Why This Matters


    Some finance jobs, like loan interviewers, financial clerks, and actuaries, are expected to grow much faster than average over the next few years.

  • 476,200 NEW JOBS BY 2029

    Economic growth is driving the finance and business fields, which the BLS predicts will increase by 5% between 2019 and 2029.


    Business and finance occupations earn an average of $72,250 a year. This is more than $30,000 higher than the national average for all occupations, which sits at $41,950.

Our Research

Our list prioritizes graduate certificate programs that are both valuable and accessible for busy professionals. Some of the certificates are specialized for a particular field, such as public budgeting and financial management. While all of the programs on our list have an online component, some are also hybrid or have an on-campus option for students that crave the social aspect of college courses.

Many of the programs are offered through colleges and universities in the Northeast and are accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE works to ensure educational excellence across all of the institutions it accredits, and it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable gauge of an institution’s educational quality.

  • 80 hours to write this article
  • 112 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 127 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Graduate Certificate in Finance Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

A graduate certificate in finance differs from a graduate degree, which is a longer and more intensive program. A graduate certificate may be more affordable and flexible, making it a great option for parents and full-time employees who want to advance their careers.

Students should look for accrediting bodies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. These organizations ensure that the program provides a quality experience.

The finance field, along with associated business occupations, is projected to grow faster than average over the next decade, with increased demand for financial clerks, actuaries, and financial examiners in particular.

Depending on the field, licensure might be required. For example, financial advisors need some sort of license to sell investment products. Potential actuaries will want to look into becoming licensed through the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online graduate certificate in finance programs:

  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Depending on the program, courses may be offered synchronously or asynchronously. Online programs usually rely on self-study, but some may be synchronous and meet online in real-time. Hybