A majority of job-seekers in the finance sector would consider taking a pay cut since their job searches are taking longer than initially expected, according to a survey by an online career management company.

The survey by OneWire.com found 57 percent of people pursuing finance jobs would consider accepting a position that pays less than their most recent position, while 79 percent report a longer-than-anticipated job search.

About four in 10 said they are willing to settle for anything related to their field, double the number of people with minds set on a specific position or title, according to the online poll conducted last month and in early December.

Some job-seekers are souring on the finance profession as a result of the recession. Forty-one percent said they do not believe finance is as desirable a career path as they thought two years ago.

According to SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, U.S. securities industry headcount has dropped more than 10 percent from a peak of 869,600 in June, 2008. to 780,200 in August, the most recent data available.

Still, a majority of those surveyed said they expect total compensation at their next job will be the same or higher, and two-thirds are confident they will land a job in the next six months.

That confidence comes as finance firms have stepped up hiring in the past six months, said OneWire.com Chairman Skiddy von Stade.

There has been a steady uptick in hiring activity and we remain cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue through 2010, von Stade said. (But) it will be a while before we see a full rebound in the finance sector.

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

(Additional reporting by Joe Giannone)

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski, editing by Dave Zimmerman)