Top 10 jobs for finance majors and who’s hiring (2024)

Finance is a practical field that will always be in demand. If you’re majoring in finance or are a recent finance grad (congrats!), you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. Plus, a lot of finance roles pay well — even at the entry-level.

You might think majoring in finance means you’re destined to become the stereotypical “finance bro” who talks about the stock market over after-work co*cktails. Yes, you’re on the right path if that’s your dream. That said, many other job types are available for finance majors.

Below, we lay out the facts about job prospects for finance majors. Read on to learn about your options and figure out which role is right for you. We also give you a roundup of companies looking for finance team members on Handshake right now.

Is finance a good career path for you?

Finance is a huge field, covering all kinds of jobs, from accounting to financial risk management. That said, you’ll need some basic skills to perform well in any financial role.

You’re set up for success if you have these traits:

  • You’re good with numbers. This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you’re going to work in finance, it helps to be good at math. Knowing financial tools like Microsoft Excel is also an asset.
  • You’re super organized. Keeping track of facts, figures, and financial reports requires an eye for detail. Mixing up data means incorrect figures, which can seriously derail business analytics.
  • You’ve got an analytical mind. You can’t just calculate numbers — you’ve got to know what they mean. Here’s an example: If a company’s quarterly revenue is up but so are expenses, what does that mean for profit margins?
  • You have good communication skills. You can’t just shove papers full of numbers into someone’s face. As a finance professional, it’s often on you to explain what those numbers mean, for example, with presentations or reports.
  • You’re a problem-solver. If financial hiccups happen for a company, you may have to fix them. Say a company is burning more cash than they want on expenses. You might review spending and make recommendations on where to cut costs.

These are the must-have traits for any thriving financial professional. If you’ve got those skills, you’re off to a good start — and you’ll find many opportunities waiting.

Need proof? The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects business and financial occupations to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031.

Not sure about finance? We share the top 20 industries to work in here.

Benefits of finance careers

Before climbing the corporate ladder of a finance career, you want to ensure it’s worth it.

We can’t tell you if finance is the “perfect” career for you because we’ve never met you. But we can tell you about some perks that come with having a finance job:

  • Plenty of job prospects. The BLS expects steady growth for finance and business jobs through 2031. More than 715,000 new jobs will come onto the market (and that doesn’t take into account existing jobs and trends like baby boomers retiring). In short: There will be jobs available.
  • Good earnings potential. On top of that, earning prospects look good. The median annual wage for the field was $76,570 as of May 2021 — way higher than the median annual wage for all occupations calculated by BLS ($45,760).
  • Versatility. There are different finance jobs available, which we’ll go into more detail about below. Basically, finance is part of every industry, so you can work in anything from consumer goods to film and television.
  • Longevity and room for growth. The steady demand for finance jobs and the great diversity of jobs available means there’s plenty of potential in this field. Depending on your path, you can rise to a C-suite position like a chief financial officer (CFO) — it’s up to you!

Challenges of finance careers

We’ll always give it to you straight, which is why we can’t ignore the drawbacks of finance careers. Finance can be an exciting field with plenty of opportunities, but it also has its hurdles.

Potential challenges of a finance career include:

  • High stress. Finance can be a nail-biting field. Case in point: One wrong decimal point can alter an entire year’s worth of financial statements. Finding ways to cope with stress and nurturing resilience can help you through the tough times — for example, when you’ve got a big deadline ahead.
  • Need for experience. Getting your foot in the door of a finance job isn’t always easy. Start by getting part-time or full-time finance internships, ideally while you’re still studying, to gain a competitive edge. As you rack up years of experience, your options will improve.
  • Influx of technology. Automation and artificial intelligence are also entering the finance field. You’ll probably need to master new information technology (IT) skills to keep up.
  • Cybersecurity issues. Finance professionals often handle sensitive data, from individual people’s tax information to corporate earnings reports. You’ll want to follow best practices regarding cybersecurity to avoid leaks.

