Are you considering a career in banking? You may be wondering if it’s the right choice. After all, there have been some major scandals in the news lately. Is banking really a safe career path to choose?
Actually, banking can be a very stable and lucrative career choice. Major banks are always looking for qualified employees, and they offer excellent benefits and advancement opportunities.
Banking is a great career choice if you want to work in a challenging and fast-paced environment. You will need to have strong math skills and be able to handle stress well. But if you can meet these requirements, then banking can be a very rewarding career path. This blog post will explore common banking careers, salary information, and tips for becoming a successful banker.
1. What Are Major Banks?
Major banks are financial institutions that provide a wide range of banking and investment services. They have huge operational budgets, with hundreds of thousands of employees who manage billions in assets. The most famous major bank is probably the Bank of America, but there are many others as well. These banks offer a big-company career path, with lots of available positions and high salaries.
In recent years, major banks have been hiring many new employees due to the economic instability in the US and around the world. Many companies and investors need support managing their money and assets, so they turn to major banks for financial consulting services.
2. What Types of Careers Does a Major Bank Offer?
Major banks offer a wide range of banking careers, from entry-level positions to senior management. In general, you will need a college degree in order to qualify for most major bank jobs. Here are some typical career paths:
The analyst position is an entry point into the banking field. This overview article on finance describes what analysts do.
Analyst careers typically require a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or economics. You can expect to work on projects related to equity research (i.e., stock valuation), investment analysis, and portfolio management as an analyst at major banks. Depending on your role and performance, you can eventually become a portfolio manager and manage large groups of analysts.
Investment bankers advise companies on mergers, acquisitions, and other deals. This overview article on finance describes what investment bankers do.
An investment banker career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business or finance with strong grades. You can expect to work long hours during deal-making periods, but you’ll enjoy large bonuses once deals are finalized.
Financial strategists work on large projects that aim to improve the long-term profitability of major banks. This overview article on finance describes what financial strategists do.
A financial strategist career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting with strong grades. You can expect to use your analysis skills to solve complicated problems at major banks.
Legal consultants assist in managing legal issues that affect major banks and their customers. This overview article on finance describes what legal consultants do.
A legal consultant career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in law with strong grades. You can expect to research and analyze corporate contracts and other legal documents at major banks.
Sales and Trading
Sales and trading professionals buy and sell financial securities for big investors, including hedge funds. This overview article on finance describes what sales traders do.
A sales trader career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting with strong grades. You can expect to be responsible for complex mathematical calculations related to trading at major banks.
Risk managers are responsible for ensuring that major banks can minimize their risk of insolvency, criminality, or other problems. This overview article on finance describes what risk managers do.
A risk management career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting with strong grades. You may have to obtain an MBA or other advanced degree as your career progresses.
You can expect to work with senior executives at major banks on risk-management issues.
Marketing professionals help promote products and services of major banks to their clients and potential clients. This overview article on finance describes what marketing professionals do.
A marketing career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field with strong grades. You can expect to use your creativity and analytical skills in this role at major banks.
Public relations professionals represent major companies to the media, government agencies, their employees, and shareholders. This overview article on finance describes what public relations professionals do.
A public relations career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, communications, or related field with strong grades. You can expect to work on creative projects in this role at major banks.
3. How Much Can You Earn by Working in a Major Bank?
Salaries in investment banking and other finance jobs depend on experience, skills, and level of position. The pay scale for an analyst position is typical $50,000 – $100,000 per year or more, depending on your performance and the company’s expectations.
An associate role typically pays $80,000 – $150,000 per year, while a vice president role typically pays $120,000 – $300,000 per year, depending on your performance and the company’s expectations.
Managers often earn a base salary of around $50,000 to over six figures once bonuses are factored in, while directors can make between $100,000 – more than a million dollars per year. Chief executives can earn over $10 million per year, while executive directors are able to capture more than $20 million in earnings.
Many professionals recommend that workers pursue jobs at major banks that offer competitive salary packages and benefits such as healthcare coverage, flexible working hours, and vacation time.
4. What Is the Job Outlook for Major Banks?
There are more than 90 million people employed in the US, representing a 5% increase over the past five years. The job market is projected to keep growing at this rate and should reach 105 million by 2024.
The need for financial advisers and consultants is expected to be strong as long as the economy remains stable. However, underperforming universities during the next decade may result in fewer college graduates entering this field.
Major banks will likely see a 2% decrease in employment over the coming decade, which is actually better than the average industry rate. Technology advancements should help increase productivity and shrink staffing needs by 10%.
Employees working for major banks typically remain employed unless the company goes out of business. During the next decade, many employees will likely find themselves in “working from home” environments due to new technology advancements.
5. What Are the Educational Requirements to Get a Job at a Major Bank?
Most banks hire college graduates into entry-level positions. Many major banks look for candidates with strong grades and a degree in finance, business, or related field. Analysts coming out of the school typically need three years of experience to move to associate roles and five years to move up the ladder to vice president level.
