Career Profile: Pittsburgh Finance and Banking Jobs

Career Profile: Pittsburgh Finance and Banking Jobs

Pittsburgh probably doesn't make many people's short list of finance and banking centers, but in 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.

Several major corporations call Pittsburgh home, including US Steel, CONSOL Energy, Dick's Sporting Goods, WESCO, American-Eagle Outfitters, Bayer, Calgon Carbon, Freemarkets, Heinz, U.S. Airways, and Westinghouse. Pittsburgh is also ranked (in a tie) for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation.

Most recently, Pittsburgh was chosen for the 2009 G-20 summit as the region's metamorphosis has been seen as a prime example of an emerging 21st century economy. Economist have noted that Pittsburgh has seen fewer effects of the recent economic recession than many other American cities. This is because of its transistion from an economy based heavily on manufacturing, to a diversified one focused on new technologies, healthcare, tourism, and finance.

On September 8, 2009 President Barack Obama stated, "Pittsburgh stands as a bold example of how to create new jobs and industries while transitioning to a 21st century economy."

Careers in finance in the Pittsburgh region come in a variety of forms. With a degree in business management, or finance, the range of opportunities students may pursue is practically limitless.

Employment & Training

The general areas of finance are business finance, personal finance, and public finance.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), office and administrative support accounts for 64 percent of jobs in the banking industry. The BLS defines the following careers in banking and finance:

Bank tellers, the largest occupation, provide routine financial services to the public. Tellers handle customers' deposits and withdrawals, change money, sell money orders and traveler's checks, and accept payment for loans. They also sell bank services to customers.

New accounts clerks and customer service representatives answer questions from customers, and help them open and close accounts and apply for banking services. They are knowledgeable about a broad array of bank services and must be able to sell those services to potential clients.

Financial managers direct bank branches and departments, resolve customers' problems, ensure that standards of service are maintained, and administer the institutions' operations and investments.

Loan officers evaluate loan applications, determine an applicant's ability to repay a loan, and recommend approval of loans. They usually specialize in commercial, consumer, or mortgage lending. When loans become delinquent, loan officers, or loan counselors, may advise borrowers on the management of their finances or take action to collect outstanding amounts. Loan officers also play a major role in bringing in new business and spend much of their time developing relationships with potential customers.

Trust officers manage a variety of assets that were placed in trust with the bank for other people or organizations; these assets can include pension funds, school endowments, or a company's profit-sharing plan. Sometimes, trust officers act as executors of estates upon a person's death. They also may work as accountants, lawyers, and investment managers.

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, who make up the majority of sales positions in banks, sell banking and investing services. They contact potential customers to explain their services and determine the customer's banking and other financial needs. They also may discuss services, such as deposit accounts, lines of credit, sales or inventory financing, certificates of deposit, cash management, stock investments, or investment services. These sales agents also solicit businesses to participate in consumer credit card programs. At most small and medium-size banks, however, branch managers and commercial loan officers are responsible for marketing the bank's financial services. This has become a more important task in recent years.

Accountants and auditors, lawyers, and computer specialists are also common jobs in banking.

When making a decision on which specific degree program to pursue, prospective students must first consider their desired specialty. Employers look for candidates with knowledge and skills in several areas including: financial risk management, ownership equity, fund management, investment management, accounting, behavioral finance, and more.

Top Finance & Business Schools in Pittsburgh, PA

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