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Finance could be the ideal career path for you if you have strong communication and numeracy skills, a methodical approach to work, and an interest in business.

There are many different routes into the industry, from school leaver programmes and Modern Apprenticeships to graduate and postgraduate training programmes.

Scotland is the second largest financial centre in the UK after London, and one of the leading financial centres in Europe. It’s also one of the world’s largest fund management centres. The financial and insurance services sector employs around 87,000 people in Scotland.

What areas can I work in?

Finance includes: accountancy, banking and building societies, financial planning, insurance, investment management and pensions.

The industry includes a wide range of different careers and areas of work including: sales, customer service, IT, financial advice, management, administration and business support.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Financial services workers operate in many different industries and organisations, from local government to chemical engineering plants.

Types of companies directly relating to the finance industry include:

What’s the job market like?

The main centres for the industry in Scotland are Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are our two most important financial centres. Edinburgh has large banking, pensions and investment management sectors. Glasgow has particular strengths in insurance and accountancy.

In 2015, there were 36,700 financial services jobs in Edinburgh and 23,400 jobs in Glasgow.

According to analysis of graduate vacancies with the UK’s top employers, by High Fliers Research, the biggest growth in vacancies is expected in public sector organisations, accounting and professional services, and engineering and industrial companies. Investment banks are amongst those offering the most generous salaries (median of £47,000 a year).

Accounting and professional services firms, along with public sector employers, were the largest recruiters of graduates in 2017, together hiring more than 8,000 graduates. They are almost expected to be one of the largest recruiters in 2018.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

Depending on the area of finance you want to go into, you can find useful information on education, qualifications and careers on the following websites: ICAS; Chartered Banker; the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy; and the Chartered Insurance Institute


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