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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 international financial hub 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 96,000 people in Scotland.

What areas can I work in?

The financial services industry is divided into five main sub sectors: banking, asset management, general insurance, life and pensions, and intermediation.

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.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

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 2018, there were 38,685 people employed in financial services (banking, insurance, fund management and other services) and accountancy jobs in Edinburgh, and 29,270 in Glasgow.

According to analysis of graduate vacancies with the UK’s top employers, by High Fliers Research, the biggest growth in vacancies in 2020 is expected in accounting and professional services. Investment banks are amongst those offering the most generous salaries (median of £50,000 a year).

The Skills Development Scotland Modern Apprenticeship Statistics report for 2019/20 states that there were 754 Financial Services Modern Apprentices in training, a decrease in numbers of 196 on the previous year.

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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