Financial services is a very broad industry that encompasses everything from insurance to money management. In the past, each sector of the industry more or less stuck to its specialty; banks offered checking and savings accounts, loan associations provided mortgages, brokerage companies sold investment opportunities in stocks, bonds and mutual funds, credit card companies solely supplied credit cards, etc. But as regulations became more flexible and consumers demanded a greater variety of financial options, those lines began to blur.
Now it’s possible for a bank to offer a variety of investment products alongside its traditional banking offerings, just as a credit card company can provide a range of banking services. The industry is also seeing a number of new players emerge as ecosystem catalysts and challengers, including fintechs, digital giants expanding into financial services, players from other industries (e.g., telecommunications), and even startups bringing cutting edge technology to the space.
The financial services industry is not for everyone, but it can be a good career choice depending on your skill set and ambitions. Entry-level positions are incredibly lucrative and there’s ample opportunity to move up the ranks very quickly. Many financial firms are known to promote from within based on aptitude rather than tenure. This can be a big draw for younger professionals. Lastly, the industry is constantly evolving, with new tools being introduced almost every day, and this translates to opportunities for employees to continue to learn and grow their skillsets.