The job seekers are still attracted to this sector because of the enormous salaries on offer. Banking is a volatile sector, subject to the whim of the markets and greater competition. Some analysts predict there are more takeovers to come, which would almost certainly lead to job losses. It is a very traditional area of the economy and it’s still the case that young white men who went to the right university rise highest and fastest, although the picture is improving for female and minority
Generally, the salaries compensate for a stressful work environment. Burn-out rates are high, working weeks can easily be 80 hours for juniors at City firms and competition for promotion is fierce. Consequently, this is a sector to which not everyone is suited.
You can specialize in any number of disciplines – fund management, stock broking, currency trading, corporate finance, venture capital – or you can work in a high street branch as a mortgage adviser, business banker, etc. Often managers take entire teams with them when they are poached and career advancement seems to have nearly as much to do with networking as it does performance.
Generally, this industry is geared up to recruit graduates and getting in several years after university can be difficult without a personal recommendation. Try smaller banks as they often have a more creative approach to recruitment. Non-graduates can take part in in-house training schemes (normally three to five years) operated by most banks that pay between £12,000 and £17,000 pa. You could also work sector-by-sector information for career changers 155 as a clerk – maybe in a department such as settlements or funds – and earn £18,000 to £22,000 pa.
A 2:1 degree or higher is a standard for City jobs and generally banks only look at candidates with at least 24 UCAS points at A-level. For career changers, banks also look for the following qualities: problem-solving and numeracy skills, lateral thinking, good communication and analytical skills, leadership potential.
Starting salaries are higher than most sectors, typically around £25,000, but senior bankers earn anything up to £150,000 a year, with an annual bonus of roughly a year’s salary on top of that. Top brokers and financiers can easily earn a basic £500,000 pa.