Finance Industry

What's Trending: Breaking into the Finance Industry

What’s Trending: Breaking into the Finance Industry
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Getting a jump start on a new industry’s career path can cause job seekers’ hesitation. Do I have the right educational background to make it in this new industry? Do I have the relatable experience to leverage on my resume? Where do I start?

It may come as a surprise, but having a degree or a sliver of work experience in finance isn’t the only way to get a shoe in and be a success. Here’s what other publications are saying on the matter.

The Muse

Claudia Pou with The Muse gathered some pointers from a finance industry veteran to get the scoop on the ins and outs of getting started in the field. She shares that the sheer diversity of divisions and departments in finance makes opportunities available for any variety of degree-holding professionals.

“The real key is having interpersonal skills, analytical ability, and problem-solving skills. While these may sound generic, they are essential in the finance industry, and the nitty-gritty details are often taught on the job.”

Finance, like most major industries making headway, is banking on skill sets to forge long-lasting careers. So if you’re questioning how to start a career without a degree in finance, your best starting point is with skills that’ll give you a leg up on the position you’re aiming for.

US News

US News’ Marcie Geffner lays out a guide for joining the finance industry as a beginner and touches on adding value to a professional’s base education. Taking your education one notch further with learning avenues online are a perfect solution to self-paced growth.

“Online courses can help you explore finance and supplement your formal education in this field. Credit may or may not transfer to a degree program. If that’s important to you, select your courses with care and make sure your credit will be transferable before you enroll.”

You might even luck out finding available courses locally at a nearby community college or public library. Along with courses, there are books, podcasts, and mentors that can help you get started on your path to becoming a successful professional in finance.


Matthew Meehan, with the Forbes Finance Council, shares his journey throughout the finance industry and even divulges some of the struggles along the way. He expresses that mentorship and the right connections played a heavy hand in his success, but it ultimately comes down to a professional’s will and desire to make it.

“Do not let your lack of experience or a piece of paper dictate entering the industry. Do not sabotage yourself with doubt and negative thoughts before you start. Having the proper mindset, in the beginning, will set you up for future success. Believe that given the opportunity, you can get the job done.”

Having a strong network and support is great, but believing in yourself is where your journey truly starts. Having a strong fortitude and drive will make a difference when things get tough or you experience some hardship in the industry. 

The takeaway

There’s no one saying that getting into the finance industry is easy or a breeze without formal education, but there are many resources that will confirm that having a finance degree is not the only way into the field. In fact, success in the industry itself is anything but linear.

If joining the finance industry is a serious goal of yours, then you should begin by settling what you have to offer and building upon it. If you don’t have the desired skill set, what are you willing to do to develop those coveted skills? If you don’t have the education, what are the courses that’ll give you an edge? And most importantly, if you’re going to start down this career path, put all your doubt in the rearview mirror.

Check out these two articles on starting a career in finance without a degree and 7 entry-level finance jobs to start your career path in the industry.

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