Financial services encompass everything that has to do with money—from direct savings and lending to investments, insurance, and the redistribution of risk. This broad sector touches small communities, large businesses, and nonprofits in equal measure. While we often think of banks, credit card companies, and mortgage lenders when we hear the term financial services, this is not always the case.
Banks provide depository services by accepting deposits from savers and pooling them, then lending the funds to borrowers. They also offer a variety of investment products to consumers like mutual funds and brokerage services. Private equity firms and venture capital providers supply investment capital to companies in exchange for ownership stakes or profits. Insurance services include the sale of insurance policies to cover against health and property damage, as well as liability and legal issues.
A career in financial services requires a wide range of hard and soft skills, as well as an aptitude for math and data analysis. Strong communication and collaboration are crucial, particularly when working with clients. Many positions in this field are very fast-paced, and a keen understanding of the big picture is essential for ensuring the best outcomes for all parties.
Many of the companies in this field are heavily invested in their employees, offering opportunities for professional development and promoting from within based on merit. They are also known for providing ample perks like generous pay and flexible work schedules. Combined with the opportunity for rapid advancement, these factors make a career in finance a tempting prospect for ambitious young professionals.