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Chris Bell

The skills needed to succeed in the financial sector



The finance sector is hugely varied in terms of the kinds of career paths available and the sorts of companies you can work for. There are certain skills that you will need in order to succeed in this, one of the UK’s biggest business sectors. The UK is at the top of the world’s international services trade and this sector employs 1.1 million people across the country. If you want to join these 1.1 million people, then see if you have these skills.

Interpersonal skills

The world of finance has changed considerably over the last several decades. Workers in this sector, as well as being expected to work well on their own, need to have the personal skills required to talk to clients and their colleagues in a positive and effective way. You will need to be able to build relationships with clients so that they will continue to come to you for advice and services. Make sure that you get these skills across when you are being interviewed for a job.

Mathematics skills

Primarily, you are going to be dealing with numbers, so mathematics skills are a requirement to enter the industry. You will need to understand complex equations and also be able to compare statistics in a meaningful way.

An accounting qualification

Accounting is not just a skill you need to become an accountant. Several different careers in finance require you to be good at accounting. A formal accounting qualification will teach you all about what is required to be an accountant as well as teaching skills that will be helpful across various financial careers. There are several levels of accounting qualifications that you need if you want to become a chartered accountant, however, you won’t need to go that far if you are interested in working in a more junior role. The first level of accountancy qualification is the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) certificate. The AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate can be worked for via a free online course from the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF). An LSBF Certification will provide you with a solid qualification to present to a potential employer.

Decisiveness

This is a skill that particular careers in finance will require. Investment bankers have to make decisions on whether to invest their clients’ money in certain ventures. You will have to analyse the markets and possible outcomes and make smart decisions that will benefit your clients.

Analysis

As well as being able to crunch the numbers, you also need to be able to analyse them to see what they mean for the client. When job hunting, you would do well to demonstrate times when you have analysed huge datasets and come up with smart conclusions when reporting back. With data becoming essential to so many businesses, candidates with analytical skills will stand out.

Keep up to date with technology

Financial services require the latest technology to both keep up with the markets and to report information in a quick and clear way. Accountancy software is something that is vital to learn about because packages like SAGE are now used by so many companies. If you keep up to date with technology and can prove that you know how to use the various software packages, then you will stand out among other candidates that are not so knowledgeable.