As the economy continues to grow, job opportunities for financial managers will also expand. These learned professionals are responsible for making certain the organizations for which they work remain commercially healthy.

In Los Angeles, financial managers earn an average annual salary of more than $105,000, according to current data. In many cases, this vocation requires a master’s degree in business administration, finance or economics. Due to advancing technology, top employers also expect candidates to come to the table armed with a technological mindset.

“Large financial firms have been stress-testing portfolios for years and are increasingly using technology in risk-management and to help develop investment strategies,” said James Refalo, chair of the finance and law department at California State University, Los Angeles. (CSULA) “Today’s technology allows managers to better identify and forecast revenue sources, perform market analyses quicker, control operating expenses more efficiently, fine-tune inventory and logistics and improve labor costs.”

How is CSULA preparing the next wave of tech-savvy financial managers?

“Most of our business students receive training in spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel. Many are utilizing application software programs, like SAP, while some are working with popular performance software programs, including Cognos.”

What can managers anticipate by 2025?

“Financial managers will have to be more operational, multi-disciplined and technologically-adept, as they will be expected to address a greater variety of issues.”

What is the best way to prepare for a solid career in this vocation?

“Technological know-how can assist in formulating sophisticated decisions, but it is not a magic bullet or substitute for managerial intuition. On-the-job longevity depends on a manager’s ability to develop strong teamwork and leadership skills, so that he or she can adapt to new environments and be competent with new technology.”

What is your message to aspiring financial managers?

“Finance is increasingly driving all decisions, corporate and public. So, you will be expected to be a leader and someone who can work on a team. [To succeed in this field], you will [need] to develop those soft skills, [beef up your] technical smarts and evolve with advancing technology to be effective.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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