Table of Contents
It is no secret that an MBA in Finance is one of the most preferred and valued degrees today. Almost any individual willing to carve a successful career path signs up for this master’s program. But, the main question is – is your MBA in Finance degree enough? What do employers want from finance graduates? Do you have a skill set that matches their evolving requirements?
Understanding what potential employers are looking for and then developing your skill set will help you become the ideal candidate. To help you out with this, we have made a comprehensive list of finance skills that employers value. So, if you want to get closer to becoming the most preferred candidate, keep reading.
Related Article: An Ultimate Guide On: Skills Required for MBA
Considering the number of job profiles in the finance industry, the skill set might vary. Hence, we have included skills that are common among most financial professionals.
Let’s get started.
Ten years ago if you were to think about a finance professional, you would mostly picture someone bound to their cubicle. But, fortunately, that era isn’t there anymore. Apart from crunching numbers regularly, these experts are expected to work with clients.
When it comes to working with clients, you have to know how to understand their requirements, build trust, and a professional relationship that benefits your organization. And, to make this kind of rapport, you should work on your interpersonal skills day regularly.
Simply, this refers to the disclosure of financial results to the board and stakeholders such as investors, customers, regulators, and more. Financial reporting helps understand how a company has performed over a specific period.
Even though it sounds pretty straightforward, in reality, it is quite challenging to find candidates with strong financial reporting skills. Financial companies want applicants who can present a high aptitude for financial reporting.
While presenting important information like financial reports, you need to look at all the facts. This is where logic plays a vital role. Presenting any data is not just about reading from the slides. You have to know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
At every point, you should know how to weigh the pros and cons of your actions. This skill will help you reason through important decisions, come up with creative ideas, and create strategies to accomplish your goals all of which are necessary for advancing your career.
You might have an MBA from one of the best colleges, you might know the latest methods to address issues and have excellent communication skills. But, all of this wouldn’t matter much, if you can’t manage your time.
Today, employers want to hire individuals who value their time and know how to use it efficiently. This trait does not just lead to higher productivity, but also reduces stress, and helps build a dedicated working environment.
Gone are the days when the finance department was all about maintaining huge file records and stuffing their offices with them. Thanks to today’s advanced technology, it has become much easier and faster to find, process, and store the bulk of information you need to work in finance.
However, to reap these benefits, you need to understand that technology. This is because the available tools continuously evolve. So, you also have to keep yourself updated with modern information technology. Staying updated with the latest practices will help you be in a good position to succeed.
In Finance, a comprehensive set of technical skills is crucial. Highlighting these key skills on resumes can significantly enhance the appeal of MBA Finance graduates to prospective employers. Now, let’s delve into the specific technical competencies that can set you apart in the competitive landscape.
Accounting proficiency includes mastery in interpreting financial documents such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and annual reports. The ability to extract essential data to evaluate a company’s financial health and strategic direction is crucial.
Analytical Thinking includes adeptness in financial statement analysis and is essential for comprehending and leveraging information for informed decision-making. Proficiency in reviewing key financial documents provides valuable insights into a company’s overall performance.
This involves making data-driven financial decisions to position a company for success. This skill includes estimating financial impacts, such as calculating return on investment (ROI).
Demonstrating the ability to manage people and various components of a company’s capital structure. This skill set also includes experience in budget preparation, emphasizing collaboration, communication, and strategic direction.
Requires proficiency in financial forecasting using historical performance data to predict future financial scenarios. Additionally, the skill in cash flow forecasting ensures a company’s stability by managing future expenses effectively.
Strong oral and written communication skills are essential, including the ability to explain financial concepts in simple terms. Competence in financial literacy, encompassing understanding and utilization of financial terminology and statements, is critical.
This includes assessing and managing risks associated with investments. Knowledge of sustainable investing, incorporating environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors in decision-making, is increasingly important.
Now this skill is slightly different and new as compared to the ones mentioned above. As the name suggests, you need to have a brief knowledge of the trade and financial practices based on a particular region.
For instance, the finance rules that are valid in India might not be relevant in the States. So, if you want to work abroad or in a different city, you should keep yourself informed about their business practices.
Any company hiring an MBA in Finance graduate isn’t looking just for technical knowledge. They also want to know if you can handle a team, communicate and present your ideas to the board, work under pressure, and more.
Although it is not a must, you are likely to be preferred if you have had this work experience. Remember, employers are never looking for someone who will do what they are asked. They want someone with a vision to grow the company, and this is where your management experience comes into the picture.
Indeed, finance and accounting are often associated with routines and systems. However, this does not mean that this isn’t the place to innovate. Employers prefer candidates who can break the pattern and can produce something new that will benefit the company.
Embarking on a career in finance as an MBA student or fresher requires a strategic focus on developing a skill set that aligns with industry demands. Highlighting the following skills on your resume will set you apart and make you a valuable asset to potential employers:
Accounting positions demand a specific skill set encompassing the proper recording of transactions, maintenance of records, and adherence to accounting regulations. Key skills include general ledger expertise, proficiency in accounting techniques, budgeting, and a mastery of Microsoft Excel.
For roles in financial analysis, possessing skills in budget preparation, financial literacy, and data analytics is crucial. Employers seek candidates proficient in financial reporting, financial modelling, and effective communication to rationalize costs and maintain budgets.
Auditors, responsible for managing financial records need critical thinking, communication, and data analysis skills. Proficiency in internal auditing standards, fraud awareness, risk management, and financial reporting is essential for success in auditing roles.
Financial controllers oversee accounting activities and require skills such as office technology, strategic planning, and proficiency in financial reporting. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, transaction processes, and cost analysis are also integral to the role.
Bookkeepers play a vital role in financial document preparation and recording. Employers seek candidates with skills in mathematics, accounting, Microsoft Excel, and bookkeeping software. Attention to detail, organization, and effective communication are also valued.
Financial managers are responsible for creating budgets, overseeing daily financial operations, and making investment decisions. Skills such as quantitative analysis, risk management, strategic planning, and proficiency in accounting software contribute to success in financial management positions.
By incorporating these skills into your resume, you present yourself as a well-rounded and competent MBA Finance graduate, ready to contribute effectively in the dynamic field of finance.
Do you have what it takes to build a successful career in finance? Remember, when looking at two graduates with the same degree, these skills make a difference. So, make sure you work on building and enhancing this skill set day in and day out. All the best!
At ASMs IBMR, we aim to empower our students with sound financial knowledge while enhancing this skill set. So, if you want to take a step closer to a glorious financial profession, sign up for our master’s program right away.