August 18, 2011

Business and Finance Careers

I've decided to put my search in the education realm on the side for the moment.  Notice that I didn't say that I'm closing the door, but I thought I would explore some of what the business world has to offer.  Below are some of the lovely business and finance careers that I've found.

Budget Analyst
  • Creates, studies, and oversees budgets of organizations and businesses
  • About 40% work for federal, state, or local government
Skill Set:
  • Good with numbers
  • Clear communicator and effective leader
  • Problem solver
  • Able to juggle projects with tight deadlines
Other Information:
  • Because the information budget analysts give is so important, they are not often laid off
  • Average salary: $69,240

I've heard some good financial benefits for working for the government.  The first component that Ari Chatz discussed in job searching is the value of money.  This security may be helpful in providing for that future family I keep mentioning!  I don't really have anything negative to say about budget analysts.  I like working with numbers and problem-solving.  I would definitely get to work with other people.  On the contrary, this career doesn't seem to jump out to me as something I would love to do.  Perhaps, I should leave it alone for now and come back to see if my feelings change.  Any thoughts/advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

Buyer and Purchaser
  • Looks for high-quality products or services at low costs
  • Buyers look for products that can be resold to the public
  • Purchasers look for supplies/services for organizations to use
Skill Set:
  • Risk taking
  • Problem solving
  • Strong research skills
  • Clear communication
  • Leader as well as working well with a team
Other Information
  • Typically need work experience
  • Buyers usually come from engineering, business, economics, or an applied science
  • Purchasers usually need a master's degree
  • Average salary:
    • Buyer - $55,480
    • Purchaser - $58,550

I would not really call myself a risk taker.  Not that I'm afraid to risk or that I wouldn't risk to some extent.  However, the fact that one of the main skills mentioned for this career is taking risks makes me nervous.  I think this alone is enough to keep me from going into the career.  I know that my engineering experience may be helpful, but I think I'd like a career with perhaps less risk.

Cost Estimator
  • Figures out costs of construction projects and manufacturing products
  • Accounts for price of materials, cost of labor, effects of climate, and more
  • Experienced analysts can work independently as a consultant
Skill Set:
  • Being a math fan
  • Good at planning and organizing
  • Enjoy comparison shopping
Other Information:
  • Having work experience helps getting into the career
  • Can be a stressful career, which can allow for high turn-over
  • The industry tends to slow with poor economy
  • Average salary: $61,190
    • Engineers tend to start with higher salaries

Well, I am definitely a big fan of math, and I love "number crunching".  Not to mention, I come from an engineering background - which seems to be an advantage in this field.  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about comparison shopping, but I guess I'm essentially doing that with this career search.  I'm a little concerned that jobs might be hard to find in this struggling economy, but overall, I like what I'm seeing!

Financial Analyst
  • Helps organizations come up with investment strategies
  • Spots stock market trends
  • Keeps tabs on up-and-coming companies
Skill Set:
  • Organized
  • Like to work with numbers
  • Quick thinking at problem solving
  • Clear communicator
Other Information
  • Days are usually filled with phone calls and meetings, so evenings usually mean time for research
  • Currently a growing industry
  • Having a master's degree in business or finance can be a help
  • Bonus checks are often available for good financial advice
  • Average salary: $85,240

Stock market.  I've never been a big fan or really understood how it all works.  I could definitely learn, but I'm not sure this career would be for me.  I definitely am drawn toward the problem solving, working with numbers, and communicating with others aspects of this job.  However, this career doesn't seem to fit my skills enough to inspire me to really learn the world of stock market finances.  Thanks, financial analysts, but I think I'm going to pass on this one.

Well, I went looking to explore the world of business, but I think I got more of a tour of the finance world.  I'm not really disappointed.  I guess I was just thinking this step would be a little different.  I do love number crunching, so I think I should look more into the world of finance careers.  Don't worry, I'm sure I'll look more into the world of business.  For right now, my curiosity is not yet fulfilled.  Tune in for more to come!

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