Industries where you can build a finance career

Just because you’re majoring in finance doesn’t mean you have to work for a bank or a brokerage. Many industries hire for financial roles. Here are some examples to inspire you:

  • Higher education. You might work in a student aid office distributing loans or scholarships to students. Many colleges and universities also have endowments — assets that help support the school's educational mission. These endowments require asset managers.
  • Health care. Healthcare finance managers can handle all the monetary aspects of a healthcare system — like a hospital, physician's practice, or public health agency. Another finance-related job in healthcare is medical billing — determining what insurance codes are assigned to what medical interventions. Accountants are also needed by healthcare centers of all kinds, from nursing homes to rehab facilities.
  • Insurance. Insurance companies offer coverage for all kinds of disasters, from health issues to property damage. Insurers often hire people with finance backgrounds for jobs like insurance underwriting — determining how much risk a potential customer is and how much insurance to extend them. You could also be an insurance auditor, reviewing policies and payouts and identifying potential insurance fraud.
  • Nonprofit work. Nonprofits are tax-exempt organizations, making them subject to strict audits from the Internal Revenue Service. Any reputable nonprofit will have a finance team checking that charitable donations are properly channeled and all the criteria needed for tax-exempt status are met. Nonprofits may hire financial program coordinators, financial analysts, and accounting clerks, among other roles.
  • Film and television. Bet you didn't think you'd see the bright lights of Hollywood as a finance major, did you? Every film or TV production has a certain budget — as a production accountant, you can help make sure that budget is met, tracking incoming money and outgoing expenses.

Most valuable degrees to earn a job in finance

If you’re looking to land a job in finance, you want to start with the right education — but just what degree should you pursue? Here are some possible options to jump-start your finance career:

  • Bachelor of Science in Finance. This is the basic building block of most financial careers. A B.S. in Finance can lead the way to entry-level roles in various fields, from accounting to fintech.
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics. An economics degree might be more applicable if you want to do less number-crunching and more analysis in the future. This could pave the way to roles in government, consulting, or nonprofit work, for example.
  • Master of Science in Finance. Suppose you want to open the doors to more senior-level positions like director of finance or finance manager. In that case, you might get your M.S. A master’s degree allows you to focus on a specialty area by writing a thesis.
  • Master of Science in Economics. An M.S. can give you an edge if you want more opportunities for senior-level roles. As with an M.S. in Finance, you’ll be asked to write a thesis.
  • Master of Business Administration. An MBA is a more general business degree that you can tailor to focus on finance. If you dream of becoming a CFO, this is a savvy move. Master’s degrees are generally more analytical and scientific, while MBAs are more practical and business-oriented.

Beneficial finance certifications

In addition to a general degree, you can show off specialized skills with financial services-related certifications.

Examples of certificates include:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Learn advanced investment analysis skills, including probability theory, securities analysis, derivatives, and portfolio management. The CFA Institute offers certification courses to help you gain senior financial analyst status.
  • Chartered Investment Banking Analyst (CIBA). Get hands-on knowledge of investment and asset management, from the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process to firm valuation. Investment certifications are a great way to give your resume an edge.
  • Financial Risk Management (FRM). Gain practical skills in risk assessment, an in-demand skill set among banks and insurers. The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) provides certification options.
  • Certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA). Gain the skills needed to master financial modeling, which is useful for all kinds of business sectors. The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) has courses.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This is a required license if you want to work as a professional accountant. The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) provides licensing.

Top 10 entry-level jobs in finance

Ready to check out your options in the finance field? Here are 10 job types hiring right now.

1. Financial analyst

A financial analyst — sometimes called a business analyst — uses financial data to guide business decisions. They may work in-house for a company or as business consultants, moving between clients.

Average salary: $95,570 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)


  • Financial knowledge
  • Analytical mindset
  • Reporting skills

2. Personal financial adviser

Personal financial advisers help individuals determine how to improve their financial portfolios. They can work for finance or insurance companies or be self-employed.

Average salary: $94,170 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Master’s degree plus certifications improve prospects


  • Investment and asset management knowledge
  • Good communication skills
  • Financial planning abilities

3. Accountant

Accountants help individuals and businesses prepare financial paperwork, like quarterly statements. Tax accountants specialize in tax-related accounting. They can work for accounting & finance firms or companies of all kinds.

Average salary: $77,250 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • CPA certification


  • Numerical skills
  • Tax law knowledge
  • Accounting best practices

4. Loan officer

Loan officers help determine when consumers or businesses should get loans and on what terms. They may work for mortgage companies, banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions.

