For many young professionals and finance students, a career in asset management is attractive. Asset management involves monitoring, controlling, and maintaining a company’s assets. However, it requires savvy professionals who have the right skills and expertise to make sound decisions.
Asset managers tend to earn high attractive salaries, and perhaps this is why you want to start a career in this field. It’s worth noting, however, that most of these jobs are competitive. You’ll need to have excellent grades, advanced degrees, and the commitment to work in a fast-paced environment if you want to succeed and earn high pay. On that note, here are five tips to get you started in asset management.
1. Understand the different career paths.
A career in asset management offers you flexibility as there are various career paths that you can follow. Some will require that you undergo an advanced degree program and undertake one or two financial certification exams. You can achieve others with an undergraduate degree. The point is, your years of experience and educational background will determine your advancement and career path in this industry. This is why our first tip requires you to decide what asset management area interests you, then you can build yourself from them by acquiring the necessary educational requirements.
Common career paths under asset management include portfolio manager, financial advisor, fund accountant, investment manager, and mutual fund manager. It’s also worthy to note that experience in project management doesn’t limit you only to finance roles. Caitlin Gossage is a good example of this. She has experience in investment management; however, she came from a legal background and currently works as VP Operations & Chief Compliance Officer with Forthlane. The bottom line is that knowing the career path you want will give you focus and help you make informed choices about your education.
2. Get a finance degree.
Hopefully, while reading this, you’re either a prospective student or a current college student, because you’ll need more than a high school diploma to start a career in asset management. A finance bachelor’s degree forms the foundation for an asset management career. It should be your first step in the journey towards becoming an asset manager. Furthermore, the industry can be competitive, so a bachelor’s degree in finance isn’t enough to stand out.
Therefore, to advance and stand out from the competition, you should consider getting a master’s degree or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). You see, as an applicant with an MBA degree certificate, you’ll be in high demand in the job market. Admittedly, getting into top business schools like Harvard University isn’t the easiest, and the application process can be complex. However, you can schedule a meeting with a Harvard admissions contact or Harvard alumni to get additional information on the prerequisites of gaining admission and how to access financial aid or scholarships.
3. Pursue a management training program.
Enrolling in a management training program is a great way to prepare for your career and gain the skills to be a project management professional (PMP), especially if you’re an undergraduate or have graduate-level education. Many management training programs are flexible or include online courses and can be combined with other things. For instance, you can earn a project manager certification online while working as an intern.
At the end of the online project management course, you’ll need to sit for a PMP certification exam, and if you pass, then you’ll have the credentials to be a certified associate and project manager. It’s always better for you to sign up with a project management training instructor, as they’ll provide you with hours of project management education and practice questions to help you ace your PMP exam in one sitting.
4. Look out for opportunities.
When you first start hunting for jobs in asset management, it can feel slow, and you may not get the type of job you were hoping for as a student. However, don’t be discouraged. Instead, think of it as you paying your dues as some of these low-level jobs will help you get a foot in the door and gain valuable experience.
Don’t shy away from trying out other related job roles in marketing, research analysis, and sales. Once you can master them and build credibility, you’ll have an advantage over other applicants whenever you have the opportunity to apply for another job.
Remember that the senior manager you’re admiring today most likely had to start from the bottom like you. So, don’t relent in your endeavors and commitment to success.
5. Set yourself apart from the competition.
As earlier mentioned, the asset management industry is highly competitive as top firms want to have only the best employees on their team. Therefore, you’ll need to find ways to set yourself apart from the crowd and competition. Once again, now is the time to reflect on the career path you want and find ways to make yourself stand out in that field.
For instance, a CFA is one of the most recognized investment management certifications globally, and earning the charter will boost your career prospects. Although it’s not easy to become a chartered CFA, it’s usually an investment that pays off eventually.