Campus & Student Life
CBS International Business School, 10 August 2023

Finance jobs - these are the career opportunities you have in finance


If you have a degree in business administration, then a finance career will be the ideal pathway. Banks and insurance companies in particular are interested in business economists with a degree. But these are just the best-known elements of a finance career path. There are many other possibilities that graduates should think about.  In this article, we will summarize  the most interesting professions in which to pursue a financial career. You will quickly discover that there are many opportunities and opportunities for finance professions, some of which are less well known and are often overlooked by job seekers.

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Full-time Bachelor's in Finance & Management

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Full-time Bachelor's in Business Administration & Management - Specializing in Controlling & Financial Management.

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Full-time Master's in Controlling & Financial Management.

Part-time Master's in Controlling & Financial Management.

What do you do in finance? What are the responsibilities of a financial manager?

If you want a diverse career finance will be the perfect route. In fact, only a few industries offer so much choice when it comes to career options. As a financial manager, you can work for a bank or an insurance company, for example. But during your finance career you can also become active as a stock broker, work as a fund manager or earn money as a management consultant.

There are also other jobs in the industry that suit those studying business administration. Controller, underwriter or analyst or asset manager are just a few examples. All you have to do is think about jobs that deal with finance, and where you might have to deal with private financial data. When you do so, you will quickly realise that finance is a varied and extensive sector, where you can choose from a wide range of interesting jobs.

Is finance a good career path for graduates?

In this section, you will learn about career prospects in the financial sector. We'll show you in detail which financial professions exist, the kind of tasks that await you, and the requirements candidates need to meet in order to work in these roles. In addition, you can find out here which degree is required for different financial jobs. And we will explain which CBS degree is the best fit for each corresponding financial career.

After you have familiarized yourself with the following section, you will not only have a good overview of the finance career path. You will also have in-depth knowledge of the jobs that await you in the various financial professions, as well as what qualifications you need to have.

Fund Manager/Portfolio Manager/Asset Manager

A fund manager works for his clients with the aim of finding investment opportunities and creating valuable portfolios. At the same time, they need to reduce financial risk through diversification. Fund managers carry out necessary transactions, for example on the stock exchange. They also analyse the financial market and create and monitor investment strategies. As a rule, the financial manager maintains various broker contacts, monitors their customers' investments and develops them positively.

The typical tasks of a fund manager are:

  • Preparation of annual plans and monitoring of their implementation

  • Preparation of business plans in connection with the portfolio optimization strategy

  • Research, strategy development and recommendation for clients' real estate portfolios and special funds

  • Ensuring ongoing reporting to the investor/owner

Stock exchange or exchange broker

Stock exchange brokers or exchange brokers operate on the stock exchange. They are involved in brokering shares and securities and in determining the stock market price. For example, they might broker securities between the stock exchange and a bank, allowing the bank to offer those shares to customers. Stock brokers can also broker official securities, but in this case they may not participate in determining the price. Brokerage is a varied and versatile finance career, with great responsibility and a rapidly changing environment.

The typical tasks of a stock exchange or exchange broker are:

  • Brokerage of transactions on the stock exchange

  • Determination of the official stock market price of securities and commodities

  • Brokerage of share securities between credit institutions

Financial analyst

Financial analyst is another common financial profession, and also an activity that relates to the stock market. For example, analysts check press releases and research company data. Or they might interview managers and industry experts. Their task also includes monitoring price developments on international and national financial markets. As the name suggests, this financial career involves a lot of analysis and investigation. And this research matters. Information collected by analysts contributes to IPO reports or reports about the development of companies and industries. These assessments then help other bodies, such as companies or fund managers, to find suitable investment projects and select opportunities for their clients.

Typical tasks and activities of an analyst are:

  • Investigation and analysis of business processes

  • Requirements management

  • Improving business processes and strategic organization

  • Feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses

The underwriter

Underwriter is usually a position that is filled by insurance companies. Activities in this finance career path include the assessment and presentation of risks. Underwriters are therefore heavily involved in the drafting, evaluation and analysis of insurance contracts. When a contract is concluded, this is documented by the underwriter, including all changes and details. The underwriter is the point of contact for the entire term. They will deal with any changes, rearrangements or adjustments to the insurance contract. An underwriter is usually not involved in the general insurance business. Instead, they primarily work in the area of complex and expensive insurance for companies and top managers.

