What a Finance Degree Can Do for You

Whether you are just starting your career or looking to make a change, a finance degree can give you the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in various finance-related professions.

Before deciding whether or not a finance degree is right for you, you must consider your options carefully.

If you’re considering pursuing a career in finance, here’s a closer look at the benefits of getting a finance degree, the skills you will learn, the different types of finance degrees, and careers in finance.

5 Benefits of Getting a Finance Degree

Finance degrees are versatile and can set you up for a long and successful career.

Here are a few key reasons you might consider pursuing a finance degree.

Career opportunities

One of the most significant benefits of getting a finance degree is the wide range of career opportunities available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in financial occupations is expected to grow by about 7% from 2021 to 2031.

The financial industry offers various career paths, including investment banking, commercial banking, financial planning, wealth management, and corporate finance.

With a finance degree, you will have the skills and knowledge needed to excel in any of these roles. Finance degrees can also be applied to other industries, such as healthcare, technology, and government.

High earning potential

Another advantage of getting a finance degree is the high earning potential. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for professionals in business and financial occupations was $76,570 in May 2021, compared to $45,760 for all occupations.

Finance professionals with advanced degrees or certifications, such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP), can earn even higher salaries.

Certification opportunities

A finance degree can also open up the opportunity to obtain industry certifications. These certifications can help you stand out in the job market and increase your earning potential.

The most popular certifications for finance professionals include CFA, CFP, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Financial Risk Manager (FRM).

Skill development

A finance degree can also help you develop critical skills essential in any industry. These skills include analytical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and communication.

In addition, finance degrees often require math, statistics, and accounting courses, which can help you develop the technical skills needed in the financial industry.

Job stability

Finance is also an excellent field for anyone seeking job security and stability. The financial industry is an essential part of the economy, and there will always be a need for finance professionals.

What Skills Will I Learn?

Before choosing what to major in, it’s important to consider whether or not your chosen major will help you develop the skills you need to achieve your career goals.

When pursuing a finance degree, you will develop both soft and hard skills that can help you succeed in finance as well as other fields.

Soft skills

Soft skills are essential in any industry and include skills that aren’t directly tied to your profession but are still necessary for success in professional environments.

While earning a finance degree, you’ll develop soft skills like communication, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. These skills can help you work effectively with colleagues and clients and navigate complex business environments.

Hard skills

Hard skills are technical skills specific to the financial industry.

Some of the hard skills you will learn in a finance degree program include financial analysis, accounting, investment management, risk management, and financial planning.

Types of Finance Degrees

Depending on your goals, there are several types of finance degrees you might be interested in, including:

  • A bachelor’s degree in finance typically takes four years to complete and provides a broad overview of finance concepts and practices.
  • A Master’s degree in finance can take one to two years to complete, providing a more in-depth study of finance concepts and practices. This degree is best suited for individuals looking to advance their careers in finance.
  • An MBA with a finance concentration provides a broader business education focusing on finance. This degree can be completed online or in person and takes one to two years to complete.
  • A Ph.D. in finance is a research-focused degree that can take several years to complete. Individuals interested in this degree often pursue academia or research positions in the financial industry.

The type of finance degree you pursue will depend on your career goals and current level of education.

Careers in Finance

A finance degree can lead to various careers in the financial industry. Some of the most common professions in finance include:

  • Investment bankers help companies and governments raise capital by underwriting and selling securities.
  • Financial analysts research and analyze financial data to make investment recommendations and inform business decisions.
  • Financial planners work with individuals and families to develop financial plans to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • Wealth managers work with high-net-worth individuals to manage their investments and financial portfolios.
  • Commercial bankers work with businesses to provide financial services such as loans and lines of credit.

These are just a few examples of the many careers available in finance. Your career path will depend on your interests, skills, and education.

Do You Need a Degree to Work in Finance?

While a finance degree can be beneficial for a career in finance, it is not always necessary. Some individuals in the financial industry have degrees in other fields, such as economics, business, or mathematics. However, having a finance degree can give you a competitive edge in the job market and provide a solid foundation in finance concepts and practices.

Many finance professionals also obtain industry certifications such as CFA or CFP. These certifications help demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of finance and make you a more competitive job candidate.

How to Find the Right Finance Program

If you are considering a finance degree, finding the right program for your needs is essential. Some factors to consider when selecting a finance program include:

  • Accreditation: Look for programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Reputation: Research the program’s reputation and rankings to ensure it is respected in the industry.
  • Curriculum: Review the program’s curriculum to ensure it covers the finance topics you are interested in and aligns with your career goals.
  • Faculty: Research the faculty to ensure they have the expertise and experience to provide quality education.
  • Cost: Consider the program’s cost and whether it aligns with your budget and financial goals.

By considering these factors and researching, you can find the right finance program for your needs and set yourself up for success in the financial industry.

Interested in another degree instead?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.