Banking offers a long and varied career path that can lead to substantial rewards. It is a very popular industry that can be difficult to break into, as there is stiff competition for entry level positions and higher level positions demand ability, expertise and, sometimes, an inside track.
For those about to climb onto the first rung of the banking sector ladder, there are several positions to choose from. Some require tertiary qualifications, but it is possible to begin a banking career without a degree. If you have decided on a career in banking, then you might be interested in considering these entry level positions.
Bank Teller or Cashier
The bank teller or cashier is generally the first point of contact with the bank for members of the public. Tellers handle initial enquiries and basic financial transactions like deposits and withdrawals, handling cheques and some credit and cash card queries. They must have excellent customer service skills and must be able to handle customer needs quickly and efficiently. A degree is not usually required but you will usually need a period of on-the-job training. It is a good entry position but to progress further up the ladder, you will probably need to gain higher qualifications.
Money Management Specialist
This is another position that does not necessarily demand a tertiary qualification at the entry level, though it may be necessary as you progress to more specialised areas; good customer skills and possibly some experience showing that you are suitable for the role might be enough to win you a job. Recent changes in regulation in the banking industry have led to increasing demand for money management specialists and there are good prospects for advancement.
Credit analysts have a highly responsible job, as they are required to assess and make decisions regarding customer credit applications. This means analysing the customer’s credit-worthiness, the purpose of the application and formulating a risk assessment and so on. The position usually requires at least a good degree and often some relevant experience.
Financial analysts are responsible for making recommendations on the viability of a particular financial transaction. This might include compiling reports that provide market information and other relevant details on which companies base their decisions on how and where to invest. Or else it might involve the preparation of financial models that predict future economic conditions. To become a financial analyst, you will need at least a degree in a finance–related field, or a subject that shows your ability to interpret data, and you will need to be highly competitive. Financial analyst has reputation of being a hard job to get, so patience and determination are crucial.
Loan officers are the people responsible for approving loans for mortgages, business development and other applications. You will need to have good customer skills and to be able to make informed decisions about the customer’s suitability for the loan. You will probably require a degree in finance or economics and you will need to have an understanding of best lending practices.