When it comes to dealing with money, there are two main types of banking:
What is the "stock market"?
The stock market allows all manner of companies to sell tiny pieces of their business, called "shares", to the public and other businesses. The more shares you have from a particular company, the more of a say you have in how it is run. Share prices can go up faster if a company is doing well and demand is high, and you can make big bucks selling them on at the right time. However, shares can go down fast too, so investment bankers or traders work out which companies are doing well and buy and sell shares on your behalf to keep you in the money.
Confused? Check out our guide the banking world.
If you’re interested in retail banking, you could work in:
If investment banking is more your thing, there are lots of career paths to explore. The two main areas are:
This involves giving advice to clients who are buying or merging companies, or going public on the stock market. A dedicated finance department reports profit and loss made by traders and different departments. Many who work here are former chartered accountants (see Accountancy Zone).
This is all about dealing with sales, trading and research. The main jobs in this area include:
Investment banking salaries are high and performance is often rewarded with bonuses. However, be prepared to work intensively for long hours, whatever job you take.
If you are quick-thinking, analytical and calm under pressure – trading could be for you.
For stockbrokers, it’s all about networking so you’ll need to be a people person too.
If you prefer dealing with clients face-to-face you may be more into sales. You may get to travel in this role.
Research is less hectic than sales or trading but requires a very strong understanding of finance. Students with a good head for numbers should think about research jobs.
In retail banking, starting salaries are lower, but working hours are more regular. Jobs in retail banking tend to be customer-focused, comparable to other customer service jobs, but with a finance twist. You could be helping people pay in and withdraw money, set up mortgages and apply for loans.
If you’re up for working hard, you can have a career in banking no matter what you do.
To work in investment banking you will need:
A university degree in any subject is a ticket to a career in banking and finance. Subjects such as maths or economics will stand you in good stead for the more numbers-orientated roles in finance. As a graduate recruit you’ll be put on a training scheme and you’ll need to complete Financial Services Authority (FSA) approved training and exams.
With a 2.1 or even 2.2 degree, you can join a management training scheme.
Most high-street and commercial banks offer apprenticeship schemes from intermediate to degree level, providing on-the-job training for young people aged 16 and over. Amongst others, programmes include:
There are lots of opportunities to gain qualifications in both retail and Investment banking and training is normally done on the job.
As an investment banker, qualifications include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Investment Management Certificate (IMC) and the Capital Markets Programme (CISI).
In retail, you can also take on specialist training including Mortgage Advice (CeMAP), Practice Financial Advice (CeFA) and private client advice (IAD).
For supporting roles there are qualifications such as the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC), and Diploma in Investment Compliance (CISI).
Almost 1.5 million people work in the financial services and insurance industries in the UK.
95% of all people in the UK have a bank account.