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Financial Services

This sector has always been a very popular career choice for Exeter graduates, and organisations recruiting in this sector have a high profile on campus, with the ‘big four’ consistently featuring in the top 10 employers of Exeter graduates.

This sector encompasses careers in banking, accountancy, insurance, financial planning, investments and pensions, and tax and offers a wide range of job opportunities.

Many roles and graduate schemes are open to any or various degree disciplines and the skills required vary. You might be a Maths or Computer Science graduate with a PhD working in a highly analytical post. On the other hand, you could be from an Arts or Humanities background. Some roles are much more about relationship building, though most will need a combination of skills and you will often need to show numerical aptitude during selection.

A common thread to succeeding in any role within this sector is strong commercial awareness and a keen interest in finance. Every news story of the day has a potential impact on the world of finance, so you should be interested in following those, listening to opinions and developing your own ideas.

Competition can be fierce and for areas such as Banking and Investment, early planning is advisable. Many Investment Banks, for example, will use short vacation programmes and internships as a way to select for graduate roles, making it more difficult if you apply as a finalist or graduate without that experience.

For sector trends, statistics and major employers, please visit the Accountancy, Banking, and Insurance reports on My Career Zone Digital.

Career Zone Employability Schemes

These can help to increase your work experience and networks in this area.

  • Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Professional Pathways: a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.  

Information Resources

Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector and roles. 

Take a look at this blog post interviewing Raniah, an Exeter graduate, about her route to becoming an Acting Credit Manager in Jordon. 

To see if there are any Exeter alumni working in this sector that you can get in touch with, go to the LinkedIn Alumni tool

If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be very useful: 

For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page and for a list general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful: 

 

Some of the many professional bodies listed below have vacancy pages.

 

You could also have a look at a list of Employers of Exeter graduates in the finance sector.

If you have studied a related degree, check if your course is accredited by one of the professional bodies, or if you can gain exemption from some exams. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector. 

If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study. 

It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).