While a job in banking is widely considered to be a high-paying career, it’s a lot more than just money. Although it’s true that you’ll be reasonably compensated for the stress involved, banking roles can be pretty exciting and present incredible learning prospects about business interfaces and increasing your clientele. What’s required in this industry is a sufficient amount of passion and preparation that’ll keep you motivated and help you advance in the industry.
Before we move on to the different types of banking jobs, let’s consider how important banking professions are.
What Do Banks Do?
At the most basic level, banks play a significant role in the economy, allowing people to deposit money and establish a financial record and credit over time. They support people in fulfilling their long term aspirations such as buying a car, a house, or starting a business venture.
People often spend decades saving money with banks and obtain loans for specific purposes. Besides producing lucrative benefits for individuals as well as banks, it also helps to circulate the money throughout the entire economy, which has its own benefits.
Bankers serve as mediators between the investors and those willing to sell their investments. The funds obtained from customers are used to earn enormous yields by investing them in various debt and equity investments. This banking activity is known as investment banking. We’ll learn more about this role later in the article. Let’s dig deeper into banking activities and explore the different types of banking jobs:
Source: Business student
Types of Banking Jobs
Since we’ve discussed a little about investment banking, let’s start with this type. While an investment banker serves clients in several ways, his/her major task involves raising capital through the sale of debt or equity securities. To generate capital, investment banking analysts frequently analyze financial data such as assessing the performance of stocks and bonds and value them accordingly. This means that they must have impeccable quantitative skills, including the ability to handle complex financial models.
The fast-paced nature of modern investment banking demands that investment bankers possess the ability to perform on spot valuations while managing other things. Generally, investment bankers engage in aggressive sales that require them to occupy a large network to reach out to and communicate effectively. A good investment banker will not only persuade people but also educate them by providing facts to help investors make a wise decision.
Investment banks, like those on Wall Street, recruit from the best colleges in the world. Ivy League schools are a top choice for US employers.
To land an elite investment banking job, you first need to earn a college degree, majoring in economics or finance, or any business discipline. Obtain an internship at a renowned financial institution to attain corporate exposure and on-the-job training as well as to expand your network. Moreover, to get that edge over the competition, earn an MBA (finance) or another advanced degree in finance.
Finally, you never know who and what leads to your dream job. So, focus on expanding your network from the very beginning. The career development center at your college, industry groups, professors, the company you intern for, and even your fellow batch mates or seniors at college are all great sources. It’s often the batch mates who later join top organizations that offer support in the form of references to friends who studied with them.
Source: Corporate finance institute
A day in the life of a foreign exchange trader can be stressful, given the high rate of fluctuations in foreign currency values. Analyzing the various factors that influence exchange rates and economies, foreign exchange traders make massive money through the sale and purchase of currencies in different foreign exchange markets. A foreign exchange trader analyzes reports, reads the press from various countries, manages accounts, and spends a majority of the time on the phone.
To be honest, this isn’t the job for faint-hearted people. To exploit valuation differences, you typically have no more than a few seconds to make decisions involving millions of dollars. Thus, this job is for those with the strongest decision-making skills, the right contacts, and most the accurate information. Most of the time, it’s the intuition that develops with the experience that leads to gains.
A principle associated with this foreign exchange trading is that no advanced degree can make someone a more successful trader, as traders are born, not made. Therefore, besides entry-level qualifications, few employees would ever leave for higher education.
Yet, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or economics is required for entry. Employers often value trading experience, foreign language proficiency, international exposure, and foreign education. Candidates typically start as account managers rather than traders so they ought to possess strong interpersonal skills for entry into this field.
Source: The Princeton Review
An asset manager oversees the performance of a client’s financial assets. He is responsible for maintaining a balance between the risks and returns pertaining to a client’s investments. These could include financial assets such as stock holdings, investments in bonds and/or real estate, and others. Thus, an asset manager not only keeps the investment risks within specified limits, but also optimizes the return on each asset in the portfolio. As an end goal, the overall value of the portfolio should increase.
Asset management roles demand strong analytical skills, and the most competitive asset managers are detail-oriented. This allows the manager to closely examine each asset in the clients’ portfolio. He should possess in-depth knowledge of the mechanism of investment markets such that he is able to recognize upcoming trends that can impact the value of portfolio and make decisions accordingly. Also, to make sure that all transactions carried out by the client comply with the set regulations and standards for trading and investment, the asset manager should be well aware of these rules.
