It’s becoming increasingly common for college graduates to branch out after graduation and end up in careers that don’t necessarily correspond to their undergraduate degrees. This type of diversity can be advantageous in the workplace, providing new perspectives and knowledge.
This diversification of degrees is also seen in the finance world. To offer a better understanding of how diverse degrees play out, nine members of Forbes Finance Council share the majors outside of finance that they consider hiring or have hired at their finance firms, and why this has ultimately been an advantage for their business.
1. Liberal Arts Or English
Regardless of industry, I believe it’s important to have people on your team who can verbally and non-verbally communicate with others inside and outside the organization. A lack of effective communication impacts your bottom line and can lead to conflict and stress in the workplace. – Ben Gold, QuickBridge Funding
2. Psychology Or Communications
Psychology and Communications majors with great people skills can be great assets to a financial planning practice. Much of our work is relating complex concepts to our clients in a way that is easy to understand. Similarly, understanding clients emotional needs and expectations is a big part of financial planning. Thus, these majors can have an edge in our field. – Amir Eyal, Mylestone Plans LLC
3. Information Systems
I would consider hiring a college graduate with a major in Information Systems within my finance and accounting department. Data management, data gathering and quality high-volume data sense checks are critical in financial reporting nowadays. Having a resource that can work with a number of software systems and assist you with automating data extractions or importing is extremely important. – Geanette Rodriguez-Ojeda, ARRI Rental
4. Computer Science Or Law
Today’s financial products are dominated by technology. Emerging blockchain-based solutions are bound to address much of the regulatory overhead (“RegTech”) which will require talent that has both sound engineering knowledge as well as an understanding of global legal systems. A combination of computer science and law is therefore more appealing to employers than a master’s degree in business. – Christian Kameir, Sustany Capital
We are in the people business, and there aren’t many majors that compete with the focus on service like a Hospitality major does. Those graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management or other Hospitality majors know the importance of quality customer service and taking care of our clients. – David Gass, Anderson Business Advisors, LLC
6. Data Science
Everything in finance is about data, whether it is trading, regulations, reputation or competitive analysis. Data science involves scientific methods to extract useful insights. Common uses include analysis, quick decision making, prototyping and modeling for calculating risk exposures, adverse news about a company and simulating economic turmoils for preparedness, etc. – Breana Patel, Bonova Advisory Inc
For a flexible, well-rounded finance firm candidate, the best choice would be a graduate with a degree in the humanities. These college grads have a good grasp of language, writing, math and other transferable skills. Marketing, English, History, Math and Economics majors can prove very useful with their soft skills and expertise in world views. – Greg Herlean, Horizon Trust
Many aspects of a finance job can be taught like any other skill. If I was hiring for a finance position, and not support staff, I would be willing to hire somebody with a marketing or advertising degree. They will have developed people skills that are crucial to client relationships along with analytical skills to help them understand the market, evaluate portfolios, manage budgets and reporting. – Jeff Pitta, Senior Market Advisors
Operations is a growing industry of creating efficiencies and effectiveness in organization processes/systems. The ops roles also tend to come paired with rounded experience that touch finance and looking at optimizing spend at the operational level, which can really bring some pragmatic magic to any financial team. – Aman Mann, Procurify