Financial services tend to be lumped together with banking and accountancy as all these areas deal with money. There is some overlap, however, there are differences that are very important to understand if you are going to pursue a career in any of these sectors.

Accountants will generally deal with the internal financial operations of company while bankers are concerned with the operational management of financial accounts and facilitating inter-company financial dealings. Finance careers are more concerned with the big picture, often working as consultants for large firms, brought on by various companies to provide advice and assess risk. Many large companies will also have in house finance teams and offer graduate programmes in the field.

Actuarial Services: actuaries are business professionals who assess risk in areas such as insurance and pensions. It is there job to ensure that the policies being written are appropriate and the company will be able to pay out if necessary. To become an actuary you will have to train towards your professional qualifications while working - often you will have study days for this. It usually takes 4-6 years to qualify, although you may be granted some exemptions due to modules you have taken during your degree.

Internal Finance: if you apply to a place on a Finance Graduate Programme, chances are you will do several rotations through departments such as:

  • Commercial finance – delivers against financial and operational targets
  • Audit – a team of qualified accountants will carry out the audit but there are many other members of the team employed to ensure important lessons are learned from the process and analyse the results.
  • Tax – working in tax it will be your job to ensure the company is paying the correct amount and finding exemptions that could save the company money.
  • Control – analyses and reports on financial status

Whichever area you decide to focus on, you will play a vital role in the structure and growth of the organisation.

What are employers looking for?

For the most part, employers will be looking for people who have completed STEM or business degrees to a high level. They may also require you to supply your A level and even GCSE results, but don’t be scared off!

Key Skills: Problem solving, numeracy, teamwork, organisation/time management

Recruiters in this sector:


Allianz is one of the largest insurers in the UK. We are able to offer customers a wide range of products including home, motor, life and more...

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading independent charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Our ambition is to accelerate progress and see three in four people surviving the disease by 2034.


Deloitte provide Audit, Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance services across all major industries.

Deutsche Bank

At Deutsche Bank, we’re changing what it means to be a bank. It’s about making a positive difference and cultivating new perspectives.


We provide expert international wealth advice to expatriate clients and international high net worth investors around the world.

Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone is Europe’s number one electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, with more than 40,000 colleagues across nine countries, including the UK and Ireland.


Experian is the world's leading information services company and we operate the UK's largest credit reference agency.

FDM Group

FDM Group is an award-winning company and the market leader in the Recruit, Train and Deploy industry.

HM Revenue & Customs

With around 60,000 employees, more than £627 billion revenue and around 45 million customers, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a major government department with serious responsibilities.

HM Treasury

HM Treasury is the government’s economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending, setting the direction of the UK’s economic policy and working to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth.

National Audit Office

The National Audit Office offer graduates ICAEW Accountancy training.

NFU Mutual

One of the UK’s leading general insurance and financial services companies, NFU Mutual has been meeting our customers’ needs for over 100 years.


One firm - a powerhouse of a commercial enterprise that does the right thing for our clients, our people and our communities.

Quilter Financial Adviser School

The Financial Adviser School is part of Quilter; the new name for the Old Mutual Wealth group. It is a leading provider of advice, investments and wealth management both in the UK and internationally.


At ReAssure, we're one of the leading UK closed-book Life and Pensions administrators.


As one of the largest networks of audit, tax and consulting firms in the world, we help graduates kick-start their career in business.

Teach First

Teach First is an independent charity aimed at addressing one of the UK's most damaging social issues.

The London Institute of Banking and Finance

Our focus is on lifelong learning; equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to achieve what they want throughout their career and life.

TK Maxx / HomeSense, part of TJX Europe

You might not have heard of TJX Europe, but you’ve probably heard of our brands – TK Maxx and Homesense.


uLeague is a career service platform that offers professional pathways in Digital Marketing, Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Trading, and Banking & Finance, which are accompanied by a suite of tech-enabled tools for professional development.


We have extensive experience in connectivity, convergence and the Internet of Things, as well as championing mobile financial services and digital transformation in emerging markets.