Financial Management Job And Employment Opportunities

Through 2012, employment of financial managers should grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Despite expected steady growth that should match growth of the general economy, competition will be keen for positions in financial management because there will probably be more applicants than job openings. Employers will look for candidates with expertise in accounting and finance, and will be especially interested in those with a master’s degree. Beyond these basic qualifications, competitive candidates will have strong computer skills, will be familiar with international finance, and will have excellent communication skills, since financial managers work on strategic planning teams.
Job growth for financial managers will be directly related to the economy as a whole. Overall, the next decade will see continued job growth for financial managers, because the need for financial expertise will grow as the economy expands. This growth will come from the creation of new businesses as well as from the expansion of established ones. Growth for financial managers does face several obstacles. Mergers, acquisitions, and short term economic downturns reduce employment in this occupation because companies are likely to close departments, downsize, or even go out of business—diminishing the need for financial managers.
Despite continued, albeit slower, consolidations by the banking industry (which employs over 10 percent of all financial managers), there will be a continued need for bank branch managers. In fact, as they refocus on existing branches and create new branches to serve a growing population, banks are expected to employ an increasing number of branch managers. Moreover, banks that extend their products and services to include insurance and investment products will need branch managers who are familiar with these areas. In consequence, candidates authorized to sell insurance or securities will be more appealing to employers.
The present slump in the securities and commodities industry should not damage long-term prospects for financial managers in that industry because more managers will be needed to handle progressively more complex financial transactions and manage an increasing number of investments. Specifically, firms will need financial managers to raise capital, conduct mergers and acquisitions, and assess global financial transactions. Risk managers, who gauge risks for insurance and investment purposes, will also be needed in the industry.
In some cases, financial managers may be hired temporarily, to steer a firm through a short-term crisis or to suggest ways to increase profits. Even in organizations where all accounting and financial operations are contracted out, financial managers may be necessary to oversee the contracts.
Computer technology will have significant implications for financial managers. Because computers can generate financial reports in less time and with fewer people than in the past, the next decade will see some changes in the ways financial managers perform. For example, corporations will need financial managers to forecast earnings, profits, and costs, and to think of original ways to improve profits.