Why financial careers are among the most competitive?

January 24, 2018


Generally, there are two factors which affect the competitiveness of a particular job or career path: one is the possibility of earning a lot of money and/or achieving fame, and the other is the availability of opportunities for success.

The financial industry is known for being one of the hardest to break into because of its promise of high earnings and the limited availability of the best-paid positions. However, to make you feel better, there is a list of careers that are even more competitive than the financial world. According to Occupational Information Network, a U.S. Department of Labour database, the most competitive career choice in the US is … a choreographer. Followed closely by poets and writers striving to become published and athletes competing for medals and fame.

There is a variety in competitiveness inside the financial industry itself. A LinkedIn survey points to positions in IT, risk management, product development and regional management as being the best-paid, and also among the most competitive in the industry. On the other hand, the difficulty of attaining a particular job may be connected not just to its desirability in the public eye, and consequently, to the number of applicants, but also to the specifics of the job itself.

Some roles are extremely hard to break into because they require a specialized skillset combined with a lot of experience. According to Forbes, these roles include financial controllers (especially hedge fund controllers), tax managers and business valuation analysts. And yes, their salaries usually reflect just how difficult it was to fill those positions.

The more negative side of such competitiveness in financial careers is the high level of stress that tend to go along with them. Investment bankers, traders, risk managers and private bankers have the highest risk of losing their work-life balance. Long working hours, external issues and the pressure to deliver spotless results all contribute enough to their stress; not to mention the countless competitors also breathing down your neck.

None of this is a reason for you to rule out going down this career path. Just be prepared for a tough race!