Are you great with math and numbers but aren’t sure which degree or career path to pursue? A career in finance or accounting can match your strengths and passion with a useful degree and a steady job outlook.
Finance and accounting careers have low unemployment rates and open roles are expected to increase at a rate faster than the average occupation. In fact, business and financial careers are projected to grow seven percent on average by 2031, adding 715,100 new jobs to the field.
The best way to secure an entry-level finance job is with a related bachelor’s degree, such as a BS in Finance and Accounting Management. There are entry-level accounting jobs that don’t require a degree, but earning a bachelor’s gives you a competitive edge—and a higher paycheck. Read on to learn more about the skills employers are looking for in their applicants, and the high-paying jobs you may be qualified for.
Skills Needed for Finance and Accounting Jobs
Success in finance positions requires a mix of specific talents. Candidates must understand accounting principles as well as the foundations of financial management. Professionals must also demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning in order to keep their skills relevant and remain aware of ever-changing banking technology trends. The most qualified candidates also have strong interpersonal and communications skills. Many financial positions require professionals to be flexible in their communication—to make hard-to-understand jargon accessible to clients while also being able to discuss complex financial reports with others.
Is a Career in Finance Worth It?
Aspiring professionals with a passion for numbers or mathematics should consider pursuing a finance degree or a degree in accounting. This is largely due to the fact that there is a wide variety of career options available in the finance industry. For example, finance majors are always aware of the various financial sectors available to them for employment post-graduation. These career opportunities include becoming internal auditors, working for investment bankers or private equity firms, becoming financial consultants, working in corporate finance, and more.
A degree in finance or accounting can unlock many promising career options for aspiring professionals. In fact, a Bachelor of Science in Finance has been listed as one of the top 15 majors to guarantee a high-paying job in 2022.
Top Entry-Level Finance Jobs
If you are interested in determining if finance is the right industry for you, explore these eight high-paying, entry-level finance jobs.
1. Financial Manager
Average Salary: $90,000
Job Outlook: 17% growth (Much faster than average)
Typical Job Requirements: A financial manager is responsible for a company’s financial health. Individuals in this career create financial reports and strategies for the long-term goals and growth of an organization. Those who want to become financial managers will have the greatest chance at finding a job.
2. Personal Finance Advisor
Average Salary: $100,200
Job Outlook: 15% growth (Much faster than average)
Typical Job Requirements: Personal financial advisors work in a wide variety of specialties, from investments, life insurance, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to personal budgeting help. To secure an entry-level position, a bachelor’s in finance or accounting is ideal. To move up the ranks, a master’s in finance or an MBA can help.
3. Management Analyst
Average Salary: $74,600
Job Outlook: 11% growth (Much faster than average)
Typical Job Requirements: Sometimes called management consultants, a management analyst’s main role is to increase a company’s efficiency. Individuals in this role examine a company’s problems or ineffective procedures and develop solutions for improvement. A bachelor’s in finance is required, but a CMC certification can also make an individual more competitive and job-ready.
4. Financial Analyst
Average Salary: $74,600
Job Outlook: 9% growth (Faster than average)
Typical Job Requirements: Financial analysts stay abreast of economic trends to advise clients and businesses on how to best invest and diversify their money. Financial analysts also determine a company’s value and assess financial risks and prospects.
5. Financial Examiner
Average Salary: $75,600
Job Outlook: 21% growth (Much faster than average)
Typical Job Requirements: Financial examiners keep financial institutions, such as banks, legally compliant. They ensure that financial institutions are compliant in all of their operations and transactions. They also are responsible for risk management, ensuring financial institutions offer safe loans, and that banks have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses.
6. Budget Analyst
Average Salary: $70,500
Job Outlook: 3% growth (Slower than average)
Typical Job Requirements: Budget analysts help public and private institutions, such as government agencies and universities, organize their finances. Budget analysts are responsible for ensuring that budget proposals are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations.
Average Salary: $64,900
Job Outlook: 6% growth (As fast as average)
Typical Job Requirements: An accountant is responsible for ensuring an individual or company’s tax information is accurate and done properly. Accountants are typically busiest during the tax season, and it is typical for individuals in this field to work many overtime hours closer to the April 15 deadline.
8. Loan Officer
Average Salary: $90,000
Job Outlook: 4% growth (As fast as average)
Typical Job Requirements: Using a process called underwriting, loan officers evaluate and authorize loan approval for individuals or businesses. This is one job where pay can vary dramatically depending on the division of work—i.e. a commercial loan officer versus a consumer loan officer. Many who become loan officers can earn several thousand more each year from bonuses or commission.
Finance Jobs Continue to Grow
Finance and accounting jobs have been a popular choice for many years, and they continue to grow. As globalization and finance technology increase and change, the need for expert financial professionals will remain steady. While most finance companies, such as banks and investment firms, hire individuals with the above job titles, companies across all industries need qualified financial employees. Earning a finance and accounting degree can be your ticket to a satisfying and stable career in the world of finance, investing, and business.
Unlike other online degrees, Northeastern University’s signature experiential learning model allows students to graduate with real-world experience along with a diploma. To learn more, explore our program page or connect with an enrollment coach to get your questions answered.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2019. It has since been updated for recency.