Finance Careers: What sector is right for you?

The growth of the financial sector has created a diverse range of career opportunities for students pursuing a degree in Business Administration Finance.  However, the paradox of choice is that having too many options can sometimes make our decisions more difficult.  When it comes to choosing a career in finance, one way to narrow or weigh our options is to evaluate the differences between personal, corporate and public finance.

Personal Finance

Careers in personal finance focus on helping individuals and families plan for their financial future. Whether it’s saving for a home, retirement, or simply ensuring financial protection from life’s unforeseen circumstances, financial planners help clients achieve a wide spectrum of financial goals.

Those interested in a career in personal finance generally work as financial planners or advisors, a profession that often requires Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. To become a Certified Financial Planner, students must complete a bachelors degree, pass CFP Certification Exam, and have three years of professional experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 27 percent by 2022, a rate much faster than average.

Corporate Finance

Unlike personal finance, corporate finance deals with the financial health of an organization or a company. The goal of corporate finance is to help maximize the value for a firm’s stakeholders while minimizing risk. Those working in corporate finance may be tasked with making resource allocations, developing financial policies, executing financial programs, managing cash resources, building financial forecasts and other.

Students interested in corporate finance careers can work as financial analysts and advance towards management positions such as financial managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 16 percent by 2022, with the media pay of  $76,950 per year. Financial managers employment is expected to grow at an average rate of 9 percent while their yearly median pay is $109,740.

Public Finance

Public finance generally refers to the financial management of government entities. In this regard, public finance examines government revenue and spending and aims to manage the two for the benefit of the economy and society. However, public finance can also refer to investment banking as it relates to raising funds for governments through structuring and offering of bond issues.

Those interested in public finance can work in various government agencies or firms that provide financial consulting services to state and local governments.

Whether you have an interest in personal, corporate or public finance, a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance will provide a strong foundation for the path you choose. In addition, students can pursue internships relevant to their interest to make informed decisions about their careers.