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You will always be employable if you know how to do this

One recruitment professional claims to have identified the secret of eternal employability in financial services: advanced Excel skills.

"There is always steady demand for people with advanced Excel," says Dominic Connor at P&D Quant Recruitment. "It is an excellent safety net for when it hits the pan."

Connor points out that Excel is ubiquitous in banks, where it's used for everything from risk reporting to pricing, to HR spreadsheets. Generally, practitioners aren't especially well paid (the average Excel-related role in London commands around 45k), but they are at least paid something.

Using Excel to ensure employability means familiarising yourself with pivot tables, VBA, importing and exporting data from SQL servers and more complex elements like DDE (dynamic data exchange strings).

The great joy of all this is that it's easy to learn, argues Connor. "All you need to do is to buy a book by Walkenbach and work your way through from beginning to end," he suggests, "The joy of Excel is that everyone knows how to do it, but not many people know how to do it properly."

At the top end, front office VBA Excel developers in investment banks can earn up to 750 a day. However, eligibility for these roles requires far more than buying a book on Amazon.

"It's a very niche area," says Aaman Soni at recruitment firm Thomson Keene. "You need front office experience to be an Excel VBA developer and managers will cherry pick the best people. Fewer roles are available and there's a lot of competition for them."

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • fa
    12 April 2012

    It requires a combination of domain and MS-Excel knowledge to provide interesting financial solutions. It shouldn't be difficult to get employment for such a personality. Of course, nobody will hire you even if you are an Excel wizard if you can't use common sense to provide good solutions!
    Thanks for the interesting write-up!
    P.S.: The 'spreadsheetpage' by Walkenbach is also quite interesting.

  • Na
    15 November 2011

    Don't believe a word of it! I'm an Excel wizard but no-one seems to want to hire me at the moment.

  • Ba
    Babba Booey
    10 November 2011

    AWelleErdball, it's not arrogance, it's insight gained from experience!

  • We
    9 November 2011

    "I did not mention Greece as the numbers would be wrong by at least 50% !"

    Is that British arrogance at its best?

  • Gi
    9 November 2011

    Wizard, you have got a point to an extent. But we all know that Managing Directors like their on private fiefdoms, the idea of calling Bangalore every time you want a quick spreadsheet churned up for a meeting due in an 1 hour would not appeal, also don't forget Data Protection.

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