Average salary: $63,380 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • On-the-job training
  • Mortgage loan officers need a license


  • Risk analysis
  • Understanding of loan terms and laws
  • Good communication abilities

5. Insurance sales agent

Insurance sales agents sell various types of insurance. Insurance underwriters help determine whether insurance applications should be approved.

Average salary: $76,390 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Certifications can help improve prospects


  • Numerical prowess
  • Understanding of risk analysis
  • Customer service skills

6. Budget analyst

Budget analysts help organizations stay on top of their finances, determining if they’re spending too much. They may work for public or private organizations.

Average salary: $79,940 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Courses in statistics, economics, and accounting are useful


  • Good with numbers and budgets
  • Organized
  • Strong communication skills

7. Auditor

Auditors review business financial records and determine whether their financial transactions are legal and legitimate. They may work for accounting firms, financial companies, or government agencies.

Average salary: $77,250 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • A CPA license or similar certification can improve job prospects


  • Eye for detail
  • Knowledge of financial regulations
  • Excellent organization skills

8. Tax specialist

Tax specialists — also called tax examiners or collectors — help businesses and individuals determine how much tax they owe. They may work for local, state, or federal governments.

Average salary: $56,780 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum) in accounting or a related field


  • Knowledge of tax law and terms
  • Numerical proficiency
  • Good eye for detail

9. Credit analyst

Credit analysts look at individual or business financial statements to determine the risk involved in loaning that person or company money. They might work for banks, mortgage companies, or other financial institutions.

Average salary: $77,440 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum) in economics or accounting


  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Problem-solving
  • Customer service skills

10. Economist

Economists research and report on factors that impact a society’s or country’s economy, like inflation or supply and demand. They may work for research labs, academic institutions, governments, or consulting companies.

Average salary: $105,630 per year


  • A master’s in economics is usually required


  • Good research skills
  • Excellent organization and analytical abilities
  • Solid written and verbal communication skills

Who’s hiring in finance on Handshake?

  • Defense Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • National Security Agency
  • Maximus
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Naval Nuclear Laboratory

Common finance job FAQs

Have questions about the finance field? We’ve answered some of the most common queries below.

What can you do with a financial degree?

A finance degree can pave the path toward traditional roles in banking or on Wall Street.

However, finance degrees can also open doors to more diverse jobs, like accounting, insurance sales, tax reporting, and loan advising. Regardless of your career goals, aim for at least a 3.5 GPA to become a finance professional.

What do most Finance Majors do?

Common career paths for finance majors include financial analysis and forecasting, portfolio management, and financial risk assessment and risk management.

However, finance majors can also pursue other paths, working in diverse industries from higher education (for example, in student financial aid services) to health care (for example, in medical billing).

What is the average salary for a finance job?

The median salary for finance jobs was $76,570 as of May 2021 — well above the national average of ($45,760) for all professions. However, salaries largely depend on the job title.

For example, the median pay for financial analysts is $95,570 per year. However, for tax examiners, it’s $56,780 per year. Meanwhile, claims adjusters fall somewhere in the middle, with $64,710 per year.

Find the right finance career for you with help from Handshake

Finance is a promising major, opening doors to diverse careers from financial analyst to auditor or accountant. When deciding which track is right for you, don’t just think about salary. You also want to consider growth potential, job satisfaction, and long-term goals.

Remember, you aren’t just starting a job after college — you’re taking the first step in building a career.

Handshake helps you get on the right foot with an easy hiring platform. Create a profile, get personalized job recommendations, save jobs you’re interested in, and start meeting employers to discuss job posts.

Get started today!


Top 10 jobs for finance majors and who’s hiring (2024)


What is the best job with a finance degree? ›

Highest-paying finance jobs
  • Financial adviser.
  • Senior accountant.
  • Investment banker.
  • Hedge fund manager.
  • Financial analyst.
  • Information technology auditor.
  • Financial software developer.
  • Private equity associate.
Apr 18, 2024

Which job is best in finance? ›

This blog lists the 15 highest-paying jobs in finance to help aspiring professionals understand industry trends better.
  • Financial Manager. ...
  • Treasury Manager. ...
  • Financial Analyst. ...
  • Investment Specialist. ...
  • Internal Auditor. ...
  • Financial Risk Manager. ...
  • Economist. ...
  • Financial Advisor.

