When most people think of financial services, they think of banks, credit card companies and investment firms. But the industry is a lot bigger than that. It encompasses everything from debt resolution to global payment networks. It includes accounting professionals who help small businesses keep proper records and file accurate taxes. And it also includes insurance agents and brokers who provide coverage against life’s uncertainties, such as illness, accident and death.
In addition, the sector includes financial market utilities – organizations that facilitate stock, derivative and commodity exchanges, and settlement systems; and advisory and intermediation services (credit reference and analysis, and investment and portfolio research and advice). And it also covers financial institutions that provide deposit-taking; lending of all types (including commercial and mortgage banking); capital markets services (e.g. securities underwriting and money market services); and asset management (including pension fund management).
Financial services are critical to most people’s daily lives. They enable them to make payments and loans, invest in stocks and mutual funds, purchase and use credit cards, and save for the future. In addition, a number of these services are now available through digital channels, making them accessible to a much broader range of people than ever before. As such, there’s never been a better time to consider a career in the financial services industry. Fortunately, it’s possible to have a successful career in this field without having an expensive degree from a top university. Many financial services employers value aptitude over tenure, and a strong work ethic is often enough to ensure that you rise quickly through the ranks.