Asset managers have a range of available sectors to specialize in. Among these, the two most widely known sectors are:
Physical Asset Management
This sector entails the physical aspect of asset management, covering the complete lifecycle of assets like waste treatment facilities, transport systems buildings, water treatment facilities, production plants, and distribution networks. An asset manager specializing in this area would manage the asset valuation and return based on the creation, operation, replacement, construction, and repairing of these assets.
Enterprise Asset Management
Enterprise asset management deals with enabling business processes and information systems to improve efficiency in the management of clients’ tangible and intangible assets.
To assume the role of an asset manager, completion of a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business is considered a minimum requirement. Candidates with a master’s degree, strong IT and communication skills, and the ability to work in a stressful and fast-paced environment usually have the edge over their peers.
Source: Best accounting degrees
Equity analysts are responsible for studying and analyzing the financial trends and information for an industry or financial institution. To predict the performance of a company, they scrutinize its balance sheets and annual reports and the general market trends that can impact the firm.
To get hired as an equity analyst, you not only need an MBA degree in finance but must also demonstrate a strong connection with the banking and finance industry in the form of work experience as well as certifications.
Source: Go banking rates
A bank manager, more commonly referred to as a branch manager, overlooks a particular branch of a bank or financial services company. He or she manages all the functions of the branch, such as supervising the loan and Line of Credit (LoC) approvals, developing customer relations, building a reputation in the community to attract more customers, marketing, making sure that the branch meets its objectives and goals within set deadlines, and hiring employees.
An undergraduate degree in business, accounting, or finance is necessary but not sufficient to become a bank manager. Applicants who don’t possess a bachelors degree in these areas may still be considered if they have completed a master’s in finance.
Additionally, applicants must possess both prior financial experience as well as leadership experience to be accepted for the position. The candidate should demonstrate value addition in terms of attracting customers in his or her previous banking experience as well as possess extensive knowledge of the rules regulating the banking industry.
Branch managers typically possess strong communication and customer service skills to be able to develop and maintain decent relationships with customers as well as employees, and tackle the issues that arise on a day to day basis.
Branch managers are trusted with great responsibility and are expected to manage the bank operations like their own business. While they’re given a tremendous amount of authority, bank managers must be able to achieve the goals assigned for their branch.
Relationship management covers both retail and corporate banking sectors. Retail relationship managers are primarily responsible for interacting with individual retail customers, introducing the range of financial products and services offered by the bank. On the other hand, corporate relationship managers manage corporate accounts such as those of large organizations or SMEs.
The nature of work for both roles is more or less the same. They offer advice to existing customers regarding account information as well as potential investment opportunities, and at the same time, explore new business opportunities by reaching out to potential businesses and people. Relationship managers make extensive use of their personal contacts to build up customer relationships and develop new businesses.
Since most a relationship manager spends most of their time on customer interactions, the job requires candidates with outstanding communication and presentation skills. Also, they must have sound knowledge of the financial sector to be able to advise customers. Additionally, employers often look for candidates with a clear understanding of banking products and services, the ability to research and analyze information, and the ability to convey complex information in a simplified form.
Apart from an undergraduate degree in finance or business, standardized assessments are now held around the world to hire relationship managers. These assessments are designed to predict how the candidate will perform as a relationship manager in a financial institution or bank. According to research, assessment components like English comprehension, quantitative ability, logical ability, and domain-specific ability are strong indicators of a candidate’s success as a relationship manager.
Source: Aspiring minds
Internal auditors in a banking firm work independently to evaluate the efficiency of the bank’s internal control structure. They audit all internal processes, controls, and systems to assess risks and how the bank is managing said risks. They not only introduce value-added solutions to minimize risks but also collect and scrutinize all company records to make sure that everything is compliant with industry regulations.
After conducting the audit, the compiled audit report that includes recommendations is presented to the board of directors. However, internal auditors aren’t responsible for implementing the proposed changes. The Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with the board of directors, decides whether the recommendations should be adopted.
The job prospects for this position are certainly positive as the growing number of clients looking for internal audit services is dramatically raising the demand for internal audit professionals. In addition, the ever-advancing digitalization and increasing cyber crimes will only make the regulations more rigid, making the demand for internal auditors even higher.