Is there a high demand for finance majors? ›

Careers in finance may also offer flexibility for employees by allowing them to work remotely or in hybrid environments. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that business and finance jobs will be in demand from 2022 to 2032, with 911,400 openings on average each year.

What is the most common job in finance? ›

Top 10 entry-level jobs in finance
  • Financial analyst. A financial analyst — sometimes called a business analyst — uses financial data to guide business decisions. ...
  • Personal financial adviser. ...
  • Accountant. ...
  • Loan officer. ...
  • Insurance sales agent. ...
  • Budget analyst. ...
  • Auditor. ...
  • Tax specialist.

Are finance majors worth it? ›

High earning potential: Many jobs in finance offer high salaries and growth potential, making it a lucrative career choice. Diverse career opportunities: With a finance degree, you can work in various roles and industries, from investment banking to risk management to financial planning.

Is finance a successful major? ›

The Bottom Line. Having a career in finance can be both fun and beneficial. The benefits of a finance degree are numerous, be that the high salary that comes with it, the academic growth, and a high number of career advancement opportunities.

What is the most paid job in finance? ›

Usually considered one of the two highest paying rules within the industry, Chief Financial Officers work at the executive or C-suite level, and are responsible for overseeing the financial activities of an organization, planning for and providing guidance on financial risk, and coordinating the finances with strategic ...

Who gets paid the most in finance? ›

What are the top 5 highest paying jobs? The top 5 highest paying jobs in finance are investment banking, hedge fund management, CFO roles, private equity, and actuarial positions. These careers typically offer substantial salaries and the potential for significant bonuses.

What is the hardest job in finance? ›

One of the most difficult jobs in Finance is to be the CFO of a PE firm or a PE-backed company. According to a Big 4 firm's survey, turnover of CFOs in PE and PE-backed companies is notoriously high, reaching 80% in less than five years; half of whom are gone within three years.

Do finance majors make 6 figures? ›

Finance can be a fiercely competitive field. It's a famously high-paying industry known to deal out six or seven figures in salaries and bonuses for those at the top. Even those on the bottom rung can expect to start at a good wage compared with other fields.

Where do most finance majors end up? ›

  • Management Consulting. ...
  • Sales &/or Trading. ...
  • Commercial Banking. ...
  • Corporate Finance. ...
  • Private Equity. ...
  • Equity Research / Portfolio Management. ...
  • Financial Planning / Financial Services.

What type of person should major in finance? ›

Finance, or the management of money and the allocation of financial resources, plays a critical role in shaping the global economy. If you're fascinated by numbers, intrigued by investments, and have a penchant for analyzing financial data, then a finance major might be the perfect fit for you.

Which career is best in finance? ›

Top 10 Best Career Options in Finance
  • Investment Banking. ...
  • Asset Management. ...
  • Finance Scholars and Professors. ...
  • Public Accounting. ...
  • Commercial Banking. ...
  • Financial Planning. ...
  • Compliance and Internal Control. ...
  • Credit Analysis. The role of a Credit Analyst has become popular in recent times.

What is the most prestigious job in finance? ›

Portfolio management is a prestigious role in the finance industry. Portfolio managers, also known as money managers, directly oversee institutional and retail client investments in their daily work. They have a great responsibility.

How hard is a finance degree? ›

Is Finance a Hard Major? Finance is a somewhat difficult major. The difficulty with finance comes down to its concepts that students would not have experienced before in their lives, the financial lingo in the field, and the concentration of math in the subject.

Is finance the highest-paying major? ›

No surprise, majoring in engineering and finance yields the biggest paydays five years after graduating college, while majoring in liberal arts or performing arts pays the least.

Which finance company pays the most? ›

Investment Banking Firms Ranked by Pay
  • Lazard.
  • Rothschild.
  • Guggenheim.
  • Bank of America.
  • Citi.
  • Goldman Sachs.
  • JP Morgan.
  • Morgan Stanley.

What career makes a lot of money? ›

What are the highest-paying jobs in America? Unsurprisingly, physicians, surgeons and psychiatrists rank near the top of the list. But chief executives, airline pilots and athletes also rank high. Many of the highest-paying occupations in America are also among the fastest-growing jobs.

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