Banking, insurance and financial services
Banking is a traditional career area for graduates, as is the wider financial services sector. Although many graduate entrants have a financial background there are also openings for those with degrees in other subjects: you can expect good training on a graduate programme and there may be a chance to extend your knowledge through professional exams.
Banking employers actively search for graduates to take the business forward and many of them run graduate recruitment schemes. Employers usually start accepting applications for their graduate programmes in September or October, so be prepared to apply early in the first term of your final year.
Banking is mainly divided into corporate banking, which provides banking services to large organisations; retail banking, which provides services to individual and smaller businesses; and investment banking. Financial services covers areas such as pensions, insurance and risk management.
Management training schemes in retail banks (the smaller, high street branches of large commercial banks) give you a chance to manage your own branch within a few years. But there are also roles for graduates with specialist skills, such as IT, as well as graduate jobs in other support functions, such as marketing and HR. Other specialist areas, which you can train for on the job, include risk management, compliance and, particularly in the insurance sector, actuarial work.
Within this sector you can also find work with insurance companies, consultancies, specialist finance firms and businesses that built their reputation in a different sector before diversifying into offering financial services products.
Most careers in this sector will suit graduates with a feel for business, but there are many different paths: a job in a retail bank or building society would suit those with good people skills, while actuarial work needs graduates who are strong on numeracy.
Banking, insurance and financial services careers advice
- How to get a job in retail banking, insurance and financial services
Tips for graduates on finding vacancies and applying for jobs in banking, insurance and financial services. More...
- Top employers in banking, insurance and financial services
The most popular graduate recruiters in banking, insurance and financial services More...
- Andrew Pitcher, Business Analyst, Citi
- Dermot Macnamara, Corporate Finance Trainee, Deloitte
- Gareth Locke, Ulster Bank Retail Graduate Programme
- John McCarthy, Bank Executive, Central Bank of Ireland
- Kevin Colgan, Assistant Trader, Susquehanna International Group
- Louise McGuigan, ETF Trader, Susquehanna International Group
- Lucie Dunlop, Business Analyst, Ulster Bank
- Maurice Gates, Pensions Administrator, Mercer
- Therese Gallagher, Fund Administrator, The Bank of New York Mellon
- Thomas O'Reilly, Business Developer, Irish Life & Permanent
- Trish O'Dowd, Compliance Officer, Investec Ireland
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