best paying careers in finance

Top Careers in Banking and Finance in 2020 - 2021

NIIT Editorial Fri, 12/06/2020 - 19:00


India’s banking and finance sector is one marked with non-erroneous, well-defined rules and regulations and a trustable track record. It comprises of a range of financial facilitators such as banks, insurance companies, pension funds, non-banking financial institutions, and payment banks in addition to other financial enterprises. Dominating all of these are the cooperative banks that comprise more than 64 percent of overall financial assets in the country.

Multiple growth indicators point to a solid future for the Indian banking and finance sector. Some of these include an expanding insurance industry, rising consumer interest in the IPO sector, and diversifying routes for loan disbursements to the backbone of the economy, the small and medium businesses. With this in mind, it is an opportune time to consider a future in the banking and finance industry. If you are a school pass-out and want to learn about the opportunities in the banking sector in India, then refer to this guide.


Benefits of Studying Banking


Often it college grads are most likely after careers that offer job security, a good salary, and career growth. Apparently, all these traits are found in careers in banking and finance-related industries. The Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) industry are among those indigenous sectors that have the potential to create exorbitant sums in profits in the form of interest. Given the variety of operational roles available due to the emergence of the private banking sector, it is safe to conclude that there would be no dearth of opportunities as far as workplace motivation is concerned.


1. Investment Banker


Investment bankers raise capital for their clients with securities, debt or equity due to which it is one of the top careers in finance. For this reason, interested students/professionals should thoroughly understand price assessment models for evaluating bonds and stocks. Additionally, they should have the ability to orient financial data for pricing financial instruments. At later stages, when investment bankers climb the hierarchal pyramid and become Vice presidents and general managers, they transition towards a business development role. Hence, it is recommended for early entrants to condition themselves likewise. Being an investment banker is one of the top careers anybody could forge anywhere.




What does an Investment Banker do?

  • They develop financial models to evaluate and set a price for debt and equity in capital raising transactions, mergers, and acquisitions.
  • Investment bankers must be fluent at charting valuation models such as comparable company analysis, precedent transactions, and discounted cash flow analysis (DCF).  
  • Offer insights into private equity transactions, mergers, and acquisitions, and related products.
  • Display high efficacy in preparing Pitch decks, investment memoranda, and related material for new
  • business acquisition.
  • Maintain ongoing relationships with partner businesses on par with industry standards.
  • Proactively undertake due diligence and research in the best interest of clients.


What skills does an Investment Banker need?

  • For an analyst position, students must have strong fundamentals in their Bachelors’s degree which should be from a tier-1 college/university in India.
  • Candidates with an MBA or an equally higher-level education are preferred for Associate level positions.
  • Self-guided and able to contribute over and beyond official business hours.
  • Have a deep insight into financial modeling best practices.
  • Able to keep up with market movements with the foresight to explain its under-current mechanisms.


2. Corporate Finance Professional


People employed in corporate finance positions have the budgeting expertise to optimize expenditure. By convention, every enterprise deploys such a wing for re-distributing company finances investing or de-investing the funds. The Corporate Finance department forecasts future spending patterns, due to which it might sometimes suggest downsizing the business to save money. It is one of the top careers in India to pursue for millennials.


Job Roles in Corporate Finance

As pointed above, corporate finance includes and offers a range of professional competencies. We’ve classified skill-sets as per the functional roles in corporate development.



  • Responsibilities of a Financial Analyst 
    • Evaluate capital expenditure and depreciation to create profit plans
    • One must have a good knowledge of commonly-used Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
    • Recommend portfolio investments
    • Analyze financial statements to ascertain company valuation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst certification with a bachelor’s degree in a related field like economics, finance, or statistics. Students with a major in mathematics, accounting, and engineering.


  • Financial Analyst Skills
    • Deep understanding of excel formulas and functions and financial modeling techniques.
    • Excellent secondary/primary research skills for data collection
    • Proven quantitative aptitude in a prior role is highly preferred. 
    • The candidate should be able to lead cost analysis and recommend suitable policies and procedures as per the study
    • Initiate variance analysis and draw insights from past financial records to recommend improvement steps.
    • Curate data for business intelligence and identify key performance indicators to stay competitive.


