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A major in finance teaches students about all aspects of money management. Possible areas of study include investments, trading, financial law and risk management. Graduates of this major usually find employment in the banking and finance sectors, but also in industries like manufacturing, energy and resources. The financial services sector in Australia is highly regulated and those who provide financial advice must attain industry certification, often in addition to their university qualifications.
Students must complete the units set out in the course list to meet the academic requirements for associate membership of CPA Australia and enrolment in the CPA Program, and for enrolment in the Chartered Accountants Program of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. This linked information must be read in conjunction with the approved program documentation detailed below.
The Finance Major Sequence in the Bachelor of Commerce meets the requirements for the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA). Students may also be able to gain accreditation with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) with regard to various education and knowledge requirements under RG146. For more details see the ASIC website.
The Business Project elective is available to Bachelor of Commerce students which involves working on a real world organisational issue with a local business.
For more information about Finance, visit the Newcastle Business School site.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree with a major in Finance include:
Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree. View Bachelor of Commerce (Honours).
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postggraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
The following list provides some examples of typical jobs available to those majoring in Finance. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, and some may require further study.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained during the Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Students graduating with a major in Finance find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- ACT Department of Treasury (Australia)
- AMP (Australia)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Australia)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- AXA Investment Managers (Australia)
- Barclays Capital (International)
- Barclays (International)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Deloitte (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Bachelor of Commerce graduates majoring in Finance will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
Graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce will:
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Work effectively independently and in teams.
- Engage in critical thinking and analytical problem-solving.
- Demonstrate knowledge of theory, models and concepts relevant to Accounting, Finance or Economics and be proficient in their application.
- Display proficiency in the utilization of information and technology in business.
- Apply business skills that incorporate understanding of global and ethical issues.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.