A simple and straightforward guide to some of the most challenging and lucrative financial careers as expected to be in 2014

Given an option, what would be your dream Financial Management career? Would it be a career in Banking and Financial Services? Or an Insurance career, with a flavor of risk analysis? How about Investment Banking and the world of financial markets? If you’ve ever been confounded by the sheer abundance of  career options open to you as a Finance professional, here’s a reassuring thought: you’re not alone. Given the depth and range of Finance as a domain (after all, who can’t do with a little money?), there’s no dearth of options in any sector of the economy. Making the right choice though, based on your unique individual aspirations and skill sets, can be more than a trifle difficult. In this article, we try and put the spotlight on some of the hottest, high flying and lucrative financial management careers (as expected in 2014). If you’re a fresh finance grad wondering where to invest your newly acquired skills, or a seasoned pro looking to change tracks, here are some exciting career options you could consider:
Financial Analysts & Managers: In other words, the people who help firms maximize their returns on investment, with their expertise and knowledge of the market. As the global economy takes small but positive steps forward, investor confidence has improved and firms are again looking to expand and invest their capital to get productive returns. Whether it’s by assessing stocks, bonds or other investments, Financial Analysts will be in demand to help companies get the maximum bang for their buck.

Median Salary: $100K (Managers), 58K (Analysts)

In India

  • Median Salary : Rs 835,240
  • Salary :Rs 363,910 - Rs 1,629,170                                                           
  • Bonus: Rs 9,820 - Rs 242,566     
  • Profit Sharing: Rs 0.00 - Rs 194,581        
  • Commission: Rs 0.00 - Rs 201,341           
  • Total Pay (Varies): Rs 394,222 - Rs 1,783,358   

Personal Financial Advisors: Closely related to Financial Analysts, Personal Financial Advisors are people who assist individuals in deciding where to invest their wealth. A PFA could have an individual practice, or work as part of a bank or financial services institution. They could be stockbrokers or account executives – who buy and sell stocks, bonds and other financial instruments for their clientele. PFAs are highly knowledgeable about taxes, investment options, financial instruments, real estate, stocks, insurance and pension products. They devise clients investment strategies based on their unique financial goals and risk appetite, and also help manage taxes. Successful advisors are highly compensated, in demand individuals

Median Salary: $73K (Base Salary) – does not include Bonuses & Profit Sharing

In India

  • Median Salary: Rs 379,999
  • Salary: Rs 150,024 - Rs 1,208,048                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 2,061 - Rs 203,728     
  • Profit Sharing: Rs 100.00 - Rs 300,000   
  • Commission: Rs 0.00 - Rs 700,000           
  • Total Pay: Rs 159,563 - Rs 1,463,517                      

Investment Banking Analysts: For those who love interpreting financial data and observing current economic trends, a career in Investment Banking offering result-oriented investment guidance may well be their calling. The competition for these roles is intense, and careers can be equally rewarding and demanding at the same time. Your diverse clientele could range from HNW (High Net Worth) individuals to government and private firms, so an ability to communicate across-the-spectrum can be useful.

Salary – Lower End ($58K), Higher End (In Millions)

In India

  • Median Salary: 637,500
  • Salary: Rs 201,344 - Rs 2,153,171                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 4,848 - Rs 824,336     
  • Profit Sharing: Rs 7,861 - Rs 50,868        
  • Total Pay :Rs 234,936 - Rs 3,719,113     

Accountants and Auditors: Among the most respected and critical roles in Finance, Accountants and Auditors are responsible for preparing and examining financial records. They help ensure accuracy and validity of financial records, in addition to making sure taxation and regulatory laws are complied with. They also help regulate costs for organizations, and suggest means for increased financial efficiency. Businesses today, in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, have been forced to put their spending and fiscal reporting under close supervision – the role of accountants and auditors have thus become invaluable.

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Chartered Accountants (as they are known in India) is a designation implying an in depth knowledge of accounting principles and practices and associated laws and regulations. It is highly sought after as a valuable credential for advancing a career in accounting and auditing. It can also be a helpful and deciding factor in other specialized professions in financial services e.g. Internal Audit. In securities research, holding a CPA indicates that you have much of the in-depth knowledge necessary to analyze financial reports thoroughly and systematically. CPAs are also widely in demand for preparation and filing of tax returns.

Median Salary: Between $50K to $67K

In India

  • Median Salary:  Rs 590,453
  • Salary: Rs 250,418 - Rs 1,239,235                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 3,568 - Rs 194,024     
  • Profit Sharing: Rs 0.00 - Rs 193,550        
  • Commission: Rs 0.00 - Rs 153,193           
  • Total Pay: Rs 288,454 - Rs 1,414,165     

Controllers: Controllers are in charge of setting financial rules, and ensuring accounting principle are followed. They decide the company’s financial planning, debt financing and budget management. Most Controllers are usually certified Accountants with MBAs and significant exposure to finance and accounting. Some of them also have CPA (Certified Public Accountant) designations. Some Controller positions are highly specialized and require exposure in certain areas e.g. Hedge Fund Controllers. High level Corporate Controllers may be responsible for the entire financial department and are handsomely compensated.

Median Salary: $96K

In India

  • Median Salary: 1,766,838
  • Salary: Rs 725,004 - Rs 3,010,959                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 30,100 - Rs 508,356   
  • Profit Sharing: Rs 0.00 - Rs 900,000        
  • Total Pay : Rs 796,793 - Rs 3,434,274    

Tax Managers: Tax Managers are entrusted with the planning and reporting of taxes for the organizations. Also, making sure that these returns are submitted on time and in accuracy and compliance with taxation laws. This is no easy task as taxation laws may vary widely by region and geography and the type of tax being paid, so tax managers always need to stay abreast of the tax codes. Successful Tax Managers could be CPAs and

MBAs with a focus on accounting and taxation.

In India

  • Median Salary:  Rs.1,086,900
  • Salary: Rs 469,783 - Rs 2,451,086                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 10,022 - Rs 495,349   
  • Total Pay: Rs 496,672 - Rs 2,926,789     


Risk Management: Risk Managers perform the highly important function of identifying, measuring and managing risks. This is an area that has come into prominence over the last few years, and one that is expected to grow in the future. Risk Managers help manage credit risks, market risks, operational and liquidity risks. Most banks and financial institutions have invested (and continue to do so) large amounts of resources in the people and technology that can help them proactively identify, measure and mitigate risks. This is usually a specialized position and requires formal industry training from PRMIA or GARP, industry bodies for Risk Management professionals.

Median Salary:  $80K to $111K

In India

  • Median Salary: Rs. 848,630
  • Salary: Rs 380,458 - Rs 1,507,526                                                            
  • Bonus: Rs 25,111 - Rs 301,001   
  • Total Pay: Rs 415,742 - Rs 1,625,025     


The financial services sector is growing, and there are a plethora of opportunities available. As the industry bounces back toward recovery from the global crisis, there are increased options in virtually every area – from organizations looking toward Investment bankers for mergers and acquisitions and raising capital, to financial analysts who help suggest where to invest. Accountants and Auditors roles have never been so critical, as organizations strive to ensure their books are in order, and to avoid costly errors made by others. Even though some of these opportunities may require sustained industry experience and knowledge, there are no dearth of options at entry level positions either, with competitive remunerations. With increased experience, furthering academic credentials and associating with industry bodies, one has the choice to maximize ones earning potential.
Please Note: All Salary details mentioned above have been obtained from third party, independent sources. Also, Pay may vary widely between individuals depending on experience and industry. These figures can best be taken as approximate, ballpark figures collected by taking the median of user-submitted pay details

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