Four Vibrant employees lean against a wall mural in downtown Davenport.

5 banking careers for people who didn't major in finance

What’s your ideal work environment? Is it a place that offers a good salary, meaningful assignments early in your career, and the opportunity to progress up the ladder quickly? If so, it’s hard to imagine a better fit than banking.

But what if you didn’t major in finance, business, or even economics?

Good news: You don’t have to be some kind of math genius to succeed in banking. There are plenty of opportunities for people from every background—because there’s a lot more to our industry than calculating interest rates, underwriting mortgages, or planning investment strategies. If you’re smart, energetic, and curious, it won’t be difficult to find a role that plays to your strengths.

Data analyst, data operations 

As more of our financial transactions move online, there’s an ever-growing store of data that Vibrant uses to connect the right members with the right products. Is there a way to predict when someone is about to start looking for a home to buy? Are they ready to trade in their car for a new one? How quickly can you identify people who will save money if they refinance?  

You don’t have to be a data analytics major to succeed in a role like this. The skills you learn in science, social science, and even history courses are also applicable—along with the ability to put together a spreadsheet to do all the hardcore number-crunching. 

Ideal for: People who love to answer questions with data 

Compatible majors include: Political science, psychology, sociology, statistics 

Project manager 

Virtually everything that happens at Vibrant requires the coordination of multiple departments behind the scenes. Even a simple interest rate increase can mean updates to software, changes to the website and related promotional materials, revisions to disclosure statements, and communications with front-line staff to make sure they have the most accurate information.  

Now imagine all the bigger challenges: system upgrades, branch openings and closures, or, for instance, transitioning the entire organization from Google apps to Microsoft.  

If you’re detail-oriented, organized, and hate missing deadlines, there’s a place for you in Vibrant.  

Ideal for: People who always end up leading their group projects 

Compatible majors include: Any discipline that prioritizes critical thinking and organization, from English to engineering 

Software developer, system analyst, and other technology roles 

No two days are exactly the same in Vibrant IT. We develop and support a wide number of information systems, so you can expect plenty of variety in the projects and products you work on—from the behind-the-scenes apps that help us train employees and detect fraud to member-facing mobile apps and web applications. We’re also not locked in to a single technology, vendor, or solution, and we encourage our team members to research and propose new technologies. In short, it’s a great environment to build a lot of new skills while having a real impact on the way our 50,000 members’ financial well-being. 

Ideal for: People who can find the typo among thousands of lines of code, people whose family members always call them for tech support  

Compatible majors include: Computer science, informatics, languages 

Marketing strategist, content developer, and designer 

Unless you’re currently in the market for a new credit card or an auto loan, you may not have even noticed how much marketing content the average financial institution produces. While many institutions work with outside agencies on larger projects, Vibrant has a growing internal marketing team to handle everything from websites and social media to outdoor advertising and merch design. Fun fact: The staff member who designed our new logo got his start driving our ice cream truck.  

Ideal for: Creative types: writers, designers, photographers, and internet addicts 

Compatible majors include: Communications, creative writing, graphic design, journalism, marketing, public relations, studio art 

Human resources generalist, payroll and benefits specialist, development specialist 

Vibrant currently has more than 225 staff members working at nine branches, in our corporate headquarters, and from remote locations coast to coast. Keeping an operation of that size fully staffed with the right people and ensuring they have the right training is a huge undertaking. An HR career at Vibrant can include everything from helping departments identify and hire the right employees, planning events, going to career fairs, and training employees on the technology and regulatory requirements that they need to know.  

Ideal for: Former resident assistants, club and organization leaders, and extroverts 

Compatible majors include: Business, communications, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, theatre and performing arts