Ten Ways to Get a Finance Job Without a Degree

If you want to work as a finance professional, a business or finance degree is required. But what if this is not your case? There is still hope for those without a finance degree.

A finance degree will impart skills such as a data-component=”link” data-ordinal=”1″ data source=”inlineLink” >financial modeling/a> and a href=”https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/financialanalysis.asp>analysis/a>, but may not do much to provide other skills required for success in almost any profession, such as communication, problem solving, and time management. The skills that a finance degree imparts are financial modelling and analyses. However, it may not provide the other skills needed for success in any profession such as communication skills, problem solving, or time management.

Here are 10 ways you can show potential employers that your skills and passion for finance will help you achieve a successful career.

We will rank each one according to the difficulty of achieving it (for instance, enrolling in a financial course would be easier than getting an internship), as well as its positive impact on your goal of pursuing a career within the finance industry.

1. Learn the Lingo

  • DifficultyLow
  • ImpactLow

There’s no excuse not to know Wall Street lingo if you want to pursue a career in Finance. You can learn financial terms by visiting sites such as Investopedia and The Wall Street Journal.

It may be difficult for someone who has not studied finance to get past the first interview. Interviewers will assume that a candidate for a position in finance is familiar with finance, regardless of their educational background.

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2. Round Off Your Education

  • Difficulty Low to Moderate
  • Impact: High

What if your degree is not in finance? You can correct the situation by taking courses at undergraduate or graduate level that focus on business or finance.

Undergraduate courses in economics or Financial Analysis can be very useful. Most post-graduates choose an MBA because its finance component helps to equalize the playing field for finance and non finance graduates.

The Chartered Financial Analyst Program (CFA (r)), for example, is a great alternative if the MBA costs are prohibitive. The CFA is earned after passing three exams that require a high level of knowledge in financial theory.

3. Join a Financial Boot Camp

  • Difficulty Moderate
  • ImpactModerate

You can learn valuable skills for a finance career by taking intensive courses from firms such as Wall Street Prep or Training the Street. These include advanced spreadsheet techniques and financial modelling.

The cost of these crash courses is high, usually a few thousands dollars. However, they do not require a commitment to a long period of time, as they are conducted over several days. Due to the intensity of these programs, it is important to have a basic understanding of financial concepts in order to get maximum benefit.

4. Learn More to Expand Your Knowledge Base

  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Impact : High

A college degree is not the only way to gain relevant knowledge. You can find many resources, whether in your local library, or online, that will help you to improve your financial understanding. These resources are available for free or on a fee-based basis through course providers.

5. Trading Simulator

  • Difficulty Moderate
  • ImpactLow

Investopedia, among others, has trading simulations which can be used to create mock Portfolios. A trading simulator forces you to keep track of market developments and follow the markets . It is an easy way to impress potential employers with your trading skills or market knowledge.

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6. Complete Industry Courses

  • Difficulty High
  • Impact High

The completion of a course in industry licensing, such as the Canadian Securities Institute offers, will not only demonstrate your commitment to a finance career, but it will also give you an advantage over the competition when it comes to job readiness.

It is important to note that this option may not be offered in all jurisdictions. For example, in the United States one must be sponsored by either a member company, or a organization of self-regulation, to take any licensing exam.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has developed a new test, called the Securities Industry Essentials Exam. This exam can be taken by anyone without sponsorship.

7. Maintain a Financial Blog

  • Difficulty High
  • ImpactModerate

Starting and keeping a financial blog can be a great tool to share your investing ideas with the world. This is a great way to show a potential employer that you have a diverse set of skills including communication, financial knowledge, and technological expertise. Self-marketing in this way is best suited to those who have some of these skills.

Social media platforms such as Instagram, X, (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and X are increasingly being used by individuals to promote investment and financial concepts.

8. Join a Mentor

  • High
  • Impact:Moderate

A mentor can help you jumpstart your career in finance. Anyone in a position to influence you and who is willing to assist you with your goals can be a mentor. You could find a mentor in your favorite professor from college, in a relative or family member with a successful finance career, or in someone you’ve worked with professionally, like a supervisor at a former internship. Do not hesitate to contact someone who you believe could be helpful in your job hunt.

9. Get an internship

  • Difficulty level: Very high
  • Impact :Very High

Summer internships are still one of the most effective ways to secure a full-time position in finance. Many Wall Street companies hire their new employees from their ranks of summer interns. In the best business school, between one third and one half of MBA graduates go on to work with their summer employer.

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The opportunity cost of unpaid internships or volunteer work may be offset by the higher earning potential that comes with a finance career. Unpaid internships and volunteer work can be offset by the earning potential in a finance career.

10. Try to get your foot in the door

  • Very high
  • Impact:Very High

You can use your network and send your resume to HR departments. Also, you should expand your search for jobs to other areas. Even if you are not in finance, securing an entry level position at a financial firm can open the door to other career paths.

Can you earn a CFA charter without a college degree?

No. Charter holders must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (in any subject). You can still apply to the CFA program as a student and start it when you have completed your undergraduate degree.

What are the top college majors for financial professionals?

According to a survey conducted by a global financial professional, the most popular college majors were: 5

  • Finance (23%)
  • Business/Management (19%)
  • Economic (14%)
  • Accounting (11%)
  • Mathematics (7%)

These five majors account for almost 75% of the financial professionals.

How many banking interns are hired?

It may sound like a good statistic, but it is not easy to land an internship (often without pay) at a financial institution. Goldman Sachs received a record number of applications for internships in 2022. This included 79,000 students from the Americas. Around 35,000 (15%) of the applicants are accepted. 7

The Bottom Line

Wall Street is in need of certain non-finance degrees for specific tasks.

  • Quantitative trading, structured products and derivatives – physics and mathematics
  • Information technology for platform development and algorithmic trading
  • Investment banking, engineering, mining and science for sector-specific analysis, research and development

This is because banks and financial institutions have eliminated thousands of positions in the aftermath of the 2008 global recession. It is even more difficult because banks and financial institutions have eliminated thousands of jobs in the wake of the global recession of 2008. 8

9 By combining the above tips, a non-finance grad can significantly improve their chances of starting a finance career.

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