Interested in Changing to a Career in Finance? Here’s How to Boost Your Skills

Sometimes, you know your current career isn’t the right fit. Maybe you aren’t excited by the work anymore or, in fact, never were. Many people end up initially following a path that isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a change.

If your heart lies in finance, individual skills you likely already possess can help you gain your footing when starting a new career in finance. Others can be acquired through additional education and training. Here’s what you need to know.

Assess Your Skills
The first step for any career change is to review your current competencies and compare them to your target field. Certain technical abilities transcend many fields. This includes computer skills and knowledge of key pieces of software, like Excel. Soft skills like communications expertise and customer service also transition easily, so you may possess a solid foundation of what a finance professional needs to succeed.

Take stock of your current competencies, creating a list of skills that can serve you well in your new career. Then, compare this list to information from job postings for your target position. This approach lets you know what you already have covered and which areas will need improvement to make the transition possible.

In some cases, you’ll find your current experience is enough to make the leap. This more often occurs if you work in an allied field and have a college degree that applies. However, if your list shows skill gaps or you don’t meet the educational minimums, there’s also no need to worry. There’s plenty you can do to get things up to where they need to be.

Head Back to School
When transitioning to a career in finance, you may need to develop certain skills to work in the field or even obtain additional formal education to land a position. Many finance jobs have minimum educational requirements, and that means heading back to school may be a necessity.

Luckily, degrees related to finance are often easy to locate. Most major institutions will offer a suitable degree. If you don’t live near a suitable school, online degrees are also a great option for this field, especially if you are self-motivated. For example, you can study a master of finance online if you meet the prerequisites. Or, choose an associate’s or bachelor’s program if you are starting from the beginning.

Degrees focused on accounting, or even mathematics or business may also be appropriate, so check into those offerings and compare them to your target positions. That way, you’ll have a full understanding of the different paths that may help you reach your chosen destination.

While changing to a career in finance may be scary, pursuing a field that you feel you can truly devote yourself to is often a wise decision, especially if you aren’t happy with where you are today. Then you can continue forward knowing that you’ve made the right choice for you, allowing you to take your life in the perfect direction based on your goals.

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