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. The Scottish financial services sector employs around 84,000 professionals across more than 2,000 businesses.
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.
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:
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.
The latest figures show there are 44,000 people employed in Scotland’s banking sector (about 11% of the UK total)and around 23,000 people in the general insurance, life assurance and pensions sector (about 7% of the UK total).
Skills Development Scotland research indicates that although the financial services sector experienced a fall in activity due to the pandemic, it was slightly less affected than the Scottish economy as a whole.
Short terms forecasts, up to 2024, suggest that there could be some job growth, but longer term there may be a decline.
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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