It goes without saying that today’s job market makes it as much of a challenge to advance in a career as it does to begin one. Three out of 10 people work in the finance industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. In 2008, financial managers held 539,300 jobs and 7 percent were employed by local, state or Federal government. Job prospects for financial managers is expected to average the same as the all other occupations, but is anticipated to increase by 8 percent by the year 2018. Competition for those jobs will be stiff because the number of job openings is expected to be less than the number of applicants.
Most financial managers possess a Bachelor’s degree. Many financial managers also possess a Master’s degree or professional certification in accounting or finance, however, experience may be weighed more heavily than education for some positions, such as bank branch manager. Therefore, the job prospects for financial manager’s with professional certification and/or Master’s degrees will be much better than for those without those credentials.
Changes in federal and stage laws and regulations, development new and complex financial instruments and the increasing complexity of global trade has made continuing education for financial managers a necessity. Most companies pay for financial managers to attend conferences and take graduate courses to broaden their skills and knowledge. Taking advantage of these continuing education opportunities can also accelerate advancement.
Financial managers who are also licensed to sell securities or insurance will have better job prospects. Banks constantly expand their range of products and services to often include investment and insurance products, creating a need for branch managers with knowledge in these areas. Some firms may need financial managers on a temporary basis to help the company through a financial crisis or to help boost profit margins. Others firms may decide to contract out their financial and account operations and may need to hire a financial manager to oversee the contracts.
Financial transactions will continue to become more complex and global, thus there will also be a need for financial managers who can handle these transactions and manage an increasing amount of investments, especially in the securities and commodity industries. The continued globalization of finance and regulatory changes within the industry will increase need for financial managers, which in turn will spur the creation of new business and drive job growth.