How Graduates Can Start A Career in Finance

Applying for a job with zero experience may feel like fighting a losing battle. New graduates who are starting a career often find themselves caught up in a classic situation of catch-22 – you need the experience to secure a job and a job to gain experience. To top it off, the global pandemic has left recent graduates grappling with confusion on how to plan their life ahead.

This article highlights the finance sector’s current situation and aims to help new graduates hunt for an entry-level job in the UK financial industry.  

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Job Scenario for Graduates in the UK

Data analysis conducted by Milkround, a UK-based graduate jobs website, indicates that only 18% of graduates could secure jobs in 2020 than the usual 60% that typically secured jobs each year. Not just this, there has been a significant reduction in the number of roles and almost 10% reduction in salaries across all roles. Final-year finance students and recent graduates are understandably experiencing panic and uncertainty about employment prospects. 

Most students are seen wondering, ‘Are companies hiring?’ Graduates need to understand that, unlike the 2008 financial crisis, barring a few fields like hospitality, tourism, and leisure, there is still a demand for graduates in other industries even during the current pandemic. New finance graduates can find a job if they strategically network and target realistic roles. 

Post-Pandemic Finance Sector

A recent study by Bloomberg based on data obtained from Morgan McKinley informs that there has been a drop of almost 49% in job openings in 2021 in London’s finance industry due to uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and Brexit discouraging hiring. This is the lowest number observed since 2015. This number may seem disheartening, but here are some steps that graduates can take to start a career in the UK finance sector post-pandemic: 

Looking for the Right Job

First and foremost, graduates need to target the right roles when applying for a job. There is nothing wrong with aiming high, but graduates need to understand that several professionals who have been furloughed or laid-off are also looking for jobs in the field in the post-pandemic era. Hence, it is important to be realistic and target entry-level or junior roles to increase the chances of securing a job.

New graduates may also benefit by looking for jobs in the regional offices with a lesser competition or applying for small or mid-sized enterprises that other candidates potentially overlook. Young graduates need to strategize their plans and prioritize research to unearth companies that may not be advertising widely. Even if the numbers and statistics surrounding job opportunities may bring your confidence down, proactiveness is critical when applying for jobs.

Internships and Apprenticeships

Recent graduates who are struggling to secure a permanent position can turn to internships and apprenticeships as an option to get much-needed experience. Most of these job opportunities can also help earn decent wages while acquiring first-hand knowledge about the field and building a network of contacts that may lead to long-term employment. Internships always look impressive on the CV and can make you stand out from the crowd. 

Finance Graduate Schemes

All of the major banks and financial institutions run a finance graduate scheme every year for new graduates. There are specialized programmes involved in these schemes that fit graduates with the companies’ exact requirements or offer rotation options where they can work with different departments. Top firms in the UK finance sector are running these schemes even in 2021 that graduates can avail themselves of if they meet the entry grade requirements. Several employers offer permanent positions to graduates once they complete the programme. 

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering is another option that graduates can consider if they find it difficult to secure a full-time job or an internship. Even though volunteering is an unpaid job, it can boost employability, and you can profit from the skills gained. Volunteering experience also shows commitment and strong work ethics that are valuable traits to prospective employers. 

Looking at Other Careers in Finance

A career in finance is not limited to accounting, investment management, banking, and insurance. Apart from these options, there are various other careers in finance that graduates can consider. These include financial trading of stocks, bonds, assets, shares for investors, or banks. Graduates can also take up the role of a stockbroker specializing in managing and supporting clients to make informed investment decisions or a licensed conveyancer specializing in property law. Other options include pursuing roles in taxation, management consultancy, data sciences, and taxation.

How to job: Designed to Help You Succeed

The strategies mentioned above can surely help new graduates begin their journey in the finance sector. However, finding the right role sometimes requires more than merely submitting applications to prospective employers. Inside assistance from professionals in the industry can go a long way in helping young graduates navigate searching for a job post-pandemic.

How to job provides valuable advice to graduates and helps them find roles that fit their skills. we understand the shift in demand placed on new graduates’ careers due to the pandemic. We strive to set you up for success by strategizing the process of planning, structuring, and managing your job applications.

Career planning is not a singular event. It is a process that will continue throughout your lifespan and eventually adjust who you become. The bizarre onset of unprecedented chaos brought by the pandemic should not affect your career. How to job is geared to provide the resources and guidance to prepare you to enter the workforce.

Bottom Line

Starting a career can be difficult even in the best of times. When you add a pandemic and the economic consequences to the mix – salary cuts, hiring freeze, layoffs, and shuttered businesses can exponentially make it harder to find employment. Young graduates planning to build a career in the finance sector can start by targeting the right jobs, looking at alternative employment opportunities, and seeking help from How to job’s guidance to secure their future.

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