This broad category (as defined by Statistics Canada) covers a broad swath of professions, from real estate agents to underwriters to bond traders—jobs that have surged in recent years due to Canada’s twin booms: housing and commodities. The pace is now slowing in both areas. But in capital markets, which includes research, sales, and trading, the opportunity for an ample salary remains.
How to qualify: Any job in capital markets requires a deep understanding of finance. Those in sales will also need experience working with clients. Many financial institutions offer training programs to recruit graduates with business degrees. Many entrants aim for an edge by obtaining extra qualifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation or an MBA, which help advance you to senior positions more quickly.
Money: Wages have been under a lot of pressure since the financial crisis. Still, employees can expect to break six figures, with salaries for senior positions heading north of $200,000. Performance bonuses can add to total compensation, too. Salaries at large foreign institutions, such as Barclays, are more generous.
Opportunity: Industry consolidation and the rise of high-frequency trading and exchange-traded funds are sparking worries about the future of active investing, but cash is coming back to the markets, and initial public offerings are picking up again. “We expect the pace to continue, which bodes well for employment in the industry,” says Lara Zink, managing director of global equities at RBC Capital Markets.
What it’s like: Zink is usually on the trading floor by 6:30 a.m. for a couple of conference calls to review recently published research. She’s in touch with clients throughout the day to discuss stock ideas. The hours for many of the positions in this field are dictated by the market’s hours. Zink, who has two children, says it’s rare for her to stay in the office much past 5 p.m., though it does happen. “The bottom line is, as long as we’re not in a highly critical deal situation on the desk at any given time, the work is very manageable.”