Is Major Banks a Good Career Path? 2024 Rich Insights

The banking industry, particularly major banks, has always been pivotal to the global economy. Wondering if “is major banks a good career path”? You’re on the right track.

Stepping into the world of major banks can bring stability, competitive salaries, and rewarding opportunities. Not just restricted to finance or investments, these banks house various roles in departments, including marketing, human resources, and more. 

Renowned for their solid training initiatives and alluring benefits, major banks are an excellent path for any ambitious professional. However, it’s essential to remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all. 

Finding a role or department that aligns with your interests and strengths is key to shining in this sector. 

Pros of Exploring Career Paths in Banking

  • Stability: Major banks are well-established and manage potential risks.
  • Job availability: The banking industry offers many job opportunities, including customer service, financial analysis, investment banking, and risk management.
  • Compensation: Working in a major bank can offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.
  • Prospects: The banking industry changes a lot, giving you many chances to advance in your career. You can go higher in the same bank or try out different jobs in banking to grow and take on new responsibilities.

Cons of Working in Major Banks

  • High stress: The banking industry can be high-pressure and demanding, which may increase employee stress levels.
  • Extended hours: Professionals in banking often work long hours, particularly in fields like investment banking and trading.
  • Regulatory environment: The banking industry is strictly regulated, which can create a challenging work environment.

15 Best Jobs in Major Banks

1. Loan Officer – Private, Mortgage, or Commercial

Loan Officers authorize, evaluate, or recommend approval of loan applications for businesses or individuals. They analyze applicants’ financial information, assess creditworthiness, and determine appropriate loan terms. 

A bachelor’s degree in finance or something similar, along with strong analytical skills and attention to detail, is often required. The role’s average salary is around $183,136 per year.

2. Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) oversees the financial strategy and performance of the organization. They manage budgets, conduct economic analyses, and ensure regulatory compliance.

A CFO is required to have strong financial acumen, strategic thinking, and exceptional communication skills. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is typically needed. The CFO’s average annual salary is around $153,296.

3. Hedge Fund Analyst

Hedge fund analysts analyze financial markets, create financial models, and develop investment strategies for hedge funds

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is required, along with strong analytical skills and industry experience. The hedge fund analyst’s average salary is approximately $121,529 per year.

4. Risk Manager

Risk managers are liable for identifying, assessing, and developing strategies to mitigate financial risks within an organization. They may work closely with other departments to implement risk management policies and monitor risk exposure. 

A bachelor’s degree in finance or something related and strong analytical and communication skills are often required to succeed in this role. The average salary for risk managers is approximately $106,017 per year.

5. Portfolio Manager

A portfolio manager is responsible for managing investment portfolios to achieve desired financial objectives for clients. They analyze market data to make informed investment decisions and manage portfolio risk. 

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A bachelor’s degree in finance or something similar, along with relevant certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, is necessary. The portfolio manager’s average salary is about $92,729 per year.

6. Wealth Management Advisor

Wealth management advisor professionals provide clients with personalized financial planning and investment services. They help clients manage their wealth, plan for retirement, and reach long-term financial goals

Wealth Management Advisors often require a bachelor’s degree in finance or a relevant field and suitable licenses and certifications like the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. This role’s average salary is about $90,132 annually.

7. Bank Branch Manager

Bank Branch Managers oversee all operations, ensuring efficiency and superior client service. They manage staff, develop business strategies, and monitor branch performance. 

A bachelor’s degree in finance or something related to that field with solid leadership and communication skills is required. This role’s average annual salary is around $86,400.

8. Investment Banker

Investment bankers act as mediators between investors and firms, helping firms raise capital. They analyze financial data, structure deals, and negotiate terms. 

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics and excellent analytical and communication skills are necessary. The investment banker’s average annual salary is around $81,780.

9. Budget Analyst

Budget analysts examine and assess organizational budgets, ensuring accurate financial records and monitoring spending. They help develop efficient budgetary policies and identify potential cost savings. 

A degree in accounting, finance, or a similar field is needed, along with strong analytical abilities. This role’s salary is around $75,279 annually.

10. Relationship Manager

Relationship managers build and maintain solid client relationships while recommending appropriate banking services and products. They analyze client needs, offer financial advice, and ensure client satisfaction. 

A bachelor’s degree in an interconnected field, excellent communication skills, and strong sales abilities are typically required. A relationship manager’s average salary for this role is around $75,209 annually.

11. Hedge Fund Manager

Hedge fund managers oversee and make decisions about hedge funds, working to achieve the best return on investment. They create investment strategies, analyze financial information, and monitor market conditions. 

This role often requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics and significant industry experience. This role’s average salary is approximately $74,050 per year.

