How to switch from IT to Finance world (business side)
A lot of IT professionals in the US switch to finance by going for an MBA. Having an IT background can be especially useful in tech industries like networking think Cisco Systems, Alcatel Lucent and Juniper Networks. Moreover, large cap tech stocks like Google and Apple are all the rage these days and it will always give you an edge if you have a passion for the industry.
All that being said, finance and IT are two very different beasts. If you're looking to break into private equity or hedge funds, it can be very difficult as these are the most desired industries in finance. Nonetheless, your IT background will help you in understanding and picking stocks at a hedge fund. Moreover, your knowledge and IT experience will help you to make better investment decisions in private equity. The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, has always invested in businesses that he understands. This is why he steered clear of tech stocks during the dot-com boom of the 90s.
Again, being successful in finance requires knowledge and it is always hard to go up against the Warren Buffetts of the world with their vast resources. So any IT person will be pleased to see that some finance oligarchs aren't that well versed with technology. Here is a great opening for those with IT experience.
A lot of people have become extremely successful switching from IT to finance. Just read websites like TechCrunch to get acquainted with them. It might be useful to consider getting a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. It doesn't cost a great deal, but it does requires three years of finance experience that can be hard to get if you have little prior finance work experience. The good thing for aspiring finance professionals is that this is an industry where networking and building relationships has immense value.
But even when networking and building those important connections, you will need to convince them of your finance knowledge. The good thing for you is that this can be learnt on your own like a lot of programming languages. Just watch Bloomberg and CNBC and also programs like CNN money to stay in the know of the latest happenings in the world of finance. There are also websites like The Motley Fool and Forbes that to do a great job with this.
Additionally, you can brush up on finance terminology and concepts with the extensive resources offered on sites like Investopedia. Investment banking is big on financial modeling and Excel. There are a lot of free tutorials on sites like Mergers & Inquisitions that bring you up to speed. You might also want to consider investing a few hundred dollars on some of the courses. This will pay off greatly down the line when you make your switch from IT to finance.
A lot of the rocket scientists on Wall Street have an IT background. Before financial engineering was offered at schools, it was doctorates in computer science and physics that got all the quant and algorithmic trading jobs. The world of finance has always aptly rewarded those with solid IT skills.
So in order to make that successful switch from IT to the finance world, focus on what sets you apart and how you can best contribute. Look at you IT background as a big advantage in making this switch. IT skills are always going to be in demand and once you have finance experience to boot, it can be hard stopping you.