As a journalist or data analyst in the financial services sector, you provide the information and insight that the finance industry runs on. While quite different to investment banking and investment management, these roles offer a lot of similar benefits – plus some all their own.
Working in a global industry has a lot of advantages. It gives you the opportunity to deal with people around the world, and to make use of any language skills you have. You’re likely to have opportunities to travel, and even to work abroad long term.
If you have a legitimate interest in business and finance, you’re likely to find your role varied, challenging and engaging. Because it’s about providing information and advice, you’re expected to develop opinions and draw conclusions of your own.
Transferrable knowledge and skills
As a journalist or analyst within financial services you’ll specialise in a particular sector – anything from renewable energy companies to luxury jewellery and watches. You’re expertise in that area can transfer easily to other analytical roles, particularly within asset management and investment banking.
A role in regulation or compliance is equally worthwhile. Knowledge of financial regulations is invaluable to companies. You should be able to shift easily to an internal compliance role, which will give you a great deal of flexibility.
Working with clients, colleagues and industry contacts, you’ll develop a solid network both within and outside your area of expertise. This will help you progress and give you more opportunities if you want to move to a different company or role.
Companies are always on the lookout for successful data analysts. If you shine in your role, you could get onto a head-hunter’s list. They’re likely to tempt you with sizable salary increases.
It’s a competitive industry, and it only takes people who are likely to flourish – which means they’re intelligent, quick-thinking, and most importantly, team players. The atmosphere is likely to be more collaborative and less competitive than some parts of the finance world.
Pay in financial services isn’t vast, but it is competitive. After a few years in any role you could find yourself earning £45,000, with the potential to increase to the high 5 figures.
You won’t find much by way of bonuses in the financial services world, but you’re likely to be promoted based on merit.
As with most careers, the added benefits depend very much on the size of the company. With a larger employer, such as Bloomberg, you can expect the usual range: health insurance, life insurance, retirement plan, and so on.
Plenty of support
In financial services, everyone understands that you’ll have a lot to learn when you begin. You’re likely to have intensive training and ongoing mentoring, giving you the tools to do the job well. You’ll be given responsibility early on, and your team will be there to help you succeed.
Depending on the role you choose, you can tailor your work-life balance in the way that suits you best. As a compliance officer, you’re likely to have more of a 9-5 job than a finance journalist tied to market hours.