Investment firms, banks, and other employers are located throughout the United States, yet some of the best employment prospects are located within large metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Most investment houses have offices throughout the United States, but executives and higher level managers will work from corporate offices.
Working as an investment manager or analyst may be a great way to break into the investment industry, but these positions are in no way considered entry level. Such jobs are usually awarded to individuals with at least a bachelor's degree or prior work experience in the field of finance. Other professionals enter the field after working in related jobs for a few years.
There are many ways to learn more about job opportunities in the investment management industry, including college career services offices, employment sites, networking online on LinkedIn and other social networking sites, using the networking and career-assistance resources of professional associations, and interviewing with recruiters who visit campuses (for entry-level positions).
With advanced education and work experience, lower-level investment professionals, such as accountants and analysts, can hope for promotions to the position of investment manager or director of finance. Investment professionals may face stiff competition for top positions—chief investment officer, for example. There are much fewer executive jobs than other positions.
Many talented individuals may choose to become an independent investment manager, which can result in higher earnings.
Tips for Entry
To be successful as an investment professional, you must keep up with current trends in business, the markets, and companies. Spend a lot of time reading financial publications to keep up with all of this ever-changing information.
Network. Find out who works in the industry in your neighborhood, religious group, or other organizations and let them know of your interest. They may tell you about an internship or other opportunity in the future. Some colleges have clubs or organizations for future financial professionals. Joining one can be a good idea.
Volunteer your time and abilities as an investment professional. People will learn about your skills and may be interested in hiring you in the future.
Earn the chartered financial analyst designation. This proves to companies as well as clients that you have a high level of knowledge and competency in your field.
If you're in college, maintain good grades. Employers are looking for students with high GPAs.