A Definitive Guide to Venture Capital Careers (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 August 2022

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Venture capitalists are investment professionals who assist companies in fundraising and investing. They use their finance skills and business experience to help companies grow. If you're interested in pursuing an investment career, learning about venture capital careers may be beneficial for you. In this article, we discuss different venture capital positions and provide a list of steps that you can take to pursue a venture capital career of your own.

What are venture capital careers?

Venture capital careers are positions in which individuals work to raise funds and invest in startup businesses and organisations. These professionals can also negotiate deals for startup companies and investors and help companies grow.

Venture capitalists typically work in venture capital companies and firms, and their career paths generally progress through the positions below:

  • analyst

  • junior associate

  • senior associate

  • principal

  • junior partner

  • general partner

Related: How To Become an Investment Analyst (With Steps and Skills)

What does a venture capitalist do?

Though the duties for a venture capitalist vary depending on their company's needs, here are the five main duties that most venture capitalists may need to complete:

  • Sourcing: Venture capitalists research industry trends and find new startups to invest in by pursuing leads and analysing business strategies.

  • Making deals: They negotiate investment terms with startup companies, using their understanding of business and the current market to create deals that are a good fit for the company.

  • Communicating with other venture capitalists: They create a strong network of business connections in venture capitalism to help them remain aware of new organisation ventures and investment opportunities.

  • Fundraising: Venture capitalists raise money, find other investors and negotiate business deals to invest in business ventures.

  • Administration: They also keep track of their records and communications so that they can keep a high level of organisation. They file all essential documents for investing in various businesses.

Related: What is a venture capitalist? (With roles and examples)

What skills do you need in a venture capital career?

Here are some important skills that you can expect most venture capitalists to have:

Investment accuracy

Understanding what company to invest in and how much money to give them is important for a venture capitalist. Investing a precise amount of money into a startup and receiving a large return on investment can be very beneficial to venture capitalists' careers.

When venture capital companies are looking for new employees to join their staff, they might look for someone who can act with precision and know when a startup business is a good idea to invest in or not.

Related: How to Write a Financial Analyst Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

Determination

Determination is important for aspiring venture capitalists because it can show potential employers their passion for a career in the field and the effort they can give to the job if offered a position. Determination also helps current venture capitalists seek more investment opportunities and thoroughly analyse business proposals to help them with their investment accuracy.

Teaching

It's important for venture capitalists to teach coworkers and startup companies further knowledge of investing and business. Having the ability to teach includes presenting your own experience and education in an easily understood way. This skill can relay helpful information to startup companies to help them succeed and grow their business. It can also help venture capitalists communicate better with their clients and help their colleagues improve their skills, which can improve the organisation as a whole.

Related: Teaching Skills: Definition and Examples

Business and economic understanding

Business and economic understanding are important for venture capitalists because they can assist them in choosing which investments to make and help them analyse investment proposals. For instance, venture capitalists must be able to determine the risk of an investment based on current market conditions and the success of other similar initiatives. They may develop these skills by running their own businesses or through education.

Communication

Venture capitalists often meet with their clients to determine their business's financial health and potential growth. It's important that they use effective communication techniques so that they can better analyse their client's investment and fundraising needs. Having excellent communication skills may help venture capitalists ask their clients questions, discuss investment opportunities or explain fundraising requirements.

Related: 5 Popular Communication Skills Interview Questions (With Sample Answers and Tips)

How to pursue a venture capital career

Here are the steps that you can take to pursue a venture capital career:

1. Obtain a degree

The first step to pursuing a venture capital career involves obtaining a finance-related degree. These degrees include accounting, business, sales and business administration. During your studies, try researching venture capital companies to see the degrees that employers prefer candidates to have. You may also take courses that build the skills that you may use as a venture capitalist, like economics courses or mathematics classes.

To find a degree programme that's a good fit for you, try researching various financial degrees that match your needs. For example, if you work full time, then you may research a degree programme that allows you to pursue your studies part time while still working. You may also reach out to programmes that you're interested in to see if their coursework can prepare you for a venture capitalist career.

Related: A Beginner's Guide To Earning Your Undergraduate Degree

2. Gain experience

Upon earning your degree, try finding a position that involves finance to build your experience. By growing your experience, you may have an easier time finding a position as a venture capitalist. You may pursue a finance internship or entry-level job that involves investments, consulting or sales. By gaining experience in these fields, you can further develop your finance and investment skills.

While working, try observing other professionals in your field to identify the skills and techniques they use in finance. If you notice that they have a specific skill they use that helps them complete their job successfully, you may adopt this skill into your own routines. For example, if you notice that an investment banker has exceptional communication skills that allow them to facilitate investment transactions easily, then you may adopt that communication style into your own investment strategies.

3. Apply to an analyst position

Once you gain sufficient experience, you can apply to analyst positions at venture capital companies. An analyst helps venture capital associates with their daily responsibilities, such as filing paperwork, conducting research and making investment calculations. When applying for an analyst position, it can be beneficial to include any relevant work experience that you have and your aspirations to work in the venture capital field.

Related: Common Finance Interview Questions (and How To Answer Them)

4. Try for career advancement

After familiarising yourself with the analyst duties and responsibilities, you may apply to become a junior associate. Many venture capital companies promote employees internally, which means that you may advance to higher positions in the company for which you're currently working. If your company doesn't tend to hire internally, you may apply to junior associate positions at other venture capital companies.

5. Consider higher education

Consider pursuing a degree in higher education, which may include a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Finance degree. Having a degree in higher education may help you achieve career advancement and set you apart from other venture capitalists. While earning your degree, you may gain further experience in venture capital, and you may earn a heightened knowledge of investing and a better understanding of venture businesses that you may apply in your career.

Tips for pursuing a venture capital career

Here are some tips to help you pursue a career in venture capital:

Network

While growing your experience, try building your network to help you learn about venture capital career opportunities and earn career advancement. To grow your network, try meeting other professionals that work at the same venture capital company as you. You can also join a professional venture capital society, like the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

It may be useful to create a profile on a professional networking website, where you can provide information about your experience, education and professional goals. These websites allow you to meet other professionals in your field who have similar qualifications to you.

Related: Networking Tips for Job Seekers

Update your CV

Be sure to update your CV to reflect your most recent qualifications. Your CV is a recruiter's first impression of you, so it's important that you have a CV that shows your most current work experience and skills. It's useful to update your CV every three to six months, depending on the changes in your job titles and skill set.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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