Shifting From A Non-Finance To A Finance Background

How can you leverage your non-financial background to land a job in the jungle of finance? There have been times when your chosen profession may not necessarily be the choice for you after you have pursued your graduation. Switching from non-financial history to a financial industry can only happen if you are defying all the odds of getting into finance.

The first thing you need to do if you're considering a career in finance is RESEARCH. 'Research a lot'. There are different areas of work in the finance industry. There are several areas of work for you to choose from, from investment banking to management consulting to insurance and working in pensions.

Having a good idea of what area you want to go into and what you need to do to get there will make the idea of a career switch considerably less daunting. When you are searching for a career change with no previous financial experience, the finance sector can be challenging and much harder to enter. That is not to suggest it is unlikely, though. You have just got to be prepared.

Finance is a lucrative sector, offering large salaries and bonuses across a wide variety of employees. Industry employees earn big bucks every year, owing to the growing number of financial players on the market. It's a wonderful career, but to get there is not always an easy journey. Turnover is incredibly strong for new entrants. When you're inspired to beat the odds, expect to spend a lot of late nights at the office and weekends to make it happen.

The biggest problem people from non-financial backgrounds face these days is the inability to judge the financial strength of their strategic inputs. This barrier is due to the lack of financial background knowledge. One can also excel in this by understanding the financial data. It helps you identify and analyze business opportunities, assess financial risks and most importantly, evaluate your own ideas through a financial lens.

A finance or business degree is a prerequisite for most jobs in the financial sector, but what if you don't have one and want to work in this field? While it's quite difficult for someone with a non-degree to get a job in finance, there's still hope.

Not Everything Is About The Degree

Sure, you need to get a university degree. Yet, less important is what the degree is in. The most important thing is the ability to establish partnerships and connect. Until then, you can look at a field such as accounting which may require such certifications.

So think again before you say to yourself "I am not eligible."

Every employer needs knowledgeable, dedicated and driven workers who are able to do the job well. A degree in finance may impart skills such as financial modelling and analysis but does not do much to provide other skills needed for success in virtually any field, such as communication, time management, interpersonal skills, analytical capacity and the ability to solve problems. Although these may sound simplistic, they are important in the finance industry and on the job, the nitty-gritty details are often taught.

The Majority Of Switchers Have Certain Quantitative History

The vast majority of people seeking to turn to a financial position have some degree of previous quantitative experience, in fields of engineering or maybe teaching probably. They have to have a clear sense of what the task is for them to be really effective and be able to express what they bring to it, matching their past experience and skills, even if it isn't in the same industry.

Quick Tips:

  • Learn financial jargon: If you are not aware about the financial lingo such as EBITDA, Net Income, GAAP, EPS and Bottom Line, then it makes it impossible to pass the preliminary interview stage for a non-finance graduate. 
  • Enroll in short-term financial courses: Intensive courses can teach you valuable skills that are essential for a career in finance, such as Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA). These industry-related courses not only demonstrate your commitment to a career in finance but also provide you with an edge on the competition, in terms of job readiness.
  • Score strong internships: Since having a paid internship in finance is likely to be very difficult for a non-financing candidate, other choices need to be considered, such as an unpaid internship or volunteer work with a broker. The opportunity cost arising from doing unpaid internships or volunteer work will, in due course, be covered by a finance career's higher earning potential.
  • Comb Your Connections: For those who are looking to make a switch to the finance industry, your network is going to be your best friend. Use your referral, whether it's personal or professional, make your connections strong so as to help you get your foot in the door. The best way to network is to start with people you already know and ask them to introduce you to people in companies where you want to work. You can also try to connect with new people using LinkedIn.
  • Go for an M.B.A.: For postgraduate study, you will have to go through the application process like exams before you begin studying. This can include interviews, arranging references and a killer personal statement. And that’s before you even get accepted into the programme.

Mid-Life Break Into Finance

Are you too old? It is quite tough to break in if you’re an older candidate but it’s not impossible if you have 10+ years of work experience or you’re in your early 30s or beyond.

Why Shift?

  • The desire for more money: Money makes the world go round. Your life, directly or indirectly, is touched by what happens in the financial world. Financial career offers lucrative packages that make the reason to shift.
  • The desire for excitement and a faster-paced job: The fluidity and fast pace comes in the financial services industry and finance sector. A career in this means you never stop learning. Constant innovation creates a fast-paced work-day and excitement for the employees to work with. One of the good reasons to enter the finance industry as an older candidate is being are passionate about deals, markets, roles, investing or you want to become an investment banker to work on deals full-time. Firms want young candidates or very senior ones, but not people in the middle.

To sum it up, the basic key learning objectives to enter into finance are:

  • Understand the language associated with finance. 
  • Know-how and when to use financial terms and analysis techniques. 
  • Read and assess company performance using financial statements.
  • Recognize the link between organizational strategy and financial objectives.
  • Use "the numbers" to your best advantage to make more informed decisions.

12 responses to “Shifting From A Non-Finance To A Finance Background”

  1. Simple Jain says:

    Amazing article, well informed.. Keep up the good work.. ☺️

  2. Ankita Phansekar says:

    Informative and helpful

  3. Kshipra Karajgaonkar says:

    Very well written …The content is very informative and yes helpful too..I appreciate your efforts for your 1st blog…Heartiest congratulations dear

  4. Manju Godha says:

    Very nice

  5. Janhavi lad says:

    Very nice blog I can’t understand fiance but this blog is very helpfull to me😊

  6. Shakila Shaikh says:

    Well informed👍👍

  7. Shikha singh says:

    That’s ashi Jain for u, informative and helpful. Great work, keep going with all your good work. Congratulations bro. 😊😊

  8. Samruddhi More says:

    This is a precise and informative blog. I can’t believe this is your first blog! Good Job!

  9. Mohammed Kadiwal says:

    Amazing. Content is awesome. Very Informative. Congratulations for your first blog. May you reach pinnacle of success.

  10. Roopa Shetty says:

    The content is so precise so informative and so beneficial.. Very well written. Thanks for enlightening us with your knowledge.

  11. Manali Shetye says:

    Very informative blog. It’s very helpful to know about finances

  12. Priya patra says:

    The content is precise and informative. This is your first blog and i like the topic that u choose 😊. Keep it up and come up with new and informative topics👍.

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