The tasks and activities of the underwriter are in detail:

  • Assessment of risks using policyholder risk profiles

  • Reporting increases in a policyholder's risk profile

  • Changes in insurance conditions

  • Review of contracts concluded between the customer and his customers

  • Clarification of compliance with the agreed insurance coverage

The management consultant

Management consultants are usually employed by banks, but can also be freelancers. As the name suggests, they advise companies in the areas for which they have been commissioned. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) specialists, for example, are brought in to assist with company takeovers. In other cases, consultants advise companies in the areas of finance or services. To do this, they analyse the company and its finances, look at the company’s market competition, and create company-specific strategy documents. The aim is to use all this information to create a company evaluation that suggests and explains opportunities for improvement. In the event of a takeover, the consultant may create presentations and documents to ensure that the deal and takeover go smoothly.

Typical tasks of a management consultant include:

  • Strategy consultations

  • Support for the realignment of companies

  • Situational analyses

  • Audit of processes and systems

  • Development of solutions

The project manager

Project manager is one of the most versatile jobs among the many financial professions. Project managers are employed by both banks and insurance companies, and have a wide range of tasks. The main task is optimizing procedures and processes inside the company, or creating new services and products. The project manager assumes leadership and responsibility for these activities. They manage their team and ensure that everything is handled properly and successfully.

The tasks of the project manager are in detail:

  • Handling and supervising insurance projects

  • Planning, organization and implementation of customer and employee events

  • Management of service providers

  • Development of concepts

  • Budget planning

Study paths and access options for a finance career

As you might have guessed from the overview above, finance is a diverse sector with many occupations. As a result, study paths and access options are also correspondingly diverse. Sometimes, you don’t even need to study. For example, vocational training without study is an option for aspiring bankers or tax specialists. Vocational training lets you take the first steps on a finance career path and provide the opportunity to gain important professional experience.

However, if you really want to make a career in finance and are hoping for a higher position with a lot of responsibility and a good salary, simple commercial vocational training is usually no longer enough. Further study will be essential for more advanced finance career paths. The classic route is the business administration degree, which is provided by CBS. The MBA equips you with the necessary expertise to work in most areas of the financial sector after graduation.

But there are also other career opportunities. Studying to become a tax specialist, banking economist or in newer professions such as business psychology also offers the possibility to gain a foothold in the financial sector and start a new career. You can also find many corresponding courses of study here at CBS.

Where do financial managers work? Locations and industries

Financial managers work in the financial sector. This usually means working for banks or insurance companies. You probably already knew that. But did you also know that there are many other contexts where you can work as a financial manager? After all, finance is a diverse profession with many opportunities.

Places of employment as a financial manager

Of course, financial managers work for banks or insurance companies. But they also work in many other sectors and areas. Did you know, for example, that a financial manager can work on the stock exchange or assume responsibility for managing portfolios as a fund manager? In addition, a finance career could lead to work as a management consultant. In that case, consultants could help companies become more successful or ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises in the event of a takeover.

Financial managers can also work as analysts at agencies and management consultancies. In that case, analysts create and analyse other companies, marketing concepts, etc. and make recommendations for investments or trading in securities based on this information. Banks and insurance companies certainly account for the majority of jobs in the financial sector. However, there are still many other opportunities to build a finance career without finding yourself working for a bank or insurance company. 

Financial Management Salary: What does a financial manager earn?

Financial managers have plenty of responsibility and work in an industry that is known for paying well. So if you want a lucrative career finance is definitely a good sector to consider.

With university qualifications, the starting salary is around 45,000 euros and can be up to 70,000 euros or more. The more experience you have, the higher your salary will be. Unfortunately, numerous factors have an effect on the salary, so we can’t make blanket statements. Factors like the size of the company, the location, the industry, etc. all play an important role in the salary. That’s why we have dealt with the topic in detail and have compiled comprehensive information about the financial manager's salary on our financial management salary page.

Conclusion and summary

This article should provide an overview of financial professions and what challenges await you in these roles. With this knowledge, you can now get an overview and see which finance career is right for you. Above all, we have learned that the most important requirement for a successful financial career is a degree. You have various options here, but the classic option is the business administration study, as provided by CBS.

Looking for a suitable financial management degree?

Are you looking for a career as a financial manager or are you curious about what finance career paths have to offer? CBS can help you make a successful start in almost any financial profession. We offer you various courses of study from which you can choose. Find more information about the various courses of study and the requirements on the Pillar Financial Management Study page. And work with use to build a successful career in one of the most exciting economic sectors.


CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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