What You Should Know About This Degree
If you have an aptitude for working with numbers and money, it’s important to think about what type of role you want to play in the financial industry. Accounting is a closely-related field that has some significant differences from finance. Exploring both options can help you decide which career is right for you.
Working in finance comes with great responsibility. As such, there are a number of agencies that confer credentials for financial jobs, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner. While earning these credentials is technically optional, they are highly valued by employers as a demonstration of your skills and professionalism. Earning these credentials usually entails submitting transcripts, paying fees, and taking exams. Some degree programs are designed to meet the specific education requirements set forth by the credentialing authorities. When exploring programs, you may want to ask if they are in alignment with credentialing requirements.
For individuals pursuing a graduate degree, another popular option is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. An MBA focuses on business skills and principles, but with additional coursework dedicated to the area of finance. If you are interested in pursuing leadership positions, either directly or indirectly related to finance, may want to consider this more flexible degree for your master’s.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Finance programs:
- Do I have the right prerequisite coursework for this degree? At the master’s level, many programs expect students to have some familiarity with basic financial skills and principles. For students who did not complete this coursework as part of their undergraduate degree, many programs offer the prerequisites as non-credit courses prior to enrollment.
- Does this school offer an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s program? If you are an undergraduate student who knows you want to eventually earn your master’s in finance, you should look for a school that offers you the opportunity to begin your master’s while completing your bachelor’s degree. This can save you time and money by accelerating your course of study.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of programs, find out what their admissions requirements and deadlines are. This information is usually available on the school’s website, or by contacting their admissions department.
You should also explore your options for financing your education, including loans, payment plans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits. Thinking about how you will pay for school now can help you avoid stress and obstacles later.