Financial Advisor Career Options
A financial advisor takes the time to understand a client's financial needs and goals, in both the short term and the long term, and uses this knowledge to give advice in areas such as estate planning, investments, retirement, and more. Successful financial advisors are both analytical and personal, as well as skilled in mathematics, networking, and communication. They often have a bachelor's degree, followed by extensive training and the requisite registrations, certifications, and licenses. These credentials set an experienced financial advisor up for several different career tracks in the fields of business or education. The four career options examined in this article are financial analyst, financial manager, postsecondary business teacher, and college or university provost.
|Job Title||Mean Annual Salary (2018)*||Job Growth (2016-26)*||Qualifications|
|Financial Analyst||$100,990||11%||CFA or similar certification|
|Financial Manager||$146,830||19%||5+ years of experience in a finance-related field|
|Postsecondary Business Teacher||$103,330||18%||Master's or doctorate in finance or similar degree, teaching experience, research experience|
|College or University Provost||$111,210 (educational administrators, postsecondary)||10% (educational administrators, postsecondary)||Doctorate in chosen field of study, postsecondary teaching experience|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Similar to financial advisors, financial analysts keep an eye on economic factors, business trends, and client portfolios in order to provide sound investment advice. While a financial advisor serves as a one-on-one consultant for individuals, financial analysts are often employed by businesses to analyze either the buy-side or sell-side of stocks, bonds, and other corporate investments. Common employers of financial analysts include insurance companies, banks, and fund management companies. A bachelor's degree in finance (or similar degree) is a minimum requirement for a financial analyst. However, in this competitive field a master's degree and a certification, such as CFA, may help an applicant stand apart.
A financial advisor with several years of experience may seek out opportunities to move into the role of financial manager. In addition to budgeting, creating finance reports, and directing corporate investments, a financial manager serves as an advisor for business executives, helping to direct the company toward greater profits. Managers must also have active knowledge of regulations and tax laws that affect their industries. A bachelor's degree in finance or a similar field is a minimum educational requirement for a financial manager. At least five years of experience in a financial role are also a must.
Postsecondary Business Teacher
Experienced financial advisors may choose to continue their education to become postsecondary business teachers. These instructors teach college-level finance, economics, and other business courses. In addition to their teaching load they also serve on committees and provide office hours for student guidance. Requirements can include a master's or doctorate in a business-related field, as well as teaching experience and a history of research. Competition for full-time, tenure-track positions is fierce. After achieving a master's or doctorate, a financial advisor may consider a part-time, adjunct position to gain the experience needed for a successful transition into this new career.
College or University Provost
A financial advisor who successfully transitions into the role of a postsecondary instructor may find the position of college or university provost - sometimes titled dean - a natural next step. A provost or dean is a postsecondary administrator who oversees faculty success either college-wide (within small schools) or within a specific department. They also advise the president in matters of budgeting, faculty hiring, policy, and more. Common requirements for the position of provost include a doctorate in the applicant's chosen field and several years of postsecondary teaching experience.