Are you planning for a career in the business and finance industry, but simply can’t face a dreary finance degree?
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to.
Given its becoming increasingly common for university students to end up in a career that doesn’t correspond with their undergraduate degrees anyway, you’ll be giving yourself a head start if you study something else entirely.
Forbes talked to members of its Forbes Finance Council to identify nine non-finance or business degrees they would consider hiring at their finance firms.
1. Liberal Arts Or English
Regardless of industry, it’s important to have people on your team who can verbally and non-verbally communicate with others inside and outside the organisation. A lack of effective communication impacts your bottom line and can lead to conflict and stress in the workplace.
2. Psychology Or Communications
Psychology and Communications majors with great people skills can be great assets to a financial planning practice. Much of the work is relating complex concepts to our clients in a way that is easy to understand. Similarly, understanding clients emotional needs and expectations is a big part of financial planning. Thus, these majors can have an edge in the finance and business field.
3. Information Systems
Many would consider hiring a university graduate with a major in Information Systems within a finance and accounting department. Data management, data gathering and quality high-volume data sense checks are critical in financial reporting nowadays. Having a resource that can work with a number of software systems and assist you with automating data extractions or importing is extremely important.
4. Computer Science Or Law
Today’s financial products are dominated by technology. Emerging blockchain-based solutions are bound to address much of the regulatory overhead (“RegTech”) which will require talent that has both sound engineering knowledge as well as an understanding of global legal systems. A combination of computer science and law is therefore more appealing to employers than a master’s degree in business.
“A combination of computer science and law is therefore more appealing to employers than a master’s degree in business.”
We are in the people business, and there aren’t many majors that compete with the focus on service like a Hospitality major does. Those graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management or other Hospitality majors know the importance of quality customer service and taking care of our clients.
6. Data Science
Everything in finance is about data, whether it is trading, regulations, reputation or competitive analysis. Data science involves scientific methods to extract useful insights. Common uses include analysis, quick decision making, prototyping and modelling for calculating risk exposures, adverse news about a company and simulating economic turmoils for preparedness, etc.
For a flexible, well-rounded finance firm candidate, some believe the best choice would be a graduate with a degree in the humanities. These university graduates have a good grasp of language, writing, math and other transferable skills. Marketing, English, History, Math and Economics majors can prove very useful with their soft skills and expertise in world views.
“For a flexible, well-rounded finance firm candidate, some believe the best choice would be a graduate with a degree in the humanities. Marketing, English, History, Math and Economics majors can prove very useful with their soft skills and expertise in world views.”
Many aspects of a finance job can be taught like any other skill. Employers would be willing to hire somebody with a marketing or advertising degree because they will have developed people skills that are crucial to client relationships along with analytical skills to help them understand the market, evaluate portfolios, manage budgets and reporting.
Operations is a growing industry of creating efficiencies and effectiveness in organisation processes/systems. The ops roles also tend to come paired with rounded experience that touch finance and looking at optimising spend at the operational level, which can really bring some pragmatic magic to any financial team.
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