Careers in finance and banking

Lady in suit pictured against a backdrop of city buildings

Fly high on the financial markets or fix up fiscal policy

The finance sector can offer some of the most lucrative careers for university graduates, but we’re keen to see you graduate with an eye on financial sustainability too!

Our finance and banking graduates develop core skills in financial market functions which appeal to virtually any role in the financial services sector. That’s great news for you as a finance student, but what makes up ‘the financial services sector’? Join us as we explore the sector and opportunities for Essex Business School graduates.

On this page you will discover the career options open to you as a finance graduate as well as some of our alumni success stories.

Whether you are determined to work for a hedge fund or flexible about your finance career options, you can find out how your skills are matched to this vast and rapidly growing sector.

Which finance career?
  • Many of our finance and banking graduates have gone on to have successful careers as financial analysts, hedge fund managers and investment bankers.
  • Your degree from Essex Business School will equip you with the essential skills to be able to take on any role in the financial services sector.
  • Finance and banking graduates tend to be highly driven and motivated by achievement and success and therefore find the nature of roles in financial services very satisfying.

Finance and banking career prospects

Where can a degree in finance and banking take me?

Finance is a well-trodden but also potentially lucrative career-path for graduates. A degree in finance and banking from Essex Business School will equip you with the industry standard skills and practical application of knowledge and tools required to succeed in any area of the finance and banking sector.

At Essex Business School we encourage you to think beyond profit making and to consider ethical and sustainable approaches to finance.

The financial services sector is vast and is made up of firms and organisations which provide finance and banking services to commercial, retail, government and private clients. This sector is a prolific graduate scheme graduate employer but there are many opportunities to make a start on your career in the financial services sector. There is also the potential to carve out a niche for yourself as a finance graduate in smaller-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as many companies have their own finance departments.

Common finance and banking roles after graduating include:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Graduate Tax Trainee
  • Graduate Audit Trainee
  • Graduate Insurance Trainee
  • Risk Analyst

Finance and banking graduates from Essex Business School have gone on to work for:

  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young (EY)
  • KPMG
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Marks & Spencer (Financial Services)

Common careers for finance and banking graduates include:

  • Actuary
  • Financial Risk Analyst
  • Trader
  • Financial Advisor
  • Insurance Broker
  • Stockbroker

How will Essex Business School help me develop the skills I need to succeed?

Throughout your studies in finance and banking at Essex Business school you will be exposed to a range of skills development embedded throughout our curriculum.

Although we teach you far more skills than are listed below (see the Essex Business School Careers page for more about embedded skills) we have pulled out the list below from our finance and banking skills map which we think will be most useful for a career in the financial services sector:

Finance and banking skills

  • Analysing quantitative data
    The ability to analyse all kinds of numerical data, as well as financial data, is key to any level of career success in the financial services sector.
  • Analysing financial data
    A fundamental skill for working in the financial services sector, teaching on our finance and banking courses focuses on developing skills in financial data analysis from day one.
  • Working with data interactively
    How you work with data is as important as the data streams that you work with. We teach you skills in how to see more than just numbers on a spreadsheet.
  • Specialist software for subject
    The financial services sector relies heavily on software for financial data analysis and we ensure that your skills in operating the tools of your trade such as, Bloomberg and MatLAB are up to scratch.
  • Data visualisation
    Data visualisation is key to client engagement, regardless of which industry you end up in so we focus on teaching you how to present data in easy to digest and attractive manners.
  • Showing initiative
    Quite often in financial services sector roles you will be given projects to work on independently so while we advance your teamwork and leadership skills, we also focus on encouraging you to take initiative with your own projects and problem solving opportunities.
  • Desk research
    The ability to research and operate using research from secondary sources is a key academic skill as well as a key skill for working within the financial services sector, we provide you with methodologies and techniques which will see you through your degree and out into the world of work.
  • Working with data interactively
    You will work with a variety of data streams as a financial services operative, not just financial data but trending data sources, including qualitative data. We will teach you skills in how to manage different data sources and present them so that they make sense and allow you to build your own projects and analysis.
  • Core IT skills
    Digital skills in the workplace are central to any modern career in business and beyond, but particularly in the financial services sector where you rely on software and technology to be able to manage your day to day jobs. We ensure that you graduate with a good, practical understanding of IT packages and programmes such as Office, Outlook, Excel and Word, on top of training in sector specific software and tools.
  • Financial market participant understanding and application
    This skill is specific to our finance and banking students skills map as we ensure that our finance and banking graduates have a strong, practical understanding of global financial markets, their pressures and their outputs in order to compete in a competitive graduate jobs market.
  • Application and understanding of different financial market types
    We ensure that our finance and banking graduates gain a practical understanding of different financial markets, including; money, capital and foreign exchange.

What opportunities are there for further finance and banking study?

Finance and banking is one of our five core subject groups and is led by our Finance Group which is based at Essex Business School Colchester.

This means that we offer further study in finance and banking at both Masters and Research degree (PhD) level.

If you are interested in studying finance and banking at a higher level or want to take your own research in finance and banking to the next level, then you are welcome to apply for one of our postgraduate degrees in finance and banking:

Masters study

We offer ten Masters degrees in finance and banking which allow you to explore pure finance, specialise in a specific area of financial services or combine your core subject with our expertise in accounting:

Postgraduate research

Essex is home to one of the largest and most diverse finance groups in the UK. As such, we have two finance based research centres: Essex Centre for Macro and Financial Econometrics (ECMFE) and Essex Finance Centre (EFiC). Our research focusses on solving modern problems in banking, finance and financial econometrics.

If your thesis explores issues such as; finance, financial econometrics, modern banking, financial technology, investment, risk management, trading and data analytics in financial services; then our supervisors would be interested in speaking with you about exploring it here within our finance research centres:

Finance and banking graduates

Dr Thanos Verousis, Reader in Finance, stands at a lectern as he teaches postgraduate Finance students
"A degree in finance opens the door to the financial services industry and finance graduates are the most highly sought-after graduates in the country. It also unlocks the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals that involves taking calculated risks, a deep understanding of finance and business trends and investing on innovation. In a changing world, a degree in finance offers the right mix of soft and hard skills that allows graduates to be highly employable but also adaptive and resilient to future uncertainty. "
Dr Thanos Verousis Reader in Finance Essex Business School
Student working in the Bloomberg trading room
Discover the Bloomberg trading floor at Essex Business School

We are very proud to be able to offer our students training in our state-of-the art, industry standard trading floor facility. With 12 active Bloomberg terminals, you can access Bloomberg financial data in almost real-time to build knowledge and understanding of the tools used by traders and business analysts worldwide.

Discover Bloomberg

Discover our degrees in finance and banking