Finance Major Skills List

Financial professionals, or financial advisors, help clients properly manage their money. The career can be personally rewarding, since you’re helping your clients to live better, and can be a lucrative career as well. The work is hard, especially in the beginning, but highly flexible. Because of the compensation structures common in the industry, an established advisor can go on an extended sabbatical and continue to earn income from work done in the past.

In most cases, you will need at least a bachelors’ degree, usually in finance, business, economics, or statistics, as well as an internship, in order to work as a financial advisor. Some employers or clients will insist on a masters’ degree. There are several subtypes of financial advisor, such as financial planners. The subtypes, in turn, have subtypes.

Whether you need professional certification, and what certifications you need, will depend on which subtype you belong to and whom you work for (whether you work for the public, for example). Whether you need certification or not, however, it is always recommended,

Here's a list of the top 10 job options for finance majors to review.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use skills lists to get a sense of whether a certain type of job is a good match for you. For example, if you have what it takes to be a financial professional, you might choose to major in finance.

Then, when you are ready to search for a job, you can use the names of these skills as keywords in your resume or other application materials. When you write your cover letter, you can again highlight some of your relevant skills. For your interview, be prepared to give examples of specific times you embodied these skills.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, even if the positions are outwardly similar, so make sure you read the job description carefully before applying.

You may also want to review our lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Top Financial Professional Skills

Of course, to be a financial advisor, you must be knowledgeable about relevant laws and regulations, tax structures, financial instruments, and economic theory. But there are several core soft skills that you will also need and that may not be covered in school.

Communication

To give advice, one must of course communicate clearly. A good advisor understands what the client wants and needs and can answer questions and even anticipate questions the client does not think to ask. In fact, so critical is good communication to a successful career in finance that some financial planners recommend that aspiring advisors get a degree in communication, rather than in finance or economics.

Handling Stress

Finance is a very high-stakes field, because if somebody makes a mistake, lives could be all but ruined. It is critical to be able to retain an awareness of the seriousness of the situation while letting the stress itself go.

Not only does a stressed-out adviser give poor service, but there is no good reason for you to endanger your health through continued stress.

Attention to Detail

As a financial advisor, you will have to pay careful attention to detail, in part because you’re handling numbers. Accidentally moving a decimal place due to thoughtlessness is not an option. And forgetting a “little” regulation could be the difference between successfully helping a client and straying into criminal activity—or simply not getting the client the best possible return.

Problem Solving

Giving financial advice is, of course, all about solving problems for your clients. You can learn the technical details of the field in school and in other forms of training, like your internship, but you have to supply the ability to put all this information together and apply it to your client’s particular situation.

Highlight the skills you acquired during your studies, internships and jobs held during college in your cover letters, resume and job applications.

Finance Major Skills List

A - C

  • Advanced Microsoft Excel
  • Analyzing Income and Expenditure Statements
  • Analyzing the Relationship Between Risk and Return
  • Applying Regression Analysis
  • Applying the Concept of Time Value of Money
  • Assessing Balance Sheets
  • Asset Allocation Within a Portfolio
  • Attention to Detail
  • Back Testing Prospective Investments
  • Calculating Price Earnings Ratios
  • Calculating Return on Investment
  • Calculating Simple and Compound Interest
  • Carrying Out Quantitative Research
  • Collaboration on Projects
  • Composing Executive Summaries
  • Conducting Qualitative Research
  • Constructing a Persuasive Argument
  • Constructing Balance Sheets
  • Creating Financial Models
  • Creating Income and Expenditure Statements
  • Critical Thinking

D - L

  • Decision Making
  • Determining Price Earnings to Growth Ratios
  • Devising Statements of Retained Earnings
  • Dissecting Statements of Cash Flow
  • Evaluating the Financial Status of Companies
  • Explaining the Determinants of a Firm's Capital Structure
  • Facilitating Group Discussions
  • Facility with a Data Management Programs
  • Financial Planning
  • Forecasting Revenues
  • Foreign Language
  • Formulating Capital Budgets Analyses
  • Fundamental Analysis of Securities
  • Integrity
  • Leadership

M - Q

  • Managing a Mock Portfolio
  • Methods for Monte Carlo Simulations
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Motivating Others
  • Multitasking 
  • Note Taking
  • Presentation
  • Prioritizing 
  • Problem Solving
  • Producing Statements of Cash Flow
  • Projecting Expenses
  • Project Management
  • Providing Feedback
  • Quantitative Analysis of Securities

R - Z

  • Receiving Criticism
  • Reviewing Statements of Retained Earning
  • Risk Taking
  • Solving Equations 
  • Stress Management
  • Taking Initiative
  • Teamwork
  • Test Taking
  • Time Management
  • Verbal Communication
  • Writing Research Reports
  • Writing Stock Analyses

More Lists of Skills
Here’s a list of skills employers are looking for, including soft skills, general skills, and hard skills for a variety of different jobs..

Read More: How to Answer Interview Questions About Skills | What to Include in a Resume Skills Section | List of Skills Employers Seek in Job Applicants