The following is a guest blog post:
Job prospects in business and financial occupations is on track to grow 8 percent for 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.)
Most of the top-level positions require a college degree.
What about those who don’t have a college degree? Are there employment opportunities in the financial industry that don’t require the time and expense of a college degree?
What Employers Want
Employers want motivated employees who are smart and committed to doing the best job they can. A degree can attest to an applicant’s acquisition of knowledge of all things financial but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee mastery of certain skills.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to aspire to be an investment banker to enjoy a solid position in finance. If you lack a college degree, you shouldn’t give up on a dream of working in the financial industry. Remember, there’s no substitute for experience.
No College Degree Needed
There’s good news for those interested in a financial sector job. Many of the jobs in this industry require on-the-job training and mentorships over college degrees. Once you begin with an entry-level position in the finance industry, you can then build the experience you’ll need to work your way up the professional ladder.
A few entry-level positions that don’t require a college degree include the following:
- Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks. Most jobs in these areas require some postsecondary education, with many of the skills learned on the job. These are the positions where you’ll produce financial records and record financial transactions, keep statements up-to-date and make certain financial records are accurate.
- Financial clerk. A position as a financial clerk will require you to do administrative work, such as keep records, help customers and conduct financial transactions. Financial clerks typically find positions in bank branches, government agencies and medical agencies. These are generally full-time positions. Financial clerks typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some post-secondary education can be a plus when seeking a position as a financial clerk.
- Tellers. Most tellers work in credit unions, banks and their branches. These often begin as part-time positions with later advancement to full-time. A teller’s responsibilities typically include processing routine transactions, such as depositing money, collecting loan payments and cashing checks. Most teller positions require a high school diploma or equivalent. These positions generally provide an introductory period for on-the-job training.
- Account collections. Those working in account collections are responsible for trying to recover payment on overdue bills. This position requires good negotiating and interpersonal skills. Agents in these positions negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them formulate a viable plan for making payments on their debts. These positions are usually available in call centers and are full-time positions. Most employed as account collectors must have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are usually a few months of on-the-job training with mentors provided.
Additionally, all of the above positions look favorably on competent computer skills. The ability to work with accounting-type software and spreadsheets is always a plus in most job markets, as well. The more skills you have, the more marketable you are as a potential employee.