.
- Work with editors and other team members to develop ideas for new content and ensure that it aligns with the overall content strategy.
- Promote content through social media and other channels to reach a wider audience.
A financial writer’s typical profile:
- A bachelor’s degree in Economics, Finance, Business, or Journalism.
- Experience working in finance or a related field, such as accounting or investing.
- Excellent writing and communication skills, particularly in complex information
- Experience in conducting thorough research and drawing meaningful conclusions.
- Proficiency in industry-specific concepts and terminologies.
- A strong understanding of grammar, punctuation, and style.
- Proficiency in utilizing digital tools for creating and disseminating content on social media platforms.
- Capability to work efficiently in high-pressure environments and meet demanding deadlines.
A finance professor is responsible for teaching finance courses at a college or university level. They develop course content, lecture to students, conduct research, and guide students.
Typically, a finance professor is expected to:
- Teach undergraduate and graduate students finance courses,
- Research financial topics and publish research papers in academic journals,
- Guide students on academic concerns and become their career coach,
- Conduct office hours and assist students outside of class time,
- Participate in departmental and university meetings and committees,
- Stay current with financial trends and developments.
How to become a professor of Finance:
- A doctorate in Finance, Business, or a related field.
- Teaching experience or a teaching certification.
- Research experience and a record of publication in academic journals.
- Highly capable of utilizing analytical tools and techniques.
- Possesses strong communication skills.
- Passionate about fostering learning in others.
Financial Management Officer
A Financial Management Officer is responsible for managing and overseeing the financial operations of a military unit. Your financial skills will help ensure that all resources are allocated properly and efficiently to support the mission of the military organization. A background in finance can be very useful for individuals considering a career as a Military Finance Officer.
Financial management work includes the following:
- Develop, manage, and implement budgets for the military unit.
- Act as a financial consultant by conducting financial analysis and providing recommendations to leadership.
- Track and report financial data to ensure that resources are being used efficiently.
- Oversee financial transactions and ensure compliance with regulations.
- Provide financial forecasts and guidance to military personnel and their families.
- Manage pay and entitlements for military personnel.
- Handle the purchase and supply of financial resources.
What must be accomplished to become a Financial Management Officer:
- A bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management, Business Administration, Business Management, Operations Research, Information Management, Law, Economics, Marketing, Computer Science, Mathematics, Finance, Accounting, or Organization And Management.
- Have finished at least three years of Specialized Experience.
- Ability to meet conditions of employment, including Top Secret Security Clearance, Foreign Service Medical Clearance, and a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.
- Knowledge of military regulations, procedures, and guidelines related to finance and accounting.
Federal Government Budget Analyst
A federal government budget analyst is responsible for the budgetary operations needed for the personnel and programs of the agency or department of the Executive Branch you are employed. You must also advise other institutions, such as businesses and universities, about organizing finances.
A typical federal government budget analysis role encompasses these duties:
- Collaborate with project and program heads to create the organizational budget.
- Consolidate budgets for all programs and departments, creating an overall organizational budget and evaluating funding requests based on merits.
- Conduct comprehensive reviews of budget proposals from managers to ensure accuracy, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and completeness.
- Assist chief operations officers or agency heads in assessing proposed plans and identifying alternative solutions whenever necessary.
- Provide recommendations for funding requests to stakeholders, including the public, legislators, and colleagues.
- Foresee future financial requirements based on anticipated needs and changing circumstances.
- Furnish financial reports to update program managers on the status and availability of funds.
- Ensure organizational spending stays within budget parameters.
How to land a federal government budget analyst job:
- At least a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business, Economics, Statistics, Public Administration, Sociology, or Political Science
- Some employers may require budget-related work experience
- A Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) credential from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA)
- Knowledge of budget formulation/execution using an automated financial system and budgetary regulations, processes, and guidelines
- DoD Financial Management Level 2 Certificate obtained within one year of placement
- Skills in analytics, communication, math, and writing, and attention to detail
Forensic accountants blend their accounting acumen and investigative skills to uncover financial crimes. They are employed by government agencies, law firms, and corporations to investigate fraud, embezzlement, and other financial crimes. Forensic accountants use various tools and techniques to investigate and analyze financial records, uncovering evidence of wrongdoing and presenting it clearly and concisely.
Forensic accounting entails the accomplishment of these tasks:
- Conduct forensic analysis of financial data, including bank statements, tax returns, and other financial records
- Use data analysis tools to identify patterns and trends in financial data
- Prepare reports and presentations of findings for clients, attorneys, or law enforcement officials
- Provide expert input as a credible witness in court proceedings
- Collaborate with other professionals, such as investigators and attorneys, to build cases against individuals or entities accused of financial crimes
- Stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices for forensic accounting
- Familiarity with financial statements and accounting principles to understand the nuances of financial data
- Knowledge of audit procedures and internal controls to thoroughly investigate instances where fraud or other financial crimes have occurred due to a lack of proper controls
How to become a forensic accountant:
- An active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license or international equivalent
- Professional certifications such as Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Professional Forensic Accountant (CPFAcct)
- Pass the American Board of Forensic Accounting certification examination
- At least two years of accounting or auditing experience
The primary role of an internal auditor is to evaluate an organization’s internal control systems, assess their efficiency, and determine whether they are operating as intended. It helps organizations identify areas of risk and improve operational effectiveness.
Typical internal auditor duties and responsibilities:
- Conduct risk assessments and determine areas of concern within an organization.
- Develop audit plans and procedures to address identified risks.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls and report findings to management.
- Provide recommendations for improvement to management and track the implementation of those recommendations.
- Conduct ongoing checks to ensure that regulations, legal requirements, and internal policies are followed.
- Review claims of fraud, waste, and abuse to determine their validity.
- Stay current with changes in regulations and best practices.
What it takes to become an internal auditor:
- A bachelor’s in Accounting, Business, or Finance.
- Relevant work experiences, such as accounting or auditing.
- Professional certification, including the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.
Investment bankers provide companies and organizations with expert advice on various financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs), and raising capital. When considering investment banking, understand the typical duties and responsibilities involved in this role and how having a finance background can be useful in making a successful career transition.
Here’s a glimpse of investment banking work:
- Provide financial advice and guidance to clients on mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring transactions.
- Identify and evaluate potential investment opportunities for clients and provide recommendations.
- Conduct financial analysis and diligence on companies and transactions to assess potential risks and opportunities.
- Create financial models and projections to help clients make informed investment decisions.
- Work with other professionals, including lawyers and accountants, to structure and negotiate deals.
- Prepare financial records, prospectuses, and offering memoranda for public offerings.
- Foster healthy relationships with clients, investors, and other industry professionals.
What to accomplish to become an investment banker:
- A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Economics, or a related field.
- Possesses advanced ability in quantitative reasoning and analytical skills.
- Capable of being productive even under stressful circumstances.
- Familiarity with financial modeling and valuation techniques.
- Experience with investment banks, financial markets, and the banking industry in general
For finance professionals considering a career change, there are numerous options available that can leverage their existing skillset and experience while offering new challenges and opportunities.
Whether transitioning to a career in data science, entrepreneurship, or even something entirely different, the key is to identify your strengths, passions, and values and find a path that aligns with them. It may require additional education or training, but the investment can pay off in the long run with a more fulfilling and satisfying career.
Before you go, see: Careers with the Best Retirement Benefits