Banking and Finance Careers Outlook
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for workers in the banking industry will decline by 2 percent through 2014. New mergers and job cuts in the banking industry are announced practically every week, and some analysts predict that consolidations will reduce the number of large national banks to a dozen in the next few years. More positions will be eliminated as banks automate more of their functions and shift toward electronic service in an effort to keep up with emerging technology and remain competitive.
While the number of financial giants decreases, small niche-oriented and community banks will flourish. Banks will become more product-oriented as they try to develop a unique position in the market and distinguish themselves from competitors.
Expect banking to become more automated and electronic. A bank in Oregon recently installed an automated loan machine. A customer can walk away with a check or direct deposit in 10 minutes. Security First Network Bank was the first “Internet bank” with highly secure computer banking technology. According to Online Banking Report, more than 40 percent of U.S. households now bank online and it is estimated that this number increased to 50 percent by 2010.
Positions in computer and information technology, sales and marketing, and research will grow while administrative and teller positions will decline. As banks aggressively pursue customers, ideal employees will be able to use network and database technology to collect and analyze information on prospective customers. Employees with aggressive sales and marketing talents will be valuable assets. Order takers are characteristic of the old banking world. Bankers must now be a customer-focused sales force. As a result, employment for customer service representatives will increase as more of these professionals are needed to respond to customer requests via telephone or email.
The deregulation of the banking industry has created a wide range of employment outlooks for workers in the field. Employment of securities and financial services sales representatives, financial analysts, and financial advisers will improve as banks begin to offer financial and insurance products to their customers. Competition from nonbank institutions for loans and credit services will create fewer employment opportunities for loan officers and more opportunities for financial services sales representatives who—in addition to selling loans—offer a myriad of services.
American banking entities are going global and growing internationally, especially in Latin America and Asia. Many major banks, such as Citibank, actively hire U.S.- educated Asians and Latin Americans to develop banking business overseas. The European Monetary Union (in which 11 European countries agreed to merge their individual currencies into a single new currency, the euro) was created in 1999; many feel it will encourage highly favorable business conditions and opportunities throughout Europe for American banking institutions. Today, according to the European Union, more than 300 million Europeans in 12 countries use the euro. Banking and financial services professionals who have specialized language skills, a desire to travel, and knowledge of these emerging markets will advance quickly.
As banks continue to compete with investment firms, they will seek out finance professionals who can develop products for the corporate market. Investment products and mutual funds are a booming part of commercial banking. This will continue to grow as pending deregulations attempt to remove barriers between commercial and investment banking.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicted that employment in the securities and commodities industry would grow about as fast as the average for all industries through 2014. Like the banking industry, the American securities and commodities industry is expanding to a global scale. The opening of new foreign markets will offer securities and commodities professionals many new opportunities. The aging of the baby-boom generation, and their resulting need for retirement planning and investment options, has also played a role in the impressive growth of this industry.
Even though online trading has grown rapidly over the past five years, it has not reduced the need for direct contact with an actual broker. Many investors still feel more comfortable using the expertise of full-service brokers and financial planners who can help them understand the complexities of trading.
Employment in the securities and commodities industry, like most other industries, will continue to be influenced by advances in technology and telecommunications. The industry has become highly automated and, as a result, opportunities for computer professionals, such as computer software engineers, systems analysts, and computer scientists, will be very strong over the next decade. Conversely, employment of brokerage clerks, secretaries, and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to grow more slowly than the average occupation through 2014.
Careers in Banking and Finance:
- Accountant and Auditor Career
- Automatic Teller Machine Servicers
- Bank Examiners
- Billing Clerks
- Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerks
- Business Managers
- Commodities Brokers
- Credit Analysts
- Financial Analysts
- Financial Institution Tellers, Clerks, and Related Workers
- Financial Institution Officers and Managers
- Financial Planners
- Financial Services Brokers
- Forensic Accountants and Auditors
- Insurance Claims Representatives
- Insurance Policy Processing Occupations
- Insurance Underwriters
- Life Insurance Agents and Brokers
- Property and Casualty Insurance Agents and Brokers
- Risk Managers
- Tax Preparers