Globalization, Regulation Mean Jobs, Even in Gloomy Times

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Sure, the sub-prime mess probably means it will be a while before there's resurgence in credit jobs. But if you read beyond the headlines, the future may be bright after all.

Lost in Wall Street's stream of billion dollar write-offs are big-picture themes like globalization and regulation, which continue to produce opportunities for financial professionals, writes Andrea Kay, author of Life's a Bitch and Then You Change Careers: 9 Steps to Get Out of Your Funk and On To Your Future. In particular, companies in sectors such as energy require people who can support overseas growth.

Mergers and acquisitions led to both consolidation and new players in some industries. As a result, more companies need financial professionals who can analyze global transactions and reporting requirements, and manage risk for insurance and investment purposes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes the need for professionals in areas such as risk management and accounting to new regulatory reforms and the expanding global economy.

Specifically, there's a need for chief financial officers, accounting clerks, treasurers, directors of risk, analysts, cash managers, accountants and payroll clerks, Kay says. Companies and government agencies need professionals who can prepare and oversee financial reports, and develop cash-management and long-term investment strategies.

In addition, it's not only the number of jobs in such areas that's growing: Salaries are, too. A recent study by the Association for Financial Professionals reported an average annual salary increase of 4.5 percent - higher than the national average in 2007.

According to the study, the average increase for management positions was 4.8 percent, with managers of treasury and finance receiving the biggest increase - 6.6 percent. Staff level financial professionals averaged increases of just below 4 percent. Financial professionals in some sectors, again like energy, earned an average of $95,000. That compares with government or nonprofit professionals, who made an average of $80,300.

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