4 Great Finance Industry Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

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.

6 thoughts on “4 Great Finance Industry Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

    • Hi MYM,

      Well said. I think we are brought up to think that there is only one path to take in life. Go to high school then college, graduate and get a job. It doesn’t have to be in that order nor is a degree even required especially these days. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that a degree is not a prerequisite for a good job. Thank you for commenting.

  1. If they fit with ones personal goals and income desires, those roles are great options. If you wish to progress in these fields to more responsibility and higher income, however, a degree is pretty important. I am a bit biased having my accounting degree, spending most of my career in corporate finance and accounting roles and now teaching college level accounting.
    I teach graduate level accounting classes to students who have undergraduate degrees in non-business areas (eg. history, political science, etc.). Many of them come to the program because they are currently in one of the roles mentioned, but can’t advance professionally without a degree in accounting or business discipline. I’m not saying it’s right, just what I see. So from my perspective, it’s all about what an individuals goals are around work and income. If those roles meet an individuals goals, perfect. If the individual wants greater responsibility and the capacity to earn higher levels of compensation in finance/accounting, then a degree will be important.
    Thanks for the great post. I have really enjoyed the last couple posts on education and careers here at DivHut. All the best, Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…The Lights Are On And Someone Is HomeMy Profile

    • Hi DD,

      I think part of the point of this post was the fact that you can get a foothold in the finance industry without needing a degree. All the jobs mentioned could be used as stepping stones for progressing within the space. Sure, earning a degree can accelerate the process and propel you further professionally but if you are just starting out these jobs are a great way to get your feet wet and decide if the field is right for you before committing time and expense for a degree. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. As always, I appreciate your comment.

  2. DH –

    Exactly. There are many paths one can take without a degree. I am lucky to have been able to receive a low-cost education for college due to financial aid and scholarship, but not sure if I’d even go if I were to do it again; as the library is full of fascinating literature and books to really teach out; as well as being able to freely develop your computer skills is firsthand with the new generations.

    -Lanny

    • Hi DD,

      Well said. There are many paths one can take without a degree. As I commented above it seems that we are conditioned into believing that there is only one path to take. College, degree, job. As you and I already know just from blogging about FI, dividends, passive income, etc. there are many ways to achieve FIRE and there are many ways to achieve ones career path and goals that may or may not include a degree. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge