Skills you'll gain: Accounting, Big Data, Business Analysis, Change Management, Data Analysis, Data Management, Decision Making, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Analysis, Leadership and Management, Market Analysis, Market Research, Marketing, Planning, Probability & Statistics, Project Management, Research and Design, Statistical Tests, Strategy and Operations, Supply Chain Systems, Supply Chain and Logistics
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales, Strategy and Operations, Leadership and Management, Strategy, Innovation, Research and Design, Algorithms, Business Analysis, Computer Graphics, Critical Thinking, Graphics Software, Theoretical Computer Science
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Banking is familiar to us all as the industry that provides most of the financial services we rely on for our personal and business needs, which is clearly important to the normal functioning of the economy. However, to understand what banking really does and why it is so important, it’s helpful to look at a more specific definition. According to Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:
“Banks allocate funds from savers to borrowers in an efficient manner. They provide specialized financial services, which reduce the cost of obtaining information about both savings and borrowing opportunities. These financial services help make the overall economy more efficient.”
In other words, when you deposit money you don’t currently need into your savings account, the bank pays you interest to use this money to purchase securities or finance loans to businesses, individuals, or governments that need the money now. By leveraging vast institutional expertise in financial markets, the banking sector plays a centrally important role in the global economy by efficiently reallocating trillions of dollars between billions of savers and borrowers, ranging in scale from credit card bills of a few dollars to billion-dollar corporate mergers.
While the banking industry is centuries old, it has seen an incredible amount of change and disruption over the past two decades from innovations in financial technology (or “fintech”) and new financial products. The emergence of cryptocurrencies, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and microfinance have introduced new ways to provide financial services - and new competitors to traditional banks. And the financial crisis of 2008 exposed new vulnerabilities of our interconnected and accelerated global economy, which is once again being tested by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Thus, banking today is not only a massively important industry - it’s also a dynamic one in the midst of unprecedented change.
Career opportunities in banking span a wide range of roles and educational requirements. Bank tellers, for example, typically only have a high school diploma along with on-the-job training. However, these customer service-oriented positions are declining in number as ATM machines and online banking services reduce the need for in-person tellers.
In contrast, bank roles requiring a higher level of education continue to grow. Jobs for loan officers, who evaluate and authorize approvals of loan applications for individuals and businesses, are projected to grow 8% between 2018 and 2028 - faster than average - by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These roles blend analytical skills needed for the underwriting process as well as customer service and sales skills to guide borrowers through the process, and typically require a bachelor’s degree as well as on-the-job training.
Financial analyst is another prominent entry-level banking job requiring a bachelor’s degree. These professionals evaluate investment opportunities by doing sector-specific research and financial modeling and make recommendations to banks of ways to profitably put their money to work. Because of the importance of banks in the financial system, these analysts must do rigorous due diligence, and typically have strong skills in math, statistics, and proficiency in software like Excel used to build financial models.
Yes, absolutely. Coursera offers courses from world-class professors at top-ranked schools like Columbia University and Yale University that can give you a deep understanding of global banking and financial markets. You can also take courses and Specializations to build the skills you need for a career in the rapidly-evolving banking industry, in topics like financial technology, data analysis, business, and computer science.
Regardless of your needs, Coursera lets you learn remotely on a flexible schedule that is ideal for working professionals that want to expand their skill set in banking or begin a career in this field. Tuition is also significantly lower than on-campus alternatives, making online learning an especially smart investment in your future.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have before starting to learn banking include an interest in money and financial assets, good analytical skills, attention to detail, a strong technology background, and an understanding of institutional finance. As banking continues to grow more digital and online by the day, more banks are looking for people who know how technology is impacting the business of handling money. So it might be helpful to learn computer programming and financial modeling concepts before starting to learn banking. Personality skills that would be useful to have before learning banking could include an ability to handle stress, to work well with others, and have confidence in dealing with retail banking customers.
The kind of people that are best suited for work that involves banking are those who have the ability to learn financial concepts quickly. This is useful in banking for understanding the basic banking fundamentals as well as emerging financial concepts like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and regulatory technology. Because the financial industry thrives on innovation, and elements may change over time, people who are flexible and can adapt to changing environments will also be well-suited for working in banking. A person who has the ability to handle pressure and show resilience in difficult times might also be well suited for work that involves banking.
You might know if learning banking is right for you if you show a passion for numbers, interest rates, financial planning, and other concepts that may seem foreign to many consumers. Having integrity and good judgment, as well as a sharp eye for spotting financial inconsistencies, are also solid personality traits that might convince someone that they're right for banking.