How to Start a Career in Financial Services

A person passing money through a teller's banking window

Have you ever thought about a career in the financial services industry? If you’re like most, you probably haven’t. Most people just go to the bank or credit union to deposit a check after payday or to withdraw cash.

But the next time you’re driving to work, school, daycare, the grocery store, or anywhere else, really, count how many financial institutions you pass. And as you’re passing each one, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I want to earn a starting wage between $15-$20?
  • Do I want to have access to benefits like health insurance and tuition assistance? 
  • Do I want to work between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.? 
  • Do I want to work closer to home?
  • Do I want to be able to advance in my career as I gain more knowledge and experience?

If you answer yes to those questions, a career in financial services could be just what you’re looking for.

A career in the financial services industry is awesome because it takes the best of what different careers have to offer — good pay, good hours, and good opportunities for career advancement — and packages it all into one. A lot of careers give you just one or two of those … or none, unfortunately.

But if you work in a bank or credit union, you get them all. And, because financial institutions are so prevalent — there are more than 120 banks and more than 50 credit unions in Aurora alone, for example — you stand a good chance of landing a job close to your home, which means no more long commutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

So, you might be asking yourself now, “How do I get started?”

The Community College of Aurora (CCA), Mi Casa Resource Center, and Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) have partnered to create a unique program that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to excel as a financial services professional.

Keyona completed the program and her story was featured in a recent Forbes article. “I got hired [at a local credit union] as soon as I graduated from the class in November 2018,” Keyona told Forbes. You can read more about Keyona’s story here. 

Here’s how the program works: 

  1.  You complete a free, 16-day training through Mi Casa (if you already have industry experience, you can take a series of test-out exams to receive credit for what you already know); 
  2. After completing your training or test-out exams, you can transfer your Mi Casa credits — 9 college credits — to CCA and continue working toward a Banking Essentials and/or Banking Supervision certificate, which would only be an additional 16 credits; 
  3. After graduating from CCA, you’ll have the opportunity to apply the 25 credits you’ve earned from Mi Casa and CCA toward MSU Denver’s Bachelor of Science in Banking degree. That’s one year of coursework already in the bag!

As you can see, there are multiple “jumping in” and “jumping off” points with this program. You can go through the entire Mi Casa training or you can take a shortcut via the test-out exams. You can transfer your Mi Casa credits to CCA and earn a Banking Essentials and/or Banking Supervision certificate or enter the workforce right away. You can continue on at MSU Denver and earn a BS in Banking or decide the certificate(s) from CCA is all you need. The program can easily be customized to meet you where you are in your professional career today and propel you to where you want to go tomorrow.

The application deadline for the next training at Mi Casa is August 21.

So the next time someone asks you, “Have you ever thought about a career in financial services?” what will your answer be?

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