Before you decide which career path to pursue, it is wise to learn more about the pros and cons of the career choice you have in mind. Each field that you may be interested in will have pros and cons, but you may find that some of the risks in certain fields are mitigated by benefits or that you are more agreeable with risks in some fields than in others. If you are thinking about starting a career in finance, you may be interested in working with money or making computations throughout the day, helping others achieve financial goals and earning a reasonable or even rather high salary for your level of education. While there are true benefits associated with a career in finance, there are also some downsides that you should consider before you jump headfirst into this field and actively pursue this path.
Advanced Degree Needed for Career Advancement
As is the case with many other fields, the financial industry does have some entry-level jobs that you can slide into with only a high school degree. For example, some businesses may have a job opening for a bookkeeper with a high school diploma. Most of the entry-level positions in finance, however, will require at least a Bachelor's degree in a related field. The compensation for many entry-level positions in finance is reasonable and even on the higher end of the spectrum for a Bachelor's degree. In fact, some starting positions with a Bachelor's degree are well over $60,000. However if you have goals of climbing the career ladder and working in a managerial or executive-level position, typically experience alone is not enough. Most who advance to higher-level positions in the financial industry will hold at least an MBA degree in a related subject area.
Compensation Based on Performance
With some financial industry positions, compensation is not guaranteed, and it may be based on how well you perform on the job. If you are successful in your efforts, you may benefit handsomely. Many commission-based positions in this field do not have an upper limit on income potential. However, if you are not successful in your efforts or if the industry or economy takes a downturn, your income level may suffer. The safer route may be to take a salary position and climb the corporate ladder to earn more money, but this is generally not the option that will yield the maximum income for some individuals.
Many finance jobs require workers to sit at a desk all day. They may work long hours sitting still in front of a computer or on the phone. They may attend a few meetings, but generally, these are rather sedentary jobs. For many who work in sedentary jobs, health becomes a concern. These individuals may be more likely to be overweight and to have weight-related health problems. However, there are steps that individuals can take to reduce these risks, such as taking a walk regularly at lunch or working out before or after work. Those who work in this field should pay attention to the health risks and their health status.
Many financial positions will relate directly to money, investments and more of other individuals or of businesses. Your clients and customers may feel pressure about their financial situation or about the work that you are doing for them, and they may relay this pressure onto you. More than that, you may feel the stress and pressure associated with performing well. After all, you may not want others to suffer financially because of errors you made or because of a general lack of performance on your part. These positions generally can be very stressful for others to work in, and you should be aware that you may feel stress from your job on a regular basis if you choose to pursue a career in this field.
Boredom and Monotony
As stressful as these positions can be, it may seem contradictory to say that there is monotony in the position. However, in most of these positions, you may find yourself performing the same activities each day. The clients or customers may change, but you may continue to crunch the same numbers, talk about the same services and more day in and day out. There may be some variations in your routine, but some people may find that going to the same office and doing the same tasks every day is tedious and boring.
Before you make your decision about whether to pursue a career in finance or not, it is important to define what you want out of your job and what downsides you are agreeable to. No field or position is perfect in every way, but some people will not be as negatively impacted by some downsides in a field as others.