A Career in Financial Services

When it comes to the global economy, financial services play a key role. They help consumers buy and sell assets, provide loans for personal or business purposes, manage investments and offer insurance.

The industry includes banks, credit unions, credit-card companies, mortgage lenders, investment firms and even Wall Street. But it also encompasses other industries that might not be so obvious. “For instance, a company like PayPal is a financial service because it moves money from one account to another,” Duitch says. So too is a real estate firm, because it facilitates the purchase of a home or commercial property. And even a grocery store, which helps individuals buy food and goods by accepting payments, is considered part of the financial services industry.

A healthy financial services sector allows businesses to get the money they need to grow, expand or invest in new opportunities. It provides people with access to loans for mortgages, car purchases and other needs. It lets consumers save for retirement, education and other goals, and protects their health, homes and possessions through insurance.

A career in financial services can be challenging. It’s not uncommon for employees in some roles to work 16 to 20 hours a day, and the stress of the job isn’t always conducive to a good work-life balance. In addition, many financial services professionals must deal with a high level of regulation and government pressure to maintain consumer supremacy. Despite these challenges, a career in the field is attractive to some. Its perks include generous salaries and the ability to advance based on aptitude rather than tenure.