Banking is a traditional career area for graduates, as is the wider financial services sector and a financial background is not necessarily a prerequisite in finding a career in the industry as it is common for graduates in the industry to pursue further professional qualifications. However most banks will require a minimum 2.2 degree from graduate candidates as well competencies such as leadership ability, drive, motivation and commercial awareness.
Banking is mainly divided into; corporate banking, which provides services to large organisations; retail banking, which provides services to individual and smaller businesses; and investment banking. Financial services cover areas such as pensions, insurance and risk management.
The accountancy industry covers a wide range of interesting areas, including
The market in Ireland is dominated by the so called 'Big 4' of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and KPMG, with these four alone employing 500-800 graduates per year. Similarly to the banking industry, prospective accountants will find that a relevant degree specification is not essential in gaining a graduate trainee contract with one of the above or another firm. However the completion of further professional qualifications will be required.
If you are considering a career in Accountancy note that you should possess a number of key skills; strong business acumen, good communication skills, numerical ability and an analytical approach to work.