person fills out job application on laptop Credit/AdobeStock

“I want to go into banking.” That’s a common statement among college business and finance majors discussing post-graduation career plans. Those of us who have long-term, fulfilling careers in the credit union industry may think of banking and credit unions interchangeably in terms of a career path – after all, both institutions encompass a share of the financial services sector. But are they interchangeable in the mind of students? If so, wouldn’t they refine their statement to say, “I want to go into credit unioning?” While it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, distinctions can be made that could help sway college grads to consider a credit union career as seriously as they would a banking career.

I was thinking of this topic recently when our credit union recently hosted a group of area high school students to learn about personal finance. Beyond that discussion, I couldn’t help but mention to these aspiring professionals that when it came time for career considerations, the credit union industry should be among the job prospects on their list. The diversity of career opportunities is compelling. Of course, there are the traditional roles like accounting, mortgage lending and loan specialist, but there are also greater roles in commercial lending than those that existed in the credit unions of yesteryear. And technology? Credit unions have really had to show their fintech street cred in recent years to compete with a multitude of digital banking platforms, not to mention the onslaught of neobanks.

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