To be successful at most major banks, you need to develop a strong client-service focus and good people skills. You’ll also need experience with financial software and spreadsheets, and an MBA may help your career prospects greatly.
6. What Are the Best Major Banks?
Investment banks often go by different names, such as investment companies, securities firms, or commercial banks. In the US, some of the top major banks include JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Barclays Plc.
Major Banks offer competitive salaries, benefits, and a chance to make a real difference in the world. Those with college degrees and a few years of experience will likely see the most success in this field.
7. What Is the Best Way to Get a Job at a Major Bank?
Many entry-level jobs working for major banks require just a bachelor’s degree and experience through internship opportunities taken during college.
A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business is a great choice for entry-level candidates. In many cases, major banks prefer candidates with coursework and/or degree concentrations in the following subject areas:
Arts & Humanities, Business Communications, Computer Science, Criminal Justice Education, Engineering, Legal Liberal Arts, Math, Natural Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences.
The best way to get a job at major banks is through networking with financial professionals. Target your efforts towards people who work in the finance industry. This is typically easier to accomplish during college, where many employees teach or lead on-campus organizations such as fraternities, sororities, and business clubs.
8. Skills Required for a Career in Banking
Some of the skills needed to start a career in major banks include:
- Analytical skills- Banks operate on data. You need to be able to process lots of numbers, pay attention to detail and use logic when solving complex problems.
- Business sense- This is about understanding how businesses operate, what makes them successful, and where they are headed in the future.
- Concern for customers- Banks only survives if their customers are happy. This means not only attracting new customers but also retaining existing ones and making sure they have a positive experience each time they visit an office location.
- Communication Skills– Your ability to communicate clearly and concisely will be under scrutiny in most banking roles. You’ll need to be able to work with colleagues, clients, and supervisors on a daily basis.
- Computer Skills- Major banks use state-of-the-art technology and expect employees to be proficient with computer programs. You will need strong data entry, spreadsheet editing, and word processing skills.
- Customer service experience- People who have worked in the hospitality or retail industries should be able to get a job at major banks. Banks offer client services just like hotels and restaurants do.
Banking can be a wonderful career, and it’s always nice to help clients secure their financial futures. Getting a job at major banks is certainly possible if you have the right experience and education, but it may take time and hard work.
9. What to Study for Major Banking Jobs: Banking Courses?
To get a job in major banks, one needs to have a good academic background. The following courses must be pursued by students who want to be part of any banking/financial organization:
- Finance & Accounting- This is the most common degree sought after by all commercial and investment banks. Students with finance and accounting degrees will be well suited for financial analyst positions or other finance-related careers.
- Computer Science- This degree is good to have if you want to work in any of the back-office operations. Hardware and software engineers are also needed by banks for various projects/programs.
- Economics & Mathematics – Students who want to pursue Economics or Finance or Accounting degrees should also take math courses. These disciplines are closely related, and students will need to understand the basics of both in order to be successful.
- Business Administration- Students pursuing management degrees can also get entry-level jobs at banks after graduation. A degree in business administration (MBA) is useful if you want to pursue a sales or trading career. Investment banks also require their traders to have a bachelor’s degree as well as relevant experience.
Banking-related courses- In addition to the above, students can also take up finance and accounting courses in order to get an entry-level job at a bank.
10. Top Universities To Start Your Career in Major Banks
If you don’t want to pursue an MBA and would rather enter the banking industry through a bachelor’s degree, then here is a list of universities that will help:
- Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois Minnesota has over 20 financial institutions that provide great career opportunities for graduates. Northern Bank offers many positions to those with degrees in finance, management, or accounting.
- Indiana University- Bloomington, IN this university provides a 4-year program in financial institutions and markets.
- The University of Houston – Houston, Texas The department of finance at this university teaches students about the global economy and how it impacts us domestically. Students will also get an understanding of how business is conducted within the industry.
- UC Irvine – Irvine, CA Graduates can attain entry-level positions within the banking industry by majoring in accounting or finance. Most banks are looking for graduates with experience, but students who have completed their coursework will also be considered.
- Penn State University- State College, PA The business school at this university offers a bachelor’s degree program in business administration with a concentration in finance.
- University of Wisconsin- Madison, WI Students will get a good understanding of the economics and business that impact both local and global economies by studying this university’s courses. Students will have the opportunity to explore new types of markets throughout their studies.
Banks are an excellent career opportunity because they offer a safe and stable environment for growth. They also have some of the best benefits out there, including 401K plans and health care coverage. If you’re considering banking as your next major in college or pursuing it after graduating high school, be sure to research all the different banks that exist before choosing one at random. Without doing this groundwork first, it’s easy to find yourself unhappy with what you end up deciding on and regretting not looking into other options better suited for your needs.