The financial sector is one of the leading private employers in France. With more than 700,000 employees, it offers positions with various profiles: financial analyst, financial engineer, financial market consultant, quantitative analyst… Finance is an industry in its own right, with complex products and processes.
The world of finance needs to evolve and innovate rapidly in terms of technology to transform its business, stay at the peak of its performance and facilitate financial transactions safely.
Thanks to their advanced mathematical, computer and technical skills, engineering profiles are particularly popular to support these transformations and innovate.
What are the other skills required to work in finance with an engineering degree? What are the main markets? How to succeed in this highly coveted sector?
Acquire a double technological and sectoral competence
Mastering mathematical calculations is not enough to work in a sector as demanding and competitive as finance. It is essential to understand the complexity of financial markets such as banking and actuarial risk management and to master the computer tools and programming languages commonly used in the banking industry (Bloomberg, Matlab, C ++, C #, VBA, Python…).
The new stakes of this sector must also be assimilated, such as the new financial environment after the crisis (Basel 3), the new banking regulations, the drafting of smart-contracts, etc.
Having followed during its training engineering specialization or a major “financial engineering” as proposed by some schools such as ESILV can be immediately operational and responsive in this rapidly changing world. It is also possible to follow additional training in a business school to acquire a double degree.
Varied opportunities for young engineers
If you want to start your finance-oriented internship very early, it is a good key to apply to the most popular organizations and reach the grail of the job in the trading room. In investment banks and financial institutions, young engineers often enter as “structurers” or “quants”.
Their mission? Use financial mathematics and computer science to model infinitely, analyze and anticipate market behavior, optimize portfolios. In auditing and consulting firms, mergers and acquisitions arbitration is often entrusted to junior consultants.
In the case of insurers, particularly applicants for engineers for good risk assessment practice, young graduates enter as actuaries, financial analysts, preventionist engineers. Exporting abroad can be a good idea to start.
Identify new growth areas
For your dream to become a reality, the right path is to approach the market through the positions that are recruiting, even if they are not the ones you were aiming for. It is sometimes better to avoid going headlong into the front office as salesman, trading and structuring trades because the competition is tough, to position oneself on new functions, in full expansion.
Young engineers are very popular in the new risk management made more complex by the new financial guidelines. They can start in the market finance as junior analyst. Their skills in industrial strategies or risk analyze allow them to work in mergers and acquisitions. Employers are banks and their corporate finance division, small shops and mergers and acquisitions consulting firms or large consulting firms. Other emerging businesses exist such as those related to asset management. Fund management activity is rising sharply.
The insurance industry, which is very dynamic, currently employs 15,000 people a year and recruits engineers who are familiar with the pricing and provisioning issues of an insurance contract. The actuarial profession, which specializes in actuarial calculations and risk management, is in full development.
The trend is also towards “more computing” to master the management of large databases: big data.
The goal is to train tomorrow’s data scientists to meet big data challenges of big companies in the banking and insurance sectors.
Financial technology, also known as “Fintech“ is growing to improve financial activities and reinventing finance professions: new methods of payment, investment, loans, new currencies, encryption … Start-ups in finance are looking for engineers to develop innovative financial tools for their clients.
Generally speaking, there is no magic formula for success in finance. If you want to exercise as an independent trader, or if you wish to exercise as an independent trader, it is the individual who makes the difference.
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