Again, to serve as an internal auditor, you should start with earning an undergraduate degree in finance or accounting. To be more competitive, you’ll have to go for a master’s degree or some professional certification relevant to the field. Work experience is often required for this position.
Source: Top accounting degrees
If you love math and like number-crunching, this is the job for you. Budget analysts plan the banks’ expenditures for the future as well as determine any future financial needs. They lay out budgets and keep on updating them from time to time to incorporate changes. A budget analyst plays a key role in improving the efficiency of a bank’s spending. They try and keep the spending on track and make sure they are well accounted for.
Budget analysts are often required to review budget change proposals presented by managers, and conduct cost-benefit analyses to assess the outcomes of implementing the proposals.
As with most other banking positions, you certainly need to complete your bachelors in accounting, economics, finance or public administration to have a shot at this job. Many banks also require candidates to complete their master’s degree. You may also obtain the budget analyst certification by taking courses like financial management, organizational management, and equity markets. While these are the basic, entry-level requirements, analysts learn budget analysis on-the-job by working through an entire budget cycle.
Source: Accounting degree review
This is normally an entry-level position in banks. Credit analysts are supposed to evaluate the financial position of loan applicants using credit scores. They analyze the financial information associated with individuals and firms applying for loans as well as predict their future financial position to determine whether they’d be in a position to repay the loan on time.
Credit analysts formulate reports based on their findings to help the decision-making process. The information is used to decide whether the loan or line of credit should be granted to the entity. Plus, if it is granted, the information is further used to issue the terms of the loan, including the interest rate.
Your decisions mainly depend on the information you’re able to gather about the client, which in turn depend on your ability to communicate.
To assume the role, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business. Moreover, work experience in areas like accounts receivable, credit application processing, and accounting is considered extremely valuable for credit analyst positions.
Although it’s not necessary, candidates can complete a certification in credit analysis. This is a great way to stand out from the competition as many employers prefer certified credit analysts over non-certified ones.
Source: Financial planner world
Loan officers serve like salespeople, attracting customers for loans. This certainly is a challenging role as many people they may approach wouldn’t need a loan, while others may not possess the credit-worthiness to be granted a loan. Hence, a loan officer needs to be at the right place at the right time to get the best leads and convert them.
Loan officers should not only have a sound understanding of banking, but also possess decent selling skills to be able to convert the qualified leads. However, the challenges involved are highly compensated for in the form of sales commissions, attracting a considerable amount of applicants.
The types of loan officers include commercial loan officers, mortgage loan officers, consumer loan officers, and loan collection officers. To serve in any of these roles, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in business or finance. For working as a commercial loan officer, you need to demonstrate a clear understanding of business accounting, including the ability to analyze financial statements.
This is the simplest of all jobs associated with banking. Bank tellers serve as the customer representatives for the bank, processing the day to day transactions. They assist customers with transactions involving deposits, transfers, withdrawals, cash checking, and so on. You’ll often see them counting the cash, answering phone calls, resolving customer issues, collecting payments, and filling deposit slips.
Moreover, bank tellers are also responsible for exchanging money for foreign currency, ordering bank cards as well as preparing specialized types of funds such as traveler’s checks, money orders, or savings bonds. Hence, they need to be well aware of their bank’s systems and policies.
While tellers aim to provide the best customer service, they must be extra vigilant for security purposes. Verification of customer identity is essential. Also, equally important is to ensure that the customer has enough funds in his account to process the transaction. Thus, bank tellers have to be pretty cautious. They’re individuals of high integrity as they handle millions of dollars in cash every day.
To become a bank teller, all you need is a high school diploma or equivalent. A college degree isn’t required. Tellers mostly learn the role through on-the-job training, which normally takes about a month. As tellers progress in their career, they may be appointed as head teller, whose job it is to supervise the functions of tellers, set up work schedules and train newly hired tellers. With more experience, they may get promoted to sales or loan officer positions, getting high pay jumps with every promotion.
However, the growth prospects for bank teller jobs are negligible. Previously, the increasing number of bank branches led to continuous growth for teller jobs. However, incredible digital innovations have significantly transformed the finance industry, automating many financial functions such as the day to day transactions.
Mobile and online banking services mean that customers no longer need to visit banks for regular transactions. In the future, enhanced ATMs and video kiosks would further cut down the roles of bank tellers.