Finance As A Specialization: All You Need To Know
I recently wrote an article titled ‘Marketing As A Specialization: All You Need To Know’ which explained various career options that Marketing students get during their placements at B-school. I’ve got requests from many Finance students regarding the same. For the purpose of writing this article, I did some primary research with my batchmates in Finance, friends in Finance from B-schools like XIMB, NM, SIBM and IMT-G. This article would go on to explain important certifications that Finance students pursue and the career options that lie ahead.
Note: This article is majorly about Finance roles in B-school like XIMB, NMIMS, IMI, IMT-G, SCMHRD, SIBM, New IIMs etc. I’ve presented a generalized view and specifics may differ.
For Marketing majors, corporate competitions are major differentiating factors on their CV. Victory in such competitions implies that they have been able to use their knowledge on a business case and present a compelling solution backed by some research and numbers. Similarly, certifications like CFA and FRM does that for Finance majors.
Marketing competitions may not have any importance after the B-school is over but the certifications like CFA, FRM remains forever on the CV of any Finance student.
CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst, it has 3 levels every level has a different exam and greater difficulty level. There is a one-time enrollment fee of $450 and then individual examination fee for every level. So if you begin with Level 1 in Dec 2018, Level 2 by June 2019 and Level 3 by June 2020; it takes close to 2 years and on an average Rs 2.24 lacs (USD 1 = Rs 65) to add CFA to your title.
FRM is for ‘Financial Risk Manager’, it is apt for people who want to make a career in risk. FRM has only 2 levels. The cost of doing FRM is less than CFA.
Let’s talk about the placements now. Some profiles that are offered to Finance Grads are as follows:
- Investment Banking (IB): The most sought after and the most coveted roles on the campus. This role has its own fascination; Long working hours, stress and the plum paycheck as a reward for braving adversities. These roles are a handful and certifications like CFA play an important role.
- Corporate Finance: Role of the Corporate Finance function is to create value for the shareholders of the company. They are the ones taking important decisions like ways to reduce the cost of capital, avenues to raise the money, studying the financial implications of various strategic and tactical initiatives.
- Consulting Roles: The Big 4 firms offer financial consulting roles. These roles are typically in the field of solutions advisory, audits etc.
- Business Analyst: IT companies recruit Finance MBA grads in good numbers across campuses. They work in finance domain projects, acting as a bridge between the client and the IT team. An important task that they do is to understand the complex business requirements from the client and then explain the same to the IT team. People with previous IT experience are preferred for such roles.
These are just 4 of the many roles offered. Go to LinkedIn and search for Alums of your prospective B-school, it would give you a very clear idea about career progression associated with the role.
To make your task a little simple; you can search for roles like Relationship Manager, Equity Research Analyst etc.