By Vinciane Ngomsi
Women are needed more than ever at the top levels of the financial world. As career level increases, female presence decreases—and this is particularly true of finance. A Mercer report revealed that while 46 percent of workers in the financial sector are women, only 15 percent hold roles at the executive level. The time has come for women make moves in this male-dominated industry.
But for many, becoming an accountant or CFO just doesn’t get them excited about studying finance. The good news is, you can do a lot more with a finance degree than push papers.
1. Investor relations professional
If you’re an effective communicator and have a knack for organization, perhaps a career as an investor relations pro is for you. Expect to absorb and translate data from fiscal documents and present them to your employer, their investors, and other key stakeholders. PayScale notes that investor relations associates earn an average salary of $66,331, while managers make an average of $87,717.
2. Financial or commercial attorney
Financial lawyers investigate accusations of economic mismanagement. Attorneys may represent lenders (banks) or borrows (companies) when discussing contracts and transactions that involve assets or capital. If that’s not your jam, consider becoming a commercial attorney—they aid in helping companies restructure their business models to ensure their capital is properly allocated and the business is profitable. While you’ll need to get A J.D. after undergrad, the return is high: the average salary of a financial attorney in 2015 was $136,260.
Economists help the businesses and the public understand how business trends, interest rates, and other monetary factors affect the world and individuals. Economists use data to analyze current economic landscapes and provide forecasts. A career in academia as a professor of economics or economic historian is also an option. Major financial publications also hire economists to pen op-eds or analysis pieces, too. Expect to make an average salary of $74,000.
4. Retail buyer
Let’s say you earned a finance degree, but also have a side hustle as a fashion blogger. Why not combine the two and pursue a career as a retail buyer? Retail buyers at top consumer goods corporations determine what products will make their way to stores for purchase by studying the market and predicting a product’s success. Retail buyers make an average salary of $56,707.
If you’re passionate about a particular cause and want to dedicate your life raising awareness and powering change, look no further than a job as a fundraiser. Fundraisers, also referred to as directors of annual giving at institutions of higher learning, host events, apply for grants, and meet with potential donors. If you want a leg up, start your career early by volunteering for a nonprofit while still in undergrad. Fundraisers earn an average salary of $56,640 and can work for NGOs, universities, non-profits, social organizations, and more.
6. Data scientist or data analyst
Your background in numbers and financial analysis could set you up perfectly for a career as a data scientist or analyst. Finance majors who go after these job titles are employable across just about any industry you could think of, from banking and investments to business, software, healthcare, venture capital, retail, urban planning, and more. Data scientists make an average salary of $96,089 (and usually have a master’s degree) and data analysts make an average salary of $59,559.
Read more: How to Find a Job You Love (No, Really)