How Will AI Affect Entry Level Finance Jobs?

Some estimates predict that two-thirds of entry-level finance jobs are at risk of being eliminated thanks to AI, so it’s no surprise that many young professionals are concerned about their futures.

As AI advances and integrates into the finance industry, understanding its potential impact on entry-level positions and how the workforce can adapt to stay competitive is more important than ever.

The Role of AI in the Finance Industry

Artificial intelligence has been making waves in the finance industry, transforming financial institutions’ operations. AI can significantly improve efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making processes, from automating routine tasks to analyzing vast data. 

As AI technology becomes more sophisticated, its influence on finance is expected to grow exponentially.

Entry-Level Finance Jobs: An Overview

Entry-level finance jobs typically involve a range of responsibilities, including data entry, financial analysis, report generation, and basic accounting tasks. These positions often serve as stepping stones for young professionals to gain experience and develop their skills in the finance industry. 

But if you’re familiar with the use of AI in finance, you’re probably thinking that these are the exact tasks that AI has been designed to take over. 

Will AI Replace Finance Jobs?

So, does this mean the end of entry-level finance jobs?

Not necessarily, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be changes, either. 

The Potential Impact of AI on Entry-Level Finance Roles

There is reason to believe AI will likely significantly impact entry-level finance positions. A Fortune report suggests that AI could eliminate a substantial portion of junior-level Wall Street banking jobs. Similarly, a CIO article highlights that AI is poised to replace entry-level positions at large financial institutions.

To better understand AI’s potential impact on entry-level finance roles, let’s examine some common tasks associated with these positions, how they’ve evolved, and how AI could potentially change them.

The Evolution of Entry-Level Finance Roles

While AI may automate certain aspects of entry-level finance jobs, it also presents opportunities for these roles to evolve and adapt. As AI takes over routine tasks, entry-level professionals must focus on developing new skills and abilities to remain competitive in the job market.

This shift could lead to new job opportunities that call for a combination of technical and soft skills. Entry-level finance professionals may need to develop expertise in areas such as data analysis, programming, and AI implementation. Skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication will become increasingly precious as AI handles more mundane tasks.

How to Keep Entry-Level Finance Jobs

That leads us to a critical question: how can entry-level finance professionals adapt to thrive in an AI-dominated landscape? 

The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling

One approach is to embrace lifelong learning, continuously updating skills to stay ahead of technological advancements—we cover some of the best AI courses for finance professionals in 2024 here. Seeking opportunities like this to specialize in areas where AI complements human expertise can enhance career prospects. 

Similarly, cultivating interpersonal skills and building a solid professional network can differentiate individuals in a competitive job market. While AI may reshape entry-level finance roles, proactive adaptation and a focus on continuous improvement can empower professionals to navigate this landscape with confidence and success.

The burden isn’t solely on individuals to adapt, however. Organizations also play a significant role in preparing entry-level professionals for the changes AI brings. This includes investing in finance training and development programs that address emerging needs and trends in the industry.

Develop an Irreplaceable Skillset

Entry-level finance professionals can also adapt to the changing landscape shaped by AI by focusing on roles that require a human touch. Sure, AI excels at automating routine tasks and analyzing data. However, it still lacks some of the empathy, creativity, and strategic thinking inherent in human decision-making. 

Therefore, entry-level professionals can position themselves for success by specializing in areas where human interaction and intuition are crucial. 

Examples include:

If they hone these interpersonal skills and leverage their unique human capabilities, entry-level finance professionals can carve out valuable niches within the industry, ensuring their relevance and resilience in an AI-driven world.

Job Crafting for Entry-Level Finance Jobs

Job crafting is another concept that can help entry-level finance professionals thrive in the age of AI. This involves proactively shaping one’s job responsibilities and tasks to align with personal strengths, interests, and values.

With AI taking over many routine tasks, entry-level professionals have the opportunity to redefine their roles and make them more fulfilling and impactful. 

