By 2023 science, research, engineering and technology jobs are expected to make up 7.8% of all jobs in the UK and occupy 2.5m roles – if your child enjoys their maths or business studies lessons at school then encourage them to stick with it. Perhaps they even already know they want to work in the financial sector? Read on to find out how you can help them make the right choices whilst still at school.
Financial Services typically cover investment funds, stocks, banking, credit and insurance and is essentially a term used to describe organisations that deal with the management of money. It involves strong numeracy skills and an analytical mind – is your child a whizz at Monopoly or interested in earning money and saving? If so, this could be the career for them.
Here’s just some of the roles Financial Services covers:
Handles day to day financial matters in all types of business
- Bank manager
Oversees day to day operations of their branch, supervises staff and is tasked with attracting new customers
- Financial advisor
Helps people and organisations to choose investments, savings, pensions, mortgages or insurance products
- Insurance broker
Uses knowledge of the insurance market to find the best level of cover at the best prices for their customers
- Pensions advisor
Helps people to plan for financial security in retirement
- Tax adviser
Ensures clients pay the right amount of tax and submit accounts in a timely fashion to HMRC
The financial services industry in the UK is large and offers a variety of roles. Being good with numbers and having good business and organisational skills is imperative but the qualifications you need will differ depending on the chosen area.
There are many ways to get into Financial Services from college courses and degrees to apprenticeships and starting early can only be an advantage.
During GCSEs or Standard Grades, you could opt to study:
- Business Studies
For academic subjects such as A Levels or Highers, you could study:
- Further Maths
- Business Studies
- IT / Computer Science
Related subjects include:
- Computer Science
- Philosophy & Ethics
Skills you need
If your child likes working with numbers or enjoys business studies at school, here are just some of the skills that will be useful in the future and they can work on developing.
- Problem solving
- Customer service
- Numeracy skills
- Time management
There are many ways to enter the industry, whether that’s with a part-time role, work placement or voluntary role. Large financial institutions also offer summer internships but any type of financial work experience will provide a step up for securing a full-time role.
Although many women are already in this type of career, there’s still more work to do to attract women into the science industry as whole. The UK is trailing behind Europe in terms of female representation - currently making up just 16% of the workforce.
Many companies, including EDF Energy, are committed to helping address the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We run a number of STEM initiatives including the Pretty Curious programme which sets out to challenge what girls’ think they know about STEM. There are some amazing careers that use science and it’s our job to help inspire girls to look differently at STEM using strong female role models and creative digital and hands-on experiences.
- You could find a role model in a friend or colleague that can encourage them through their own experiences.
- There are many free exhibitions and events that bring science to life outside of the classroom, for example take a look at our eight UK-wide visitor centres where you can explore science in a fun free and family-friendly way every school holiday or weekend.
- Be supportive - we’re all unique in our passions and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t sure what they want to do yet.
- Be patient, encouraging and provide the support they need to find their way whether that’s with tutoring, extracurricular activities or just celebrating their successes.
- You could encourage your child to look at volunteering for organisations that marry with their interests. They get to explore a variety of working environments, develop employability skills and make new friends all of which will boost their confidence. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities here.
- If your child is unsure of the subjects to take, you could encourage them to speak to a careers advisor or explore the below resources for guidance:
My World of Work – choosing GCSE options
Prospects career guide
The Complete University Guide
Which? guide to university
- Your child is young and it’s okay for them to change their minds. Roma who was part of the team that design London’s iconic Shard building, did just that – watch her story in 360°.