Entry Level Careers in Finance

Those entering the workforce and looking to begin a career in finance may find it difficult to choose from the many different fields of finance. The best place to start is to gain an understanding of some of the broader financial fields and then narrow in from there. Each of the following fields has many potential career options within it, but the responsibilities of the positions and the skills required share many similarities.

Investment Banking and Corporate Finance

When people think of a career in finance, investment banking or corporate finance is often what comes to mind. Corporate finance manages the day to day finances of a company and investment banking handles major financial matters, such as a merger or Initial Public Offering (IPO). The main goal of both is to handle the finances of a business, and the two areas have a considerable amount of overlap. Due to the nature of the work, individuals in both fields must be able to see the picture, work well with clients, and handle high-stress situations. Investment banking is arguably the most high-stress area of finance, but it is also one of the most lucrative. Corporate finance is usually not as lucrative as investment banking, but the workload and stress tend to be more manageable.

Investment Management

A career in investment management involves handling the financial assets of an entity. This could include many activities such as buying and selling stock, implementing tax strategies, or helping an individual create a budget. Employers of investment managers include large institutions, such as UBS Wealth Management or The Vanguard Group, as well as smaller, boutique firms. There are many different career paths within investment management, and the level of interaction with clients, financial expertise, and educational requirements varies greatly depending on the position.


The key responsibility of any accountant is to “account” for any and all financial transactions. Accounting is often a more technical area of finance, with less of an emphasis on client relationships. Compared to other areas of finance, accounting typically offers more structure and stability. This includes the career path, which is usually fairly set. As far as compensation, accounting typically offers better compensation than most entry-level positions, but the compensation usually maxes out lower than in many other areas of finance.

Operations and Compliance

Careers in finance are not limited to roles that involve working directly with money. There are also many supporting roles. Two of the most common are operations and compliance. Operations can include any number of responsibilities, all of which are implemented to ensure that the other areas of finance function smoothly. Compliance involves ensuring that all rules and regulations are followed. Compliance roles can be either internal, such as a compliance officer in an investment management firm, or external such as auditors for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The number of career options in finance extends far beyond what most people are aware of. For those looking to begin a career in finance, it’s worth exploring the many different areas to see which is the best fit. Internship in finance are quite common and may be required to get some positions. Besides helping a resume stand out, an internship can also be a way to test out a finance role and see if the field is a good fit.

Related Course: Investment Banking Certificate

The Investment Banking Certificate (IBC) is a professional certification in four core disciplines in business and finance given by the New York Institute of Finance (NYIF).  IBC offers training for individuals who want to make a career transition to investment banking or who need to hone their finance and business management skill set. The skills developed or enhanced during the program are intended to produce competent individuals in the areas of general management, finance, financial statement analysis, and quantitative techniques with a specialization in financial markets and investment analysis.

About the New York Institute of Finance

The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is a global leader in professional training for financial services and related industries. NYIF courses cover everything from investment banking, asset pricing, insurance and market structure to financial modeling, treasury operations, and accounting. The New York Institute of Finance has a faculty of industry leaders and offers a range of program delivery options, including self-study, online courses, and in-person classes. Founded by the New York Stock Exchange in 1922, NYIF has trained over 250,000 professionals online and in-class, in over 120 countries.

See all of NYIF’s training and qualifications here.