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How to assert yourself in finance

The financial industry can be breakneck, but it also promises ambitious individuals the opportunity to achieve great success if they are ready to do the job. Unfortunately, an estimated 50% of all professionals with degrees in finance or economics find it challenging to find a job that is relevant to their degree and skills.

If you want to make sure your path to success in the financial sector goes smoothly, here are some tips on how to stand out.

Choose the right degree

You probably think that you need a bachelor̵

7;s degree in business and finance or something similar to get into this industry. However, this is not the case. Another option to consider, especially if you want to open up a larger number of job prospects after you graduate, is a degree in data or business analysis.

Becoming a data analyst means that you have the opportunity to work in the financial industry as a person who collects and processes data, analyzes it and reports on the results. A variety of industries rely on data analysts for helpful insights to improve their product and service offerings, impress their consumers, and stay ahead of their competitors. Most financial data analysts have roles including risk analyst, fraud analyst, credit analyst, and investment analyst, to name a few.

The analytics career path is extremely diverse, and you can opt for the finance industry as well as marketing, technology, IT, sales, insurance, media, and more.

On the other hand, if you do choose to study economics, your job opportunities will be limited to staying in finance and business – not that it would be a negative outcome if you finally want to be there! Possible roles would be investment banker, stockbroker, financial advisor, portfolio manager, etc.

Find knowledge outside of the classroom

While you will likely learn everything you need to know to excel in finance in the classroom or auditorium (or in online lectures if you choose to study online), beyond that it is important to know to seek the boundaries of your college.

For example, find someone who works in finance and ask them to mentor you during your studies. You have the opportunity to get an inside perspective on how you can be successful and what steps you need to take to make a lasting impression on your manager so that you are number one for that promotion.

In addition to finding and developing a close relationship with a financial professional, you should also make a habit of keeping an eye on the stock market, searching the Wall Street Journal, and tracking emerging economic trends.

Keeping up with your coursework will put you on an equal footing with your peers – it’s the extra knowledge and skills you gain outside of the classroom that set you apart from them!

Start the network from the beginning

As with most professions, networking is a key factor for success in the financial industry. The good news is that most colleges offer students the opportunity to network and make valuable connections by keeping them informed of important industry-related events and often by hosting their own events. To make the most of these opportunities, focus on cultivating sincere relationships with financial professionals in a variety of roles rather than finding those who you think could help advance your career in the future. Never underestimate the potential of a single business acquaintance to help you take the next steps soon after you graduate!

Of course, don’t forget that many of your college friends will venture into the same industry as you. So do your best to keep in touch and maintain positive, mutually beneficial relationships.

Develop your soft skills

So, you know your way around data and finance – but are your communication and time management skills at an adequate level to make you stand out from the crowd? Soft skills are just as important as the ones you learned in your chosen course or program. In addition to communication and time management skills, you should also strive to improve your critical thinking, leadership, and speaking skills. All of this will come together to make you a great financial professional with a really bright future.

You now know how to stand out before and after college. Nothing prevents you from standing out in your financial career and making your dreams come true!

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