  • Responsibilities of a Cost Analyst 
    • Curate and analyze financial data to create budgets with realistic forecasts.
    • Supervise and recommend variances to set standard costs for products.
    • Routinely audit financial data for inconsistencies.
    • Evaluate processes to determine their trickle-down effect on expenditure
    • Recommend solutions for better ROI and stay up to date with market research to predict optimized business plans.


  • Cost Analyst Skills 
    • Prior training in data handling and financial analysis.
    • Any experience as a cost analyst or specialist would be a plus.
    • Operational know-how of accounting processes.
    • Confident communicator with clarity of business analytics.


  • Responsibilities of a Credit Manager
    • Ensure potential clients meet credit availing benchmarks for the corporation.
    • Develop risk assessment models to judge the credit standing of leads.
    • Recommend interest rates and approve/reject loan applications.
    • Be the decision making authority for debt settlement, loan waivers, and/or renewals.
    • Standardize the policies of the company in line with regulatory measures.


  • Skills Required by a Credit Manager
    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education in related disciplines such as accounting, finance, economics, or statistics.
    • Hands-on with mainstream Accounting Software Tools and best practices.
    • Working knowledge of lending procedures and operating on financial spreadsheets.
    • Analytical bend of mind with an ability to keep at high-level mathematical calculations for long periods.


  • Investor Relations Officer Responsibilities
    • Outline performance factors affecting existing company investor relations and recommend improvement measures.
    • Undertake routine exercises to familiarize company officials with statutory and legal parameters.
    • Act as the company’s flag bearer within the investment community ensuring progressive investor relations.
    • Build and grow relationships with leading stock exchange representatives.
    • Share feedback with the upper management regarding shared expert opinion about the company’s financial results and standing.


  • Skills Required by an Investor Relations Officer
    • Must have analytical knowledge to pass a view on financial models, valuation theories, and related metrics.  
    • Emotionally intelligence to collaborate with company insiders and clients.
    • Persuasive aptitude to develop high investor confidence towards the company.
    • Command over legal and regulatory changes to stay compliant with local/international law.
    • Strong organizational and management skills.


3. Fund Manager 

A fund manager liaises regularly with financial analysts to gauge the outcome of investment decisions. It is considered one of the top banking career of 2020-2021. In simple words, financial analysts share their studies with fund managers who then churn out potential profit-making moves for clients.


Job Responsibilities of a Fund Manager

  • Spearhead client investment activities for better performance in financial instruments. They must evaluate instrument performance to optimize ROI of the fund.
  • Proactively guide investors on rebalancing the portfolio to align financial returns as per investment objectives.  
  • They must regularly monitor fund performance and make quick adjustments to mitigate the risk of loss.
  • There are situations when Fund Managers may be required to complete financial transactions on behalf of their clients such as buying/selling shares, securities, etc.
  • Fund managers must understand the risks involved in a transaction and base their decisions in line with the applicable regulatory guidelines.


Skills Required by a Fund Manager

  • Understand macro and microeconomic shifts in the economy to make educated and informed decisions.
  • Professionals must be well versed in financial products and their performance behavior.
  • They must have excellent client servicing and inter-personal skills to explain their decisions to industry-outsiders.
  • Fund Managers are expected to have excellent documentation and reporting skills.
  • Interested candidates must first gain a Bachelor’s in economics/finance/commerce or a related field of study. An MBA or master’s equivalent is a plus and often mandated.
  • Top brands often look for a Chartered Accountant Certificate as a minimum qualification as well.


4. Financial Advisor 

Only the individuals registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have the legal right to designate themselves as financial advisors. To apply to SEBI, you must have an MBA/PGDM in related fields of commerce, finance, capital markets, actuarial science, banking or business management. Additionally, this must be from a recognized university or educational institution. Post this, you can appear for a certification exam with the National Institute of Securities Market (NSIM). Upon clearing the examination, you’ll be designated as a Financial Advisor.




