What can I do with a major in finance?

Search for opportunities

American Portfolios Financial Services
Northwestern Mutual
Premium Mortgage Corporation

Finance Planner
Financial Analyst
Financial Advisor

Search for employers hiring graduates in your major

Employers in NY: 14,533
Employers in US: 222,543


Explore the numerous career fields related to your major

Corporate and Public Finance

Financial Analysis
Cash Management
Credit Management
Budget Analysis
Investment Management
Investor Relations
Financial Reporting
Real Estate
Risk Management


Private businesses of all sizes and types
State and local government entities
Federal agencies including:

  • Internal Revenue Service 
  • Treasury Department 

Schools and universities
Non-profit organizations

Sample occupations

Complete a related internship.
Develop strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
Sharp analytical skills are crucial in this industry.
Earn an MBA to reach the highest levels of corporate finance.


Corporate Credit Analysis
Commercial Lending
Trust Management
Capital Services and Mergers & Acquisitions
Mortgage Loans
Originations and Packaging
Branch Management
Cash Management
Credit Scoring and Risk Management
Private Banking


Commercial banks
Credit unions
Savings and loan associations
Savings banks
Mortgage banks
Captive finance companies
Regulatory agencies including: Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, OTS

Sample occupations

Develop a solid background in business including marketing and accounting.
Get experience through part-time, summer or internship positions in a financial service firm.
Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele.


Risk Management
Actuarial Science
Loss Control


Life insurance firms
Property and casualty insurance firms
Commercial banks
Savings banks

Sample occupations

Complete an internship with an insurance agency.
Talk to professionals in the industry to learn more about claims, underwriting, and risk management. Many good, entry-level positions exist in these areas.
Initiative and sales ability are necessary to be a successful agent or broker.
Develop strong communication skills, as many positions require interaction with others and the ability to explain information clearly and concisely.
Take additional statistics classes to prepare for a career in actuary science. Prepare to take the first in a series of actuarial examinations.

Personal Financial Planning

Customer Service
Portfolio Management


Brokerage firms
Trust companies
Financial partnerships
Multiline insurance firms
Sole practitioners

Sample occupations

Gain experience in sales.
Demonstrate a highly motivated and entrepreneurial personality.
Research how one obtains the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Develop a solid personal network.

Real Estate

Residential Brokerage
Commercial Sales
Property Management
Real Estate Portfolio Management


Real estate brokers
Commercial banks
Appraisal firms
Apartment and condominium complexes
Large corporations: real estate departments
Real estate investment trusts
Mutual funds

Sample occupations

Obtain sales experience through part-time, summer or internship positions.
Research how to become a real estate broker through the National Association of Realtors.
Develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
Research apprenticeships in appraisal.

Investment Banking

Corporate Financial Analysis
Mergers and Acquisitions
Equity and Debt
Institutional Bond and Equity Sales
Retail Bond and Equity Sales
Business Valuation
Business Sale Transactions
Currency Trading
Derivatives, e.g. options
Venture Capital
Fund Management
New Venture Analysis


Investment banking firms (Changes in laws have created a fluid situation in this industry; mergers and acquisitions continue to take place.)
Financial services firms
Insurance firms (The Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999 allowed financial services firms to acquire or build investment banking subsidiaries and vice versa.)

Sample occupations

An M.B.A. is required to move beyond the entry-level analyst position in investment banking. Investment banking is highly competitive.
Be prepared to work many hours of overtime per week, start at the bottom, and pay your dues.
Develop strong analytical and communication skills.
Cultivate personal ambitiousness.
Obtain a Series 7 License for both institutional and retail broker sales positions.
Work toward the CFA designation.

Money Management

Portfolio Management


Portfolio management firms
Commercial banks
Investment banks
Federal Reserve banks
Insurance firms

Sample occupations

Most positions require an advanced degree in economics, finance or business and many years of financial experience.


Corporate or Government Including:

  • Financial Management 
  • Financial Reporting 
  • Cost Accounting 
  • Tax Planning 
  • Research

Companies of various sizes, in all industries
Federal agencies and departments including:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 
  • Internal Revenue Service 
  • Department of the Treasury 
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Securities Exchange Commission 

State and local agencies

Sample occupations

Sometimes opportunities in accounting exist in government and corporate settings for finance students.
Take more than the required amount of accounting classes to supplement finance curriculum.
Maintain a strong g.p.a.
Complete an internship in a government agency and become familiar with the government application process to work in the public sector.

General information and strategies

  • Quantitative skills are extremely important.
    • Take additional courses in math, statistics, and accounting.
  • Many positions in finance require the ability to analyze and interpret data.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Cultivate an eye for detail.
  • Gain experience through internships, summer and part-time positions.
  • Read the Wall Street Journal and other financial news magazines to stay up to date with current events and to learn more about the industry.
  • Join student professional associations in the field of finance.
  • Several professional designations and licenses, e.g. Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner, are available to finance professionals working in a particular area. (Earning these designations may help one obtain advanced positions.)
  • Develop strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
  • Earn an MBA to reach the highest levels of corporate finance.
  • Sometimes opportunities in accounting exist in government and corporate settings for finance students.