Is Investment Management a Good Career Path?


Ken Burnette

Let’s start simple.

Investment management is about making investment decisions. 

Wikipedia defines “investment management” as:

The professional asset management of various securities, including shareholdings, bonds, and other assets, such as real estate, to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of investors.

Sounds lucrative, huh?

It is! puts investment management at an average yearly US salary of $138,644.

But how do you know if investment management is right for you? 

And what’s it like in the US and other countries?

We interviewed three investment managers to find out 😎

Aderonke Ajibola-Odeyemi, Head of Finance at Shuttlers and former Audit Manager and Senior Associate at Big Four consulting firm, EY, in Lagos

Mahak Agrawal, Indian Government Advisor and ESG investment professional in the New York City Metropolitan Area

Paulina Blanco, Senior Fund Accountant at JP Morgan in Luxembourg

🎤 We asked the same six questions to each investment manager and shared their answers below.

📚 Each investment manager has advice about education, starting resources, and what it takes to become a professional.

Q&A: Aderonke Ajibola-Odeyemi

Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself and your story? 

I have over 12 years of multi-industry and multi-cultural expertise. 

Having worked for two of the Big 4 audit firms as an audit manager with a specialization in audit and financial reporting, I am an expert in financial management and internal audit.

I am a chartered accountant with demonstrated practical expertise.

I have a college degree in accounting, a ten year background in auditing, and I’ve worked with PwC and EY.

I left consulting for private practice about 2 years ago and it has been a pleasant experience.

My background in audit equipped me with the basic financial reporting, analytical and critical reasoning skills needed to thrive in today's busy business world.

What do you do as an investment manager?

My role entails:

  • Record keeping and financial reporting
  • Financial analysis
  • Presentation of results to end users
  • Treasury management for proper liquidity 
  • Budgeting, forecasting and planning 
  • Investor relations as a tech startup going through the raise cycle

What qualifications do you need to be an investment manager?

 For college a relevant degree in related sciences like economics, mathematics, business administration or accounting is relevant.

A CA/its equivalent in the country of location. For us in Nigeria, that is The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). I started that straight out of high school while most start after college so you can say I had a head start. I ran both programs concurrently so the year I was graduating college, I became a member of ICAN as well.

I also have an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

An MBA in a related skill set sure helps. I have an MBA in finance & investment.

What skills or tools do you need to be an investment manager?

Financial Planning & Analysis: Report financial results to the management team and provide financial and non-financial information, both historic and forward-looking to support decision making

Funding, Treasury & Liquidity Management: Monitor cash balances and ensure cash flow is appropriate for the company’s operations

Systems, Policies & Procedures Management: Ensure effective systems are in place to allow adequate financial monitoring and reporting

How does someone learn to be an investment manager?

  • A strong background in financial reporting, planning and auditing         
  • Business Planning Analysis by analyzing big data and interpreting results to make meaningful decisions
  • Networking with the right people and at the right time

How did Wonsulting help you land your career?

You helped me redesign my resume and Linkedin profile to suit my role.

Also helped with the negotiation stage so I knew not to low ball my skill set.

Q&A: Mahak Agrawal

Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself and your story? 

I am an urban planner and former United Nations fellow. As a Shardashish Scholar and Environmental Fellow at Columbia University, I earned my second master's in public administration with a specialization in environmental science and policy. Since 2014, I have led, managed, and supported a diverse portfolio of climate action, sustainability, and ESG investment projects/programs across Indonesia, India, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States. 

In 2021, I was nominated by the UNLEASH Innovation Lab for the Gates Foundation's Global Goalkeepers Award, for my achievements in accelerating sustainable development across India through public health investments and initiatives. I have also served as an expert reviewer to IPCC and authored ~30 scientific publications. My journey with sustainability started at home. 

Growing up in different parts of India, I witnessed from a close angle the impact of sustainable and unsustainable investments and climate change on people and places. I always knew I wanted to drive positive change for society, and after a year in medicine found my calling in urban planning and public administration focused on sustainability. Today, I use art, experience, and expertise to drive investments and implementable solutions for a sustainable future.

What do you do as an investment manager?

I started my sustainability and ESG investment career as an intern at the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. At that point in time, ESG was more popular in the public policy domain than in the financial sector. 

Today, I work as an advisor to the Government of India to guide sustainable development strategies and climate action investments. 

In my earlier role with Columbia's Center on Global Energy Policy, I led the analysis of ESG investments by technology giants of, Google Inc., Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, and Apple. For most of my 8-year career, I have managed projects and policies driving implementation and investments for sectoral decarbonization, urban sustainability, and corporate climate action. 

What qualifications do you need to be an investment manager?

There are many qualification options for being a sustainability and ESG investment professional (or witch 🧙‍♀️, wizard 🧙‍♂️, or elf 🧝‍♀️)! 

You can either opt for traditional courses offered by various MBA and MPA programs in the U.S., or opt for ESG and sustainability-linked electives in the course of your program. 

There are also options to get certified via CFA Institute and Corporate Finance Institute. 

One can also take short courses from the University of Cambridge, and Yale School of Management, to name a few. 

Several European schools offer micro-masters on sustainable finance and ESG investments too. What course you want to take depends on your career aspirations, where you are in your career, and how much time and financial resources you are willing to expend. 

What skills or tools do you need to be an investment manager?