Critical Aspects of Job Crafting for Entry-Level Finance Professionals

For entry-level finance jobs, this can involve:

Identifying Personal Strengths and Interests

Entry-level professionals can start by assessing their strengths, interests, and values to better understand what they have to offer and what motivates them. This self-awareness can guide them in crafting their roles in alignment with their unique abilities and passions. 

Leveraging Technological Skills

Incorporating technology skills into their roles can help entry-level professionals stay relevant and add value in an AI-driven landscape. For example, they might develop proficiency in financial data analysis or financial modeling tools to support decision-making processes.

Building Interpersonal Skills

While AI may be able to handle many tasks, it cannot replace the human connection and emotional intelligence that still has a place in the finance industry. To excel in their roles, entry-level professionals can focus on building interpersonal skills.

Seeking Diverse Experiences

Finance professionals can also craft their jobs by seeking diverse experiences within their organization or through external opportunities. This helps them better understand the industry and develop new skills to enhance their roles.

Embracing Continuous Learning

With technology constantly evolving, entry-level professionals must welcome continuous learning to stay relevant and adaptable in their roles. This might mean pursuing certifications or attending workshops and conferences.

Examples of AI Integration in Finance

Several companies have successfully integrated AI into their finance operations, demonstrating the challenges and opportunities of this transformation. 

For example, JPMorgan Chase implemented an AI-powered system called COiN in 2017. This system can analyze complex financial contracts much faster than human lawyers. This has allowed the company to streamline its processes and redeploy staff to higher-value tasks.

Another example is BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, which is leveraging AI to improve its investment decision-making processes. With machine learning algorithms that analyze vast amounts of data, BlackRock has identified new investment opportunities and managed risk more effectively.

These examples underscore the potential of AI to enhance financial operations and create new opportunities for entry-level finance professionals who are willing to adapt and acquire new skills.

Ethical Considerations and the Human Element

As AI becomes more widespread in finance, we can’t pretend its ethical implications for entry-level jobs don’t exist. The potential elimination of these positions raises concerns about the livelihoods of individuals, especially the younger workforce.

Moreover, bias in AI algorithms could perpetuate or exacerbate existing social and economic disparities in finance job opportunities. Financial institutions must strive for transparency in their AI decision-making processes and maintain accountability and fairness in job displacement and hiring practices.

Despite the powerful capabilities of AI, we still need to recognize the importance of human judgment and decision-making in finance. Yes, AI can automate routine tasks and provide valuable insights. But again, the human element remains critical for tasks that require emotional intelligence, creativity, and strategic thinking.

The Future of Entry-Level Finance Jobs

As for the future of entry-level finance jobs in a world with advanced AI technology, it will likely be one of transformation rather than elimination. AI has the potential to augment and enhance the work of entry-level finance professionals, freeing them from routine finance tasks and allowing them to focus on higher-value activities.

Optimistically, entry-level professionals who proactively acquire AI-related skills and adapt to the changing financial terrain will be well-positioned to thrive in this new era.

Preparing for the Future of AI in Finance

AI in finance introduces both opportunities and challenges. Just take a look at what some important people in finance are saying about AI. While we can’t deny its potential benefits, we must also be mindful of its impact on entry-level jobs and prioritize ethical considerations in its implementation.

At the same time, entry-level professionals must be proactive and adaptable in acquiring new skills to stay relevant in this industry. With the right balance of human judgment and AI technology, finance can continue to drive innovation and progress for years to come. 

Ultimately, a wise approach will likely be to embrace AI’s possibilities while also being conscious of its potential limitations and implications. 

At Datarails, we recognize the importance of AI in transforming the finance industry. Our AI-powered chat tool for FP&A is designed to complement and enhance the work of finance professionals rather than eliminate jobs. Our tools empower finance teams to focus on strategic decision-making and high-value activities by automating routine tasks and providing valuable insights.

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