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With more than 20 years of experience in the staffing industry, Sonia Petkewich has been referred to as “the ultimate matchmaker” by tech industry professionals for whom she has found work and helped navigate career shifts.
Only in business for seven years, her company, Taurean Consulting Group, has found work for hundreds of Las Vegas IT professionals. Petkewich is also the current president of the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and the founder of Catalyst Mastermind Collaborative, which mentors young, established, and startup businesses.
Taurean recently opened a new division for finance professionals. Petkewich says a rapidly changing world with rising cybercrime and an increased need to protect sensitive information has opened up a new category of jobs where skills in tech and finance now merge. What does that mean for someone with a degree or experience in finance? With the right skills and mindset, she says, there are a growing number of very lucrative opportunities.
1) What types of new jobs are now emerging for today’s finance professionals?
Because of the increase in activities like hacking, fraud, and cybercrime, new roles, are being created in all types of companies. More businesses in all industries now have a need to fill cyber security, forensic accounting, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), eDiscovery, audit, and compliance positions, roles where you have these finance and technology skills crossing over. They’re jobs that are financial in nature, but also technical. There are even jobs created around international business security with GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection and Regulation). If, for example, you take a company like a gaming operator with international operations, they need to protect customer information throughout their operations all around the world.
2) With these new jobs, what types of skill sets are companies now looking for in finance professionals?
All accounting roles continue to evolve with the improvement of technologies, software applications, and integrations in all types of businesses. Today, more and more accounting roles require technical aptitude and to be highly skilled with these new tools and applications. Finance professionals may need new certifications, but even more importantly, a willingness to get those certifications.
It's also important to remember that these more technical positions are suited for the natural MO of a finance professional. Finance experts tend to be more fact-finding, more inquisitive, more about the details, asking questions, and asking why. Those are the skill sets these positions need.
These positions can also be very report driven, analysis driven, where you’re assessing and monitoring; you need to understand finance, how it works in business, but also technically how it runs between systems. If you think of a position that requires you to understand Know Your Customer (KYC) financial regulations, for example, these positions require you to assess and monitor the risk of someone putting their identity in your database, and you’re monitoring it across different locations and virtually. That’s really only one example of many where you need that financial understanding but the technical know-how to understand how these systems work together and where the strengths and vulnerabilities may lie.
3) What are the salary ranges for these roles?
We are seeing positions range from around $60,000 on up to six figures. Honestly, I think that entry-level figure is a little low. I see forensic accounting positions starting in the $70,000s on up to the $90,000s, GDPR positions can start in the $90,000s and go to mid-$100,000 rapidly if you are highly skilled. I see entry-level eDiscovery jobs in the $70,000s. The important thing to keep in mind is the one-to-three-year time frame. You may start in the high five figures if you are new to the role, but you can advance to reach six figures very quickly.
4) How can someone with a finance background tailor their resume for these high-demand positions?
As with any resume, it’s important to highlight what you bring to the table, and what your skillset has done for others in the past. Beyond the resume, you must be able to speak to these unique skill sets in an interview. Make sure you work with a recruiter to highlight your skills to match what the hiring manager needs. Good recruiters will speak to the hiring manager directly. They don’t just work off a globally posted job description, which can be very vanilla. They will take that deep dive to understand what the position actually entails and craft a resume and interview preparation where you can clearly articulate the value you bring to that position.