Financial services are a broad group of industries and activities that encompass everything from banking to investments to credit card companies. The industry includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products and insurance companies, as well as critical financial utilities. These include credit unions, credit-card companies, and the banks themselves, as well as accounting firms, debt-resolution services, global payment networks, credit-card machine service providers, and other technology vendors who provide solutions for financial activity.
As a career field, it is one of the largest and most diverse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is a fast-growing sector, and it offers a wide range of job opportunities for people with all kinds of skills and backgrounds. Many positions require a degree, but specialized training and interpersonal communication skills are also important for those entering this area.
This sector includes all the activities that businesses, governments, and individuals engage in to further their economic goals. This can include selling goods and services, purchasing and trading assets (such as shares or property), borrowing money, and levying taxes. It can also include the activities of private banks, such as managing wealth for the rich, and of central banks, which manage national monetary policy.
In addition to these broad categories, financial services include activities such as investment banking, which focuses on helping businesses raise money. This can be done by advising on mergers and acquisitions, underwriting debt and equity, and offering advisory services. In addition, investment banks also make markets in securities and other assets.
Other important types of financial services include insurance, which provides a safety net for large expenditures such as a house or car. This includes personal lines of insurance such as health, life, and home insurance, as well as business insurance such as property and casualty insurance. This category also includes reinsurance, which is sold by insurers to themselves to protect against catastrophic losses.
Those working in financial services must stay on top of changing regulations and requirements. This is especially true in the US, which has a complex regulatory environment that requires the highest levels of professionalism and expertise to navigate successfully.
As the industry becomes increasingly digitized, it is likely that more jobs in this category will be created in areas such as digital risk management and data analytics. While these jobs may not involve direct interaction with clients, they will still be essential for the success of the industry as a whole.
While the pay is not always vast in this industry, it can be competitive and lucrative. Those who work in this field are usually intelligent, quick-thinking, and team players. The atmosphere in this industry can be less formal and collaborative than some other sectors, but it can offer the opportunity to advance rapidly based on performance. As the world becomes more interconnected, a career in this sector can be very rewarding. It can also provide a unique and exciting perspective on the world and its challenges.