There is no shortage of tools you can use for ESG investments and sustainability. 

For example, if you are looking for ESG reporting and screening tools there are Sustainalytics, EcoVadis, MSCI ESG ratings, and Climate Search Tool, S&P Global ESG Screen, to name just a few. In terms of skills, first and foremost you need to know the purpose of investments and select an investment strategy that aligns with the organization's goals and mission. 

Second, understand and navigate the industry's landscape. 

Third, accept that measuring and accounting for sustainable investments is not straightforward. Metrics aren't as clearly defined as in financial accounting. But that doesn't mean that measuring and monitoring the impact of investments should be any less important. 

How does someone learn to be an investment manager?

To be a sustainability and ESG investment professional you need to be insanely curious to explore interlinkages between various dimensions and elements of ESG and sustainability. 

You need to have a scientific understanding and not only rely on the financing side of ESG and sustainable investments. Every investment in ESG and sustainability needs to be data-informed and scientifically sound. You need to understand the science of the problem and the solution you are investing in. 

In the current ESG market and job market, everyone is seeking financial experts for ESG but not really looking into the fact that finance alone cannot solve the problem.

You need investments and financial resources for solutions and changes that are science–and data–driven. 

Also, if you are working or interested to work in ESG investment, prepare yourself to be challenged and adaptive. Too many changes are happening in this domain and you need to not only stay updated with these developments but also adapt to these changes to take advantage of new opportunities.

How did Wonsulting help you land your career?

Wonsulting helped me when I was struggling with STEM OPT timelines to secure employment that paid well, aligned with my career goals, and came with a good work-life balance. 

As an international scholar, I think people do not realize how insanely tough and mentally exhausting it is to secure decent employment. 

I utilized the "Ultimate Package'' which had 4 services in early 2022 - job search strategy, interview prep, resume revision, and LinkedIn profile revision

For me, the LinkedIn profile revision and Resume Revision were most useful. Resume revision helped me land more interviews and my LinkedIn profile revision helped me unlock even more opportunities than I was securing prior to the revision. It helped me expand my network and content's reach more effectively. 

Q&A: Paulina Blanco

Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself and your story? 

My name is Paulina. I am originally from a small town in Poland and I currently live in Luxembourg. I have been working across different investment servicing sectors since 2017. Currently, I am working at JP Morgan in a Fund Accounting team.

When not in the office, you can find me at the airport or in the mountains as I am a passionate solo traveler and hiking freak.


What do you do as an investment manager?

Fund Accountants spend a lot of time analyzing funds oversight activities to identify potential problems and risks in order to develop appropriate solutions. 

They work with all internal teams and investment managers to help them make decisions about their assets and investments. A fund accountant is responsible for preparing regulatory fund reporting according to IFRS and its timely delivery.

What qualifications do you need to be an investment manager?

To become a fund accountant, the best suited degree will be in finance, economy, business or accounting and it is important that your university degree covers subjects such as accounting, cost and finances, auditing and financial markets. You can also opt for an MBA to gain further skills and experience.

To gain a better understanding of accounting systems and practices you might consider: ACCA, CPA or CFA.

It is crucial to have general market and financial knowledge.

What skills or tools do you need to be an investment manager?

If you are interested in becoming a Fund Accounting Analyst, you need to become an expert at time management and be a very organized person who has the ability to efficiently work under time pressure. 

Fund Accountants have a wide range of tools to source their day to day work. The most user friendly tool and the one that I use is Bloomberg

Bloomberg is a leading global financial data and news provider. 

Apart from Bloomberg, I can also recommend InvestOne, Morningstar, ICE and Telekurs.

How does someone learn to be an investment manager?

1. Networking:

To boost your Fund Accounting / Financial Markets knowledge and increase your industry connection, engage in professional networking. Active professional networking is essential to any career growth, creating beneficial business relationships. Professional networking includes:

  • creating an active LinkedIn profile
  • joining a university alumni association
  • attending accounting / business / investment conferences and workshops

2. Curiosity: 

To get started as a fund accountant, be curious, ask questions, search on Google and read articles. Here are some options which might be helpful:

  • Investopedia ( (free) - golden source If you are seeking for knowledge from market news to investing education
  • Edx ( (free or paid options) - online course provider with wide range of university level course

3. Knowledge:

Apart from a university degree and additional certifications, it is important to have wide understanding of primary accounting standards:  Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

How did Wonsulting help you land your career?

I got a job before following your company but it made me improve my resume and LinkedIn profile (I am also a big fan of your baby Yoda pen)

Getting started

There are many reasons to consider a career in investment management. For one, the average salary for investment managers is quite high, at $138,644 a year in the US. 

Investment managers are responsible for making decisions about where to invest their clients' money. They must carefully consider a wide range of factors in order to make the best possible decisions.

If you're looking for a high-paying, fast-growing career that is both challenging and rewarding, then investment management could be a great choice!

Choosing your career is a difficult process. You have to know your priorities, understand yourself, and know what opportunities are available for you. We help people like you figure out their careers every day, and our career consultants are here to help you discover your career and learn how to work towards it.

So whether you want to build a career in investment management or another field, we’ve got someone on our team with unique insight to get you started and show you how to get hired.

Contact us today or visit our website to learn about how our services can get you hired 😎

Our course is also a great way to master your job search!

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Ken Burnette
Senior Copywriter & Voice of Wonsulting

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