Careers in Finance
Employment outlook and opportunities
The Finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. There are many career paths within the finance sector. On one hand, there is a function called finance that is common to all business enterprises. On the other hand, there is the financial services industry.
The financial services industry includes firms that are engaged in activities such as investing, lending, insurance, securities trading and securities issuance. This is not an exhaustive list, but these companies can be characterized as being in one or more of the following lines of business: banking, insurance, securities brokerage, investment banking, securities trading, investment management and securities analysis.
Securing a job in the finance industry is very competitive; every year hundreds of business students vie for a limited number of summer internships in the capital markets and banking sectors. The majority of Canadian opportunities are in Calgary and Toronto.
Skill set required
- Quantitative and analytical skills
- Managerial and organizational skills
- Technology/information systems skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to think critically about numbers
- Attention to detail
- Ability to evaluate business scenarios and recommend a course of action based on quantitative research
Get experience in Finance during your degree. Business Co-op students complete a total of 12 months, full-time paid work with up to three different companies. Past Finance Co-op students have worked at companies including PepsiCo, BC Hydro, SNC Lavalin, CIBC, RBC Capital Markets, and more.
Programs and resources at the BCC
At the Business Career Centre, we've developed a large number of contacts at all the major financial institutions and work hard to bring these opportunities to you. We can help you determine whether a career in finance is right for you, and which specific area to pursue.
We host a Career Discovery Night, where industry professionals give an overview of the various career paths, the skills required, and the inside scoop on what working in finance is really like. Other past workshops have covered the areas of insurance, commercial and investment banking.
Finance Mentor Program
The Finance Mentorship Program (FMP) is designed to help you understand the various career opportunities in the finance industry and prepare for summer recruitment and interviews. We offer three mentor program streams: Capital Markets, Commercial Banking, and Women in Finance.
You’ll be matched with an industry professional and be expected to complete all aspects of the program, including workshops, resume work, interview practice, and homework assignments. You’ll also agree to share your employment statistics.
The program runs from late September to early January. For program details, log into COOL.
Capital Markets Training and Mentorship Program
The Capital Markets Training Program (CMTP) consists of workshops led by finance professionals who provide students with a solid foundation in investment banking as well as the skills needed to excel in an i-Banking interview.
CMTP prepares finance students for a career in the capital markets/investment banking and showcases the quality of UBC Sauder students to capital markets employers. The program provides high-quality technical training by a leading organization that offers new hire training to banks around the world, and one-on-one mentorship by capital markets professionals located in Vancouver, Toronto and abroad. It also offers access to advanced Excel training and support on building models.
The program is open to BCom students in their third year. Details about the program are posted on COOL in September, with applications due in late September.
CFA Institution Program Partner
The UBC Sauder School of Business is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Program Partner, an internationally recognized designation certifying that the UBC Sauder BCom meets the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge. As a CFA Program Partner, UBC Sauder gives its students the edge they need in pursuing this professional designation and careers in positions as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and investment advisors. To learn more and for questions about the CFA Institute Program Partnership, visit the CFA Institute.
Portfolio Management Foundation
The UBC Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF) is an outstanding opportunity for finance students seeking a career in capital markets. Under the guidance of PMF mentors, select students manage the PMF endowment fund of over $8 million, investing in money markets, fixed income investments of Canadian and foreign issuers and equity investments.
Applications are accepted in January from BCom students completing their second year and intending to enroll in the Finance option. This is a two-year extra-curricular program that trains you for a future career in capital markets, including brokerage sales and trading, investment banking and money management.
Each year, a small number of students are selected for this two-year program, which begins with summer employment in Toronto and continues with intensive extra-curricular portfolio management training through to graduation. Completing the program entitles the student to obtain three credits for an internship (COMM 499) in the last term of their senior year.
Training in financial tools
With the launch of the Wayne Deans Investment Analysis Centre, our partners at the Canaccord Learning Commons (CLC) have launched a series of workshops training students how to use tools commonly used in the investment banking field such as Bloomberg and CapitalIQ.
Students can also optimize their Excel skills through BCC-hosted advanced training courses to complement your academics and face-to-face workshops. See COOL for more workshop details.
Start your career in Finance
Some potential future career paths include:
- Asset Management
- Personal & Commercial Banking
- Corporate Finance
- Investment Banking
- Financial Planning and Stock Brokerage
- Private Equity Investment
- Financial Research
Additional education or certification may be required for some occupations (e.g. completion of association registration, a professional program, or specialized studies).
Positions held by BCom Finance graduates
Who hires BCom Finance grads?