Accountancy and financial management
Careers in finance for graduates

Your career in finance

Despite the pandemic, the finance market continues to develop at quite a robust rate at both the international and domestic level. Finance jobs are broad in terms of scope and potential, with more established careers in banking and finance being joined by new, technology based, financial services industry jobs.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) remains a massive contributor to the economy, and any drop in investment would be a massive concern

The core growth sectors for the
Irish economy remain in the sectors of finance, professional services, technology, life sciences and FMCG. While the pandemic will result in a sharp drop in GDP, it is hoped that the country’s low inflation rate and attractive tax base will help it recover quickly. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) remains a massive contributor to the economy, and any drop in investment would be a massive concern, but the finance jobs trend remains healthy due to the country’s long established benefits as a small, open, well-connected economy which is part of the EU, with a healthy jobs market for finance graduates and career opportunities in the finance sector.

Allied to the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the continuing uncertainties surrounding Brexit add considerable volatility to the economic landscape into which graduates are entering. Although many programmes are now operating remotely, the most common route of entry remains formalised graduate schemes, operated by many national and international firms. On a graduate scheme you will learn the business from the inside on a structured training programme, and will be exposed to different aspects of what makes it function.

What employers are looking for? While employers do target students with finance, business or mathematical related degrees, opportunities do exist for graduates across a wide range of disciplines. While many employers require at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, this requirement is less stringent then it has been previously for many roles. Graduates who have a genuine interest in the world of finance and business and are commercially aware are always of interest to employers. They also like candidates who have some knowledge of the area of finance in which they would like to work. It is such a diverse field that attention to detail really stands out in an application, as opposed to a generic application.

Some of the core skills the employers seek:

  • Data skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Numeracy skills
  • IT skills
  • Foreign languages
  • Initiative and motivation
  • Communication and presentation skills

Client and stakeholder relations is a massive part of the world of finance so communication is key, both internally and externally. Foreign languages are also a huge asset
due to the global nature of finance, though they are not always linked to travel related roles.


Accountancy
This is the area with the highest percentage of graduate roles according to the gradireland Graduate Salary and Graduate Recruitment Trends survey. An accountant with the right experience can expect a diverse and growing range of career opportunities. The average salary for a graduate starting in accountancy is in the region of €27,000.


Professional services Major firms, such as the Big 4 of Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, have spearheaded the continuing growth of Ireland’s financial professional services industry. The continuing high rate of foreign direct investment into the island of Ireland has meant that there has been a steady growth in business within this sector. The services offered by professional services firms continue to expand too. There remains a strong demand for excellent tax and audit services and advice in addition to growing demand for transfer pricing, corporate tax and VAT expertise.


Funds Ireland is a major player in the global funds industry and there are a range of diverse, dynamic and exciting roles within the industry in both Irish and global firms. The range of skills within the funds industry continues to expand across all the major areas of fund promotion, fund management and fund administration.


Fintech Financial technology, or fintech, continues to revolutionise the financial sector in general. The amalgamation of financial services with technology is reshaping how the sector operates in sectors such as online and mobile payments and transactions. For graduates from a business, finance or legal degree, the fintech space is one of great opportunity. In addition to numeracy and analytical skills, knowledge of SQL, UNIX and SQL and similar skills are increasingly in demand.