Graduates want a career in finance industry, happy to work with AI

CFA Institute study highlights attractiveness of working with wealth

Graduates want a career in finance industry, happy to work with AI
Steve Randall

With the current state of the global economy, the finance industry is seen as the most attractive career for graduates, who also see the potential of artificial intelligence in their careers.

The CFA Institute’s 2024 Global Graduate Outlook Survey puts finance at the top for a second consecutive year with a six percentage point increase from last year’s survey with 30% of respondents saying they are most confident in career prospects in the industry.

Overall, 78% of poll participants are confident in their post-graduate futures, while low pay, lack of jobs, or feeling unfulfilled or uninterested in their work are their top three concerns.

Finance ties in with graduates’ desire for stability, making a difference, and positively impacting society or the environment during their careers.

"As graduates today seek professions that not only promise stability but also resonate with their desires to make a tangible difference, finance emerges as an industry of opportunity. Our research shows that careers in finance offer the assurance of stability and provide a platform for graduates to contemplate a more impactful future," said Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute.

Artificial Intelligence

While the finance industry continues to consider how AI is going to transform the industry, graduates are keen to embrace the changes that technology will bring.

Two thirds of respondents overall believe AI and automation are important to their career success and 92% believe knowing how to use emerging tech will help their prospects. Of those who studied finance, 76% said that AI and automation are important to the success of their intended career path, and 97% agreed that knowing how to use these tools will benefit them.

"With a new focus on sustainable investment strategies, and the possibilities for AI to enhance investment workflows, graduates have an opportunity to help shape a more innovative industry through a career in finance,” added Franklin.

The research also highlights the importance of real world experience such as internships, along with upskilling and certification, in career progression.

"Today's graduates desire to attain real-world experience as they increasingly seek opportunities to differentiate themselves in a crowded job market," said Peter Watkins, Senior Director, University Programs, CFA Institute. "Organizations that continue to invest in upskilling and career advancement opportunities for their employees will be attractive to the next generation, who are keen to grow professionally."