In the 1990s, many young professionals were teeming to the field of finance. Unfortunately, this has changed in recent years, partially due to the stigma that was attached to bankers after the financial crisis. As a result of this shift in thinking, banking is not a popular field for millennials. Before the financial crisis, 42% of graduates of the Harvard Business School went into the finance sector. In 2014, this percentage was down to 33%. Graduates of other schools such as MIT showed similar trends.
Right now is an important time for young people to go into finance. The next decade will see the retirement of thousands of baby-boomer bankers. It is absolutely crucial that our country has an intelligent and hard-working generation of bankers ahead of us.
Some millennials feel uncomfortable with the idea of telling people they work in a bank. But despite the role banks played in the financial crisis and the scandals that followed, being a banker is a rewarding job. Being a banker gives you the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the economy of your country and your local community.
A large part of a banker’s role is to provide funding for society’s infrastructure: for businesses, houses and landmarks. During the Great Depression, Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini provided funding for the construction of the now-historic Golden Gate Bridge.
Banks can also provide funding for the communities around them. Developments that house lower-income communities can be revitalized thanks to funds provided by local regional banks. After a 2008 wildfire in Montecito, California, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, a local community bank, offered temporary shelter to people in the area who were evacuated from their homes.
Many banks encourage their employees to get involved in their communities. Incentives for working with one’s community often include paid-time-off programs and additional compensation. Banks exist largely for the purpose of strengthening the communities around them, and they like to recognize their employees for doing so as well. Aside from working for a nonprofit, banking is one of the most community-enriching careers one can have.
If helping the community isn’t enough to convince you of the upsides of banking, being employed at a bank also provides better than average benefits and compensation. Despite the sweeping generalizations that the industry gives undeservedly high compensation packages to certain executives, this is not the norm. However, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics studies show that the average annual wages for the banking industry are higher than for private-sector employees. The studies also show that on average, banking employees provide higher subsidies for health insurance premiums than other industries, and they give treatment benefits more often.
If you want to help your community thrive, you should think about going into banking. People need to take pride in being bankers again, and the only way to do this is to raise the level of trust people have in the industry. Become a banker who works to improve the community around you and society will begin to see bankers in a more positive light.
Victor Notaro is an accomplished Corporate Banking Executive with a demonstrated record of success leading consultative and relationship management strategies in the financial services industry. Victor Notaro is skilled at building and managing high performing teams of professionals in commercial and corporate banking, fostering relationships with middle market and multi-billion dollar companies. Victor Notaro’s record reveals exceptional performance in the development of business capital strategy, with expertise spanning start-up of business units, leading YOY revenue growth, and producing sales in the millions of dollars. Victor Notaro is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking / MidCorporate Banking at Citizens Financial Group.