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Fantastic careers in finance

Careers in finance

Maths and money go hand in hand. Here’s the lowdown on the best careers in finance

Over half a million people work in Australia’s financial and insurance services industry, and that number is growing. Many finance jobs don’t even require you to have a degree – about a quarter of the workforce have a VET qualification and almost a third don’t have any post-school qualifications at all! In fact, about 40,000 of those employed in the industry are bank workers, which is a job you can go for straight out of school.

Skills to pay the bills

Having a head for numbers is critical to any career in the finance industry, but you’ll need a degree for the top jobs. Traditional study pathways include accounting, maths, commerce, business, finance and actuarial studies – but you can supercharge your specialisation if you add data.

Combining a finance-focused degree with a second qualification in data science, IT or statistics can help boost your future career options and earning potential. Skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning, programming and data analytics are also in high demand, so keep an eye out for those keywords when you’re looking at courses!

What’s that job?

Lots of jobs in finance include the word ‘analyst’ – here’s what they all do:

  • Data analysts design and compile financial reports to help their organisation make good business decisions.
  • Data scientists use programming skills to build the infrastructure behind those reports.
  • Business analysts are at the decision-making end – they make recommendations to management based on the reports.
  • Financial analysts use mathematical models to help clients choose the best investment strategies.
  • Quantitative analysts are similar but use more advanced skills to analyse big financial systems like the stock market.
  • Risk analysts assess loan and insurance applications for individuals and businesses.
  • Actuaries work with insurance companies to analyse things like car accident statistics, and weather and health data to determine what premiums to charge.

RELATED: Download our FREE Data Scientist Job Kit


The brilliant thing about finance is that there are jobs in just about every sector imaginable. Banks are just the beginning – accounting and consulting firms, insurance agencies, mortgage lenders and superannuation funds are all potential employers too. Plus, every big business, organisation and government department has a finance team, so whatever your passion, there’s a finance job waiting for you. It could even take you around the world!

Maths & Data + Finance + Study

Undergrad

VET courses

  • Certificate IV in Business (Big Data)
  • Diploma of Financial Services

Maths & Data + Finance + Jobs

  • Data analyst: $56K–$103K
  • Data scientist: $65K–$128K
  • Financial analyst: $57K–$102K
  • Risk analyst: $62K–$101K
  • Quantitative analyst: $60K–$161K
  • Actuary: $70K–$171K

Salary info according to payscale.com 

This article was originally published in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data

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