How do I get into financial services IT?

Expert advice for readers' career problems

How do I get into financial services IT?

I work for a managed services company as a technical analyst but I want to get into financial services IT. I have looked at analyst roles using the Murex platform. Some recruiters say that I need more of an investment banking background, and I plan to study for chartered financial analyst certification. Do you have any further advice?

The solution: Get a job quickly, then develop skills

Moving into finance can be difficult with no experience, although hiring managers are increasingly flexible due to candidate shortages.

The combination of business knowledge and IT skills commands a premium. Ensure that recruitment consultants tell the hiring manager that you have an interest in finance, and do your homework to substantiate this in an interview.

Moving onto a new platform, such as Murex, can be difficult as the skills needed are so specific, but it is not impossible. These skills are often found by using contractors at premium rates, so hiring a permanent employee to train up can be a good option for a bank. The CFA programme will give you much deeper knowledge, although it is rarely asked for within IT.

My advice would be to move into banking using your current skills and consolidate your business knowledge once there. This will give you options in future to move into analysis or a new technical area. A bank will hire you for the proven skills you have now. When you have a couple of years' experience in this environment the opportunities will really open up.

Solution by Paul Elworthy, associate director, IT banking and financial services at Hudson

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

Windows financial services blogs >>

Computer Weekly has put together a panel of experts whose specialist knowledge you can draw on to solve a problem. E-mail your questions (or your solution to this question) to computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

Catch up on career advice with Next Move >>
This was last published in May 2007

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