I am a grade 9 student and aspire to become a finance manager. I study the British curriculum. What should I have to do to continue my higher studies?

For a person as young as yourself, it is indeed heartening to hear that you have already identified finance as your career path. Having said that I would still advise you take a psychometric test to ensure your skill sets match you interest.

Finance is an integral part of the FAME (finance, accounting, management and economics) coterie. All four subjects are interrelated and normally you could pursue a degree in either subject and select your major according to the field and career you would like to pursue.

While universities normally don’t require students with specific qualifications, you will need a strong academic record, especially in math’s (after all you are dealing with money) and an aptitude in subjects such as English, communications and accounting in order to study finance.

Ideally take three subjects, including Math at GCE A levels. Along with final year results, the University will also look at your O level subjects and scores.

It is always possible that you follow your undergraduate degree with a masters in a specialised field of finance or a professional qualification like Chartered Accountancy.

Depending upon the country you wish to study, the admission requirements and years of study can vary. North America has a four-year undergraduate system whereas the UK, Europe and Oceania follow a three-year system.

In USA and Canada, to pursue a finance degree you are required to select your majors only by the end of the second year. In UK you will select your major and start studying it from day one.

The admission criteria also differs between the two countries. In the USA your admission is not solely dependent on your academic grades; extracurricular activities, community service, evidence of leadership, SAT scores, essays and recommendations form an integral part of your application. So use the next few years to build your profile through relevant internships and extracurricular activities. Also remember your admission will be based on your predicted grades so engage your school counselor. If available, complete the Duke of Edinburgh program as it is looked upon very favourably by all universities.

For universities outside the US, academic grades form the bulwark for your admission. In addition to the Ivy leagues and Oxbridge, Universities renowned for their finance degrees would include LSE, London Business School, New York University, Berkeley, University of Melbourne, University of Manchester, Leeds, Warwick and Glasgow.

Since finance courses offer a wide range of subjects, they will prepare you for a similarly wide range of finance careers. These include roles in areas such as commercial banking, financial and tax planning, consulting, investment banking, money management, insurance, real estate, auditing, public and government sector.