Working with numbers is always a great way to guarantee an attractive position and high pay, but if you want to go above and beyond and make your mark, you need to stand out. Being an expert in Bitcoin is certainly a draw that can help you secure a top position, but you need experience and expertise to back it up.
After you graduate, you might expect to have a whole range of opportunities available, but this isn’t always the case. It is estimated that only 27% of graduates have a job related to their degree. If you are having trouble getting your foot in the door of finance, then you need to look for an alternative route in. Fellowships, internships, or even getting a supportive job in a financial company are all great ways to start a career in finance. After all, it isn’t about what you can do when you first start out, but who you know. By being willing to look for work in the industry in any role, you can, in turn, start building a network that will help you achieve your goals.
Expose Yourself to the Different Areas of Finance
Whether you start while you are still in university or after you graduate, the first few years of your career will need to focus on multiple areas of finance. You can’t know what you are passionate about until you try out different areas in the field. You might love managing books, or you might have a detective streak and really want to pursue a career in financial forensics. Though branching out isn’t going to secure you a position in the finance world (there are quite a few qualifications to pass first), you will want to be sure about the direction you want to take your career in. Passion is going to be your most winning trait.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shadow
Being hired by a finance company is going to open so many doors, so take advantage of them. Shadow different departments, talk to those who work there, and learn. At the very least, you will learn more about your company, and that insight is an excellent asset for a future manager.
Know The Right Time to Return to School
The job hunt after you graduate can be brutal, which is why so many in the finance industry don’t consider going back for an MSc. They can progress their career, earn raises, and even study to complete the CPA and CMA exams. The only issue is that they have to do it all on their own. If you truly want to stand out, you need skills that put you in a very small candidate market. Forensic accounting, for example, is critical for big businesses to ensure that money is moving as it should, and no one is stealing or skimming off the top. Corporate accounting can help put you at the forefront of your field.
Going back to complete an MSc in accounting is a smart move, but only if you know you are ready for it. There are some truly phenomenal online master’s degree in accounting options out there, and they allow you to continue to work and learn simultaneously. In exchange, you learn industry-informed coursework and are prepared to take the CPA and CMA exams immediately. This online degree is best done when you know which area of finance or accounting you wish to pursue, and are ready to finally get ahead or futureproof your career.
Don’t Wait for Graduation – Use What You Learn to Benefit You Now
Knowledge doesn’t wait to manifest until you earn your diploma, which is why you can use your education to further your career right now. Not only will you be proving yourself time and again, but you will also be reinforcing what you are learning with real-life examples.
Showcase Your Skills
Do you want to impress your supervisors? Showcase your skills. It is important to be proactive about this, of course. They won’t know what your course load is like or what you are learning if you don’t let them know. Keep an ear out for any opportunities and be the first to volunteer. You also shouldn’t be shy about letting your manager or supervisor know that you are completing an MSc while working for them. So long as you can keep up expectations, you will actually prove your dedication to your work and your career more than anyone else on your floor.
Make Use of Your New Network
One of the biggest benefits of a university is the automatic networking opportunities available. While you won’t have access to the rest of your classmates, you will have access to the professors and industry professionals who are organizing the degree. Stay in touch with them, ask them for advice, and generally work to solidify this connection. You never know; they might move on to start a new business, and if they remember you and your drive, you could be the first call they make.
Waiting for your connections to make a move, however, is not your only option. Check in and see if they know of anyone hiring, or at the very least, if they will be willing to write you a recommendation.
In a perfect world, your employer will recognize your efforts and reward you for them, but the world isn’t perfect, and some employers will be happy to let you work harder and better without any reward at all. If this is the case for you, spend a couple of hours a week applying for new jobs, especially if you are almost finished completing your degree. Use the fact that you are so driven you are actively pursuing your education and looking to advance your career to your advantage.
The fact that you will soon be qualified, specialized, and have an MSA is almost secondary, but don’t ever forget to use these traits to your advantage to help you stand out from the crowd and further your career in finance.