Here are some recommended GCSE or A level subject choices, which could set you in the right direction for a career in financial services.
- Business Studies
Professional bodies, such as the CISI, offer introductory qualifications to help you build the skills employers are looking for. Adding a professional qualification to your CV will help you impress employers and show you really want to build a career in financial services. Some of these can be studied independently via distance learning using workbooks and elearning.
Work Experience and Internships
Work experience is really important and a great way to sample what working in the professional sector is really like. Many firms in the banking sector will fill the majority of their full time places with interns from previous years. In fact, internships, or work experience, are almost becoming essential when finding a graduate role in the sector.
list opportunities available.
Completing A levels and equivalent qualifications can lead on to studying at university and securing a degree. A 2:1 degree is generally the minimum requirement for all employers. The good news is that most companies are interested in graduates from all degree backgrounds – you don’t necessarily need to have a finance or mathematically related degree to be considered. Employers will expect your degree to demonstrate your critical thinking analytical skills, enthusiasm and drive, rather than career-specific training. Most banks run graduate recruitment schemes and this is often the common route into jobs such as investment banking, stockbroking and analysis.
The CISI has links with many universities. Find out more at cisi.org/universities
School Leaver Programmes and Entry Level Jobs
Some firms offer school-leaver programmes and you can find out about these by checking on their websites and searching online. Also look out for entry-level jobs such as data entry and administration; these can help you get a ‘foot in the door’ at large organisations, which may offer the opportunity to progress if you work hard.
list post- school and college job opportunities within the finance sector.
An apprenticeship combines a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers. Young people and adult learners can earn a salary whilst gaining technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. A typical programme includes:
- A nationally recognised vocational qualification
- A technical certificate such as the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC)
- Functional skills in English, Maths and for some apprenticeships, IT
- Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)
- Employer Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)
Why Become an Apprentice?
Earn while you learn
All apprentices must receive the appropriate national minimum wage:
A real job
- adult rate: £6.70 per hour
- rate for 18 to 20 year olds: £5.30 per hour
- rate for 16 to 17 year olds: £3.87 per hour
- apprentice rate:£3.30 per hour
Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher (degree) level, covering more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles, from advertising to youth work via environmental engineering and nuclear decommissioning.
A real qualification
Quality is key to apprenticeships. All apprenticeships must be at least 12 months long and lead to a national qualification that is respected by employers around the world.
A real future
After finishing, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer.
Find out more at cisi.org/apprenticeships