career in finance

Which Is A Better Career: Consulting, Investment Banking, or Accounting?

career in finance

Three career paths are considered to be the best fields in white collar corporate sector.

  • Consulting
  • Investment Banking
  • Accounting

Let’s have a look at each one of them

  • Consulting – They are problem solvers for hire. Corporate firms, businesses, and governments chose them on board when they face an issue that’s too complex or the resources required would be too massive for internal staff to resolve. So, instead of hiring more people, they just recruit or sometimes outsource the consulting services for a short term.

A career as a consultant needs excellent people and negotiation skills with an inherent understanding of how different processes function. Consultants are trained to be highly effective, work long hours, travel frequently, and crunch data to get innovative solutions. They are also paid well for their work.

There are mainly four types of Consulting.

  1. Strategy Consulting
  2. Operations Consulting
  3. Financial Advisory
  4. Technology Consulting

McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Co are considered to be the top consulting firms.

  • Investment Banking – Investment banking as a career option represents a vast cluster of roles, which include capital market analysts, research associates, and valuation analysts. In addition, finance, economics, mathematics, or accounting degree is often a prerequisite. An investment banking career is comparatively more demanding than consulting, although it needs the same skills in communication, people management, negotiation, and analysis. Professionals in investment banking need to typically clock in 75 to 100 hours per week as most of their tasks are fueled by in-depth research. While work-life balance is a rare commodity in the lives of investment bankers, the sizable year-end bonuses are a great extent.

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, and Morgan Stanley are considered to be the top investment banking firms.

  • Accounting – Careers in accounting can lead various positions in corporations and are generally pretty stable. The options available are vast, and with a start in public accounting, one can explore careers in both accounting and financial roles. Many c-suite employees followed this path as well.

The opportunities for growth for careers in accounting are more which gives accountants a unique view of many functions within organizations. The longest hours for accountants will usually be during their time in public accounting. There will be a good amount of travel, frequently periods of long hours. Accountants who make decent money can live pretty comfortably.

Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC are considered to be the top accounting firms.

All three consulting, investment banking, and accounting are incredible career opportunities. However, one is required to work on a vast catalog of skills if one wants to establish a sustainable career in either of these fields. Consultants travel more and are indulged in giving presentations on-site. Investment bankers make a lot of money. Accountants have less pressure.

All the best if you are planning for a career in one of these.