Careers with a finance degree
Accountancy and finance degrees can provide excellent progressive opportunities when graduating from university. These careers can be both directly related, but also not so related to your finance degree discipline, dependant on the particular career path you’d like to take.
We will outline but are not be limited to, the most popular finance job titles upon leaving university, which will be followed up with typical job description details.
What jobs can I get with a finance degree?
There are countless graduate finance routes to go down, to meet your personality traits and unique skills. These can include:
- Graduate Finance Analyst
- Graduate Assistant Accountant
- Graduate Tax Advisor
- Graduate in Audit / Assurance
- Data / MI Analyst
- Junior Project Manager
- Management Consultant
Finance job descriptions
Graduate Finance Analyst
Finance Analysts use various accounting / reporting systems and Microsoft Excel to manipulate large data sets in order to produce insightful reports for multiple departments across an organisation. You must have the capability to analyse large sets of financial data and produce professional reports to display your findings and recommendations. You will also be communicating with relevant organisational stakeholders to support them with their key business decisions. The average starting salary for this entry finance analyst role range from £22,000 in the Midlands to £30,000 in London. Typically, you would study the CIMA or ACCA qualification.
Graduate Assistant Accountant
Graduate Assistant Accountants can either work for an accountancy practice where you will prepare accounts for a portfolio of clients or you can work for an in-house finance team. Typical responsibilities will include; supporting with the preparation of financial and management accounts, VAT returns, transactional finance (purchase ledger and sales ledger), balance sheet reconciliations and supporting with budgeting and forecasting. The average salary for an Assistant Accountant is £20,000 – £28,000 dependant on the stated location of the role. Your typical progression opportunities would be to move into Management Accountant or Financial Accountant roles in industry or an Accounts Senior / Manager in practice. CIMA / ACCA and ACA are all relevant professional qualifications for Assistant Accountant roles.
Graduate in Audit / Assurance
If you choose a career in audit and assurance you will be working for a professional services accountancy firm. You will be studying for a professional ICAEW or ACCA qualification. You will be auditing accounts for companies that fall into the audit threshold. You’ll need to have a keen eye for detail and thorough understand of both UK and international reporting standards. Typical careers paths include being promoted to Audit Manager / Senior Manager or you could move into a role in industry once you’ve finished your qualification. Starting salaries range from £23,000 to £30,000 depending on location.
Tax Advisor job roles consist of providing actionable recommendations to clients on a range of tax issues, determining opportunities within a client portfolio, handling correspondence with HM Revenue & Customs for clients, supervising and supporting more junior staff dealing with corporation tax accounts. The estimated salary for a tax advisor role is around £25,000 – £45,000, and usually negotiable.
As a management consultant, your key roles and responsibilities would involve; managing and delivering considerable projects that a to meet profitable conclusions, analysing the client’s project and presenting recommendations on moving forward. You would also be developing a strategic plan that is carefully aligned with their current business plan to create cost-effective opportunities in the short and long term. This management job role can deliver from £20,000 – £110,000, dependant on the project length, the clientele and amount of projects taken on throughout the year.
For accounting and finance graduates, potential future employers generally find further qualifications desirable. There are countless qualifications available for different skill levels, periods of time and pricing. For jobs that are directly related to your finance degree, you would typically study CIMA, ACCA, ACA (ICAEW) or CTA (worth including links to each exam body?)
However, other finance courses for roles that aren’t directly related to your finance degree can be provided by multiple different companies and tailored to the specific graduate role you aspire to work in.
Overall, when applying for a role with your finance degree, ensure to search for a position to suit your capabilities, interests and offers progression within the role. It is also advised to determine if the organisation can offer training for the stated high-level qualifications early on, as this will be extremely beneficial for your future financial career.