Financial services are the economic activities that businesses, governments and individuals undertake to further their monetary goals. These initiatives involve buying and selling products (or assets), issuing stocks, lending money, or investing capital. Ultimately, this industry supports the overall economy and its growth.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the lines that separated different sectors of the financial services industry began to blur. Before that, banks provided a place for consumers to hold their checking and savings accounts; loan associations provided mortgages and personal loans; brokerage companies offered investment opportunities in bonds and mutual funds; and credit card companies solely provided credit cards. As the markets evolved, however, these sectors grew to offer more of the financial products that consumers sought. Banks began to provide additional services like savings and money market accounts, while insurance and investment firms merged into larger holding companies that could earn more profits by offering more diverse services.
Today, the financial services industry includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, and other credit and financing organizations. The sector also encompasses an array of critical financial utilities that ensure these businesses operate smoothly. Considering the varying functions of these companies, it can be challenging to determine which roles best fit your skills and career aspirations. To help you decide which role is right for you, we’ve outlined four key types of jobs within this industry.