Responsibilities of Financial Advisor

  • Coordinate with clients to identify their financial capabilities. Part of this includes mapping their income, tax payment brackets, risk-bearing capacity, insurance coverage, and the objective of the financial plan. 
  • Offer advice based on the above information to optimize the client portfolio.
  • Keep vigil on capital markets to better advise clients on plan adjustments.
  • Grow client database recommending strategies for investment planning as per regulatory guidelines.
  • Identify new opportunities such as futures, derivatives, options to multiply investments.


Skills Required by a Financial Advisor

  • It is recommended that students pursue a Bachelor’s degree in a finance or commerce related vertical.
  • After graduation, procuring an educational equivalent of an MBA would further help you formulate a strong profile and help you clear the preliminary screening by SEBI.
  • A strong outlook towards markets including an appreciable understanding of financial instruments such as mutual funds, investment products, financial planning, asset allocation, etc.
  • Develop a strong quantitative aptitude that’ll support in day to day decision making.
  • Work towards having excellent interpersonal skills to create and maintain flourishing business relationships with clients.


5. Trader 

A trader fits the bill for banking and finance jobs, with an appreciable salary. Traders can be employed by any financial institution based to purchase and sell financial instruments on behalf of their clients. These institutions could include brokerage houses, retirement funds, hedge funds to name a few. Their first and foremost task is to place orders as per client request.




Responsibilities of a Trader

  • Represent clients in placing orders for securities.
  • Understand and operate on trading platforms with minimal intervention.
  • Take input from quantitative researchers in optimizing trading strategies.
  • Share relevant industry insights with clients whenever deemed fit.
  • Undertake a periodic assessment of client portfolios to highlight key performance indicators and possible solutions.


Skills Required by a Trader

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business, or a related field.
  • You should have a balanced mix of mathematical and computational skills.
  • Ability to operate in prolonged shifts for after-market hours, if need be.
  • Regularly monitor money markets and follow price-affecting news updates.
  • A strong business acumen along with communication, both oral and written, would further make your individual profile more relevant.


6. Risk Manager 

We’ll conclude our list of careers in finance that pay the best with Risk Managers. The primary duty of a Risk Manager is to highlight the risk involved in investment decisions and that the nature of this risk is ethical. Risks have to be dually in line with the internal policies of the bank that in turn do not violate the guidelines laid out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Such professionals are adept at analyzing the nature of risk, such as credit risk, material risk, and operational risk, and offering calculated advice on whether to pursue the same or not. With added pressure from national-level financial institutions, the need for qualified Risk Managers is higher than ever.




Responsibilities of a Risk Manager

  • Ensure timely administering of Risk Management Solutions (RMS) like margin reporting, processes, and square off procedures to name some.
  • Implement strategies to expand margin pools through collection calls.
  • Recommend measurable strategies to reduce risk exposures for clients.
  • Collaborate readily with cross-functional teams to evaluate trends impacting investment risks.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality clauses for every deal.


Skills Required by a Risk Manager

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, although a Master’s degree would be plus.
  • Ability to communicate professionally with stakeholders, both internal and external.
  • Problem solver with great business understanding i.e. someone who can establish a correlation of stakeholder actions with financial assets. 
  • Advanced working knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
  • A propensity to work under pressure and tight deadlines constantly handling high-level numerical concepts such as probability, and statistics to name some.


NIIT’s PGP in Banking & Finance

With more graduates routing for banking and finance job roles in 2020, it is understood that the talent pool might experience a bulging effect. As a result of this trend, there will we more candidates fighting it out for careers in banking and finance domains. A strong resume is one with a complete triad of a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree (or equivalent) and/or a recognized short-term course in the related field.

NIIT has been at the forefront of shaping student careers in banking and finance with its renowned Post Graduate Programme in Banking and Finance – Sales and Relationship Management. The course prepares students to acquire knowledge that yields career growth by becoming an all-round finance-professional. You’ll learn the fundamentals of Banking, Insurance, Financial Services, Capital Markets, Fintech and applications of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Analytics. Some of our hiring partners include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and City Union Bank. With 20,000+ students placed successfully within the industry, we’re sure you have what it takes to land a job in a competitive marketplace. Do you? ​​​​​​​


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