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Careers in Investment Jobs

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Investment careers are those which involve studying, researching, and working with securities, commodities, as well as many other types of investments. Investment jobs can be found both in the public and private sector as well as for government departments. Even though the field is thoroughly competitive with candidates being hired only with a bachelor's degree, the turnover rate is high according to research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nevertheless, investment jobs present a great opportunity for those who want to try their hand at investment banking or even working for a stock brokerage firm.

Education Required for Investment Careers

While a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or even economics is the minimum education that a person needs to hold in order to qualify for jobs in investment, some employers actually prefer graduate training. As such, preparing yourself to stand out from the crowd with a master's degree completion in business administration or management, or obtaining a professional certification such as the CPA license, may help your overall job prospects.

Salaries as well as responsibilities for jobs in investments vary from employer to employer. Undergraduates with no experience right out of college, however, can find positions in banks and other companies that pay upwards of $60,000 to $70,000 annually. Graduates of master's degree programs, such as the MBA, make anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000 or more depending on the company for which they work. Some of the most common areas of jobs in investments include individuals working in corporate finance, public finance, as well as in mergers and acquisitions. In addition, investment bankers and stockbrokers are two other investment careers you may want to consider.

Investment Bankers

The "investment banking" term encompasses a wide range of activities that are performed by investment bankers. The individuals working in these financial services jobs are involved with selling and trading securities, or stocks and bonds, consulting with clients on financial matters, underwriting, as well as managing assets. Investment bankers use analytical skills to track the success and failure rates of the market, and must make critical decisions on behalf of their client. A variety of computer software programs are used to analyze and help the investment banker do his job, but the right experience only comes with time working on-the-job.

Corporate Finance

The first major type of investment jobs under the umbrella-overhead of the investment banker are those opportunities in corporate finance. These are financial services job that involves providing your analyst and consulting services to corporations and other large companies. In corporate finance opportunities, you're basically buying securities of other companies in need of cash. However, these securities which are purchased by the company for which you work are then simply re-sold to market investors.

Corporate finance investment careers require analytical skills to decide which companies' securities should be bought depending on the needs of your client. During your career, you'll help your employer devise an overall financial and investment strategy, working with heads of internal departments to determine what's best for the company. According to CNN's Salary Wizard, the average annual salary of a Corporate Finance Associate is $56,000, however, the salary range can go much higher depending on your education and experience.

Public Finance

Individuals in public finance are similar to those in the corporate finance industry, however, with some basic differences. For starters, though, public finance associates work with city and state governments as well as other public entities such as airports, hospitals, and housing authorities. These types of investment jobs provide financial advisory services as well as underwriting services for clients, but industry regulations and other important factors must be taken into consideration.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial services jobs involve working for corporations and large companies which are buying out or acquiring other companies. A mergers and acquisitions specialist provides advice to his client, the buyer company, by analyzing the budgets involved as well as preparing the final details for the deal. According to CNN Money, a mergers and acquisitions manager in the United States makes around $132,000 annually on average.

As you can see, the opportunities within investment careers and financial services jobs is diverse, but also very rewarding. Whether you want to work as an investment banker for some of the top companies such as Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, or take investment jobs working for a city government or public entity, making a move in the investment industry is a smart move to make.
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