Career Advancement for Investment Bankers
One of the key roles of an investment banker is underwriting, which connects businesses with sources of funding for daily operations or expansion. Investment bankers also guide businesses through the legal and financial requirements of initial public offerings (IPOs) and provide vital assistance during mergers and acquisitions. Investment bankers have a bachelor's degree in finance or some related field, as well as intensive training and licensing with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Investment banker is often the first rung in a career ladder that, with additional education and experience, can step up to financial analyst, financial manager, and chief financial officer.
|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|
|Chief Financial Officer||$200,140 (chief executives)||8% (top executives)||Master of Business Administration (MBA) or similar|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Through experience and a series of exams, an investment banker can move up to the position of financial analyst. Financial analysts are corporate investment advisors; they track market trends in order to provide a business or corporation with sound investment advice. Financial analysts usually specialize in either the buy-side or sell-side of investment analysis. Common employers include banks, insurance companies, and securities firms. There are generally no additional degree requirements for an investment banker seeking a financial analyst position. However, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or similar certification is recommended.
A career rung after financial analyst is that of financial manager. Financial managers are advisors to other business managers and executives, providing guidance on investments, budgeting, profit expansion, and the company's overall financial health. Financial managers must also be experts in taxes, regulation, and other financial restrictions within their specific industry. A minimum of five years of experience is necessary to reach this next step. In this competitive field, many employers seek candidates with a master's degree in finance (or a related field). Though not necessarily required, applicants with an active CFA or similar certification may set themselves apart from the competition.
Chief Financial Officer
An experienced financial manager with proven leadership, analysis, networking, and strategic thinking skills could step up into the role of chief financial officer (CFO). A CFO heads a corporation's finance team, overseeing reports, investments, compliance issues, and more. A CFO also works hand-in-hand with other top executives to develop company-wide strategies and policies. Successful CFOs are motivational team leaders. They also adapt effectively to changes in regulations, technology, and market trends. A master's degree in business, finance, or a similar field, is recommended. Some potential CFOs also earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.