12. Trading Desk Manager

Trading desk managers lead teams that manage and trade investments across global markets. They execute trades, monitor market conditions, and create strategies for optimal trading outcomes. 

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, economics, or related fields is necessary, as well as strong analytical and decision-making skills. A Trading Desk Manager’s average annual salary is approximately $70,433.

13. Research Analyst

Research analysts provide crucial financial analysis to inform investment strategies. They analyze market trends, develop economic models, and make recommendations based on their findings. 

A bachelor’s degree in finance with strong analytical and communication skills is required. The average annual salary is approximately $68,008.

14. Accountant

Accountants, whether employed by the bank or external firms, are responsible for preparing and examining financial records. They ensure accurate tax payments, offer financial advice, analyze financial data, and contribute to financial planning, with a degree in accounting or a related field and relevant certifications like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) typically required for roles in accounting. A CPA’s average annual salary is around $62,443.

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15. Underwriting Assistant

Underwriting assistants support underwriters in evaluating insurance risks and deciding whether to accept or decline applications. They gather and analyze underwriting data, coordinate with external partners, and maintain records. 

A bachelor’s degree in a related field and strong organizational and communication skills are often required—the average annual salary is around $52,127.

Do You Have What It Takes to Work in a Major Bank?

Numerous skills, education, and qualifications are required to land a job in a major bank. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field is typically necessary. 

Proficiency in various software programs and financial tools is essential. 

Regarding skills, attention to detail, strong analytical abilities, and excellent communication skills are vital for success in the banking industry. Soft skills, such as teamwork, emotional intelligence, and adaptability, contribute significantly to success in this field.

For many finance roles, experience is crucial for career development. A solid foundation through internships, entry-level positions, or working at smaller financial institutions can prepare you for a career in a major bank.

How to Start Your Career in Major Banks

Starting a career in major banks involves careful planning, targeted education, strategic skill development, and finding the right job opportunities. 

Finding Job Openings For a Career in Major Banks

Consider subscribing to job alerts on job board websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor and regularly visiting the career pages of banks to stay updated about new job postings. 

To enhance your visibility to recruiters, build professional networking by joining industry-specific organizations and attending their events and seminars. Consider the value of local job fairs or campus recruitment events.

Education and Certifications in Banking

Most roles in banking require at least a bachelor’s degree, particularly in fields like finance, business administration, accounting, or economics. A master’s degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), can provide further advantages for competitive roles. 

Besides that, various professional certifications can enhance your credentials:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): Useful for financial or wealth management roles.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Necessary for high-level accounting or auditing roles.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): Benefits investment banking or portfolio management roles.

Honing Soft Skills for Your Major Banks Career

While technical skills and in-depth knowledge are essential, practical interpersonal skills are equally important. 

Skills such as problem-solving, attention to detail, communication, customer service, time management, sales skills, and the capacity to work in a team are valued across various roles in banking. Participating in debates, public speaking forums, or volunteering can enhance these skills.

Entry-Level Jobs in Major Banks

Starting with an entry-level role is a common path for many banking professionals:

  • Internship: Many banks offer internships that give you hands-on experience and a chance to establish connections within the industry. Internships might be available in various departments, such as lending, investment, and financial planning.
  • Bank Teller: You deal directly with customers as a bank teller. Responsibilities include processing transactions, solving customer queries, and providing excellent customer service. This role can offer a strong understanding of banking operations.
  • Assistant: An assistant in different bank departments, like a loan assistant or research assistant, provides administrative support and aids in daily operations and critical processes of major banking.
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Remember, entry-level jobs are an excellent springboard to a career in banking, including roles in securities and brokerage. With commitment and continuous learning, a career in banking can be both gratifying and rewarding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Is Major Banks a Good Career Path?

What Is the Best College Major To Get Into Banking?

A finance or business degree is often ideal for getting into banking, as these majors focus on core banking principles. Alternatives like accounting or economics can also equip you with essential banking skills. Your major should align with your industry-specific interests and goals.

Which Career Is Best in the Banking Sector?

The “best” career depends on individual preferences and skills. Some popular options in banking include loan officers, hedge fund analysts, risk managers, accountants, etc. A career in banking can be fulfilling and rewarding for people interested in the financial sector.

What Is the Most Challenging Job in Banking?

Traditionally, a career in investment banking, involving roles like a banking analyst or corporate finance and investment management, is considered demanding due to long hours and high pressure. 

Conclusion – Is Major Banks a Good Career Path?

Working for major banks can be a good job choice. They offer stability, various job options, and chances to grow. But it’s important to consider your interests and goals before deciding if this career suits you. People often succeed in banking with a relevant educational background, such as a finance, business, or economics degree. 

Additionally, participating in training programs or obtaining certifications related to banking and finance can enhance your skills and increase your chances of securing a rewarding position in the industry.

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