Historically, financial service and accounting career paths have been male-dominated. There are many things that can contribute to this. And when there’s an added perception that there are barriers to entry based solely on your gender or race, it can deter women from pursuing careers that they could be perfect for.

Working in the financial sector provides women with a unique opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. You’ll gain invaluable knowledge on wealth building and how to navigate the tax system. You will also be empowered to help others better understand financial stewardship.

If you’ve ever considered a career in financial services or accounting, or are interested in a little more information, here are a few more reasons to think about it.

You determine your income

When was the last time you set a financial goal for yourself… and you didn’t accomplish it? It didn’t feel good, did it? Did you know that most careers in the financial sector are commission based? Meaning: you determine your income. For many, this is risky business. They often feel secure with a set salary and benefits package. But if you have an open mind, this means limitless potential. Depending on your on your personal work ethic, drive, and ambition, you can make as much or as little as you want. And even though many corporate accounting positions are salaried, the starting salary is quite competitive.

Whether you decide to pursue a career as an accountant, a financial advisor, or even a stockbroker, you’ll have skills that others need and are willing to pay for! Choosing your speciality is the first step in understanding potential starting and median salary and income ranges.

For example, the median income for an account was around $70k in 2016 – but the top 10% made more than $120k. Or for financial advisors, the median income was approximately $90k with the high-end being over $200k.

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Love your work

The financial services industry is vast and multifaceted. There are countless job opportunities that cater to a wide range of skills and interests. Maybe you enjoy the fast pace of stock trading. Or perhaps teacher retirement planning may be more your speed. You may specialize in small business tax accounting or enjoy analyzing market trends. There’s something for everyone. You’ve just got to find the right fit.

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Less education

Unlike other professions with similar income potential, you generally only need a 4-year bachelor’s degree to get started. If you’re ready to make a career change, know all of your options. Prepare yourself for success by doing due diligence and don’t let obstacles get in the way. If you’re no longer considered a ‘traditional’ college student, consider part-time and weekend courses.

Don’t think you can afford to go back to school?

  • Save money by looking into your local state colleges and universities.
  • Get familiar with which programs and majors each school has to offer.
  • Contact the financial aid office to be sure that you are crystal clear on all aid available to you. You might be better off than you think.
  • Also, be sure to contact their Career Services office to find out how frequently they host recruiters for your specialty of choice. Having a good connection to recruiters can be just what you need to secure the right pay and perfect position right out the gate.

Tip: If you are looking for an online school option, be sure that they are accredited. Check out programs offered through reputable schools like Kennesaw State University (ok, ok I’m an alum) or for accounting get more information here on SBU’s Accounting MBA.

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Make a difference

We often hear of greedy accountants or hedge fund managers having less than favorable business practices. But this is far from the truth for most in this field. In fact, many professionals in the financial sector love being able to do what they love. And they take pride in helping others achieve their goals along the way.

Few careers provide the opportunity for you to see the direct impact of your work on the lives of others. Whether it’s helping someone secure a mortgage loan for their first home purchase (as a mortgage loan officer) or helping a couple reach their retirement goal, you get a front row seat to witnessing your advice, guidance, and strategies changing the lives of others.