Even though 79% of job seekers in the financial services sector acknowledge that their search is taking longer than they had first expected, 68% are confident they can find a job within 6 months, a new study finds.

Most job seekers in the business also remain confident about pay, reports OneWire.com, an online hiring and career management tool for the finance industry. The survey found 58% expected the total compensation of their next position to be the same or higher than that of their most recent position. Even so, 57% said that they would consider accepting a lower-paying job than their most recent position.

Confidence levels among unemployed financial professionals remains about the same as 6 months ago, when OneWire.com, New York, conducted a similar survey, according to a statement by Skiddy von Stade, company chairman.

“At that time, we had just begun to see firms start to test the waters in terms of hiring,” von Stade stated. “Since then, there has been a steady uptick in hiring activity, and we remain cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue through 2010.”

The most in-demand fields include leveraged finance, restructuring, corporate finance, asset management, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and compliance, according to von Stade.

Although 41% said that they are being fairly selective about their next job, 39% report that they are willing to settle for anything related to their field, while only 19% say they are holding out for a specific position or title.

But 41% of respondents said they did not believe finance to be as desirable a career path as they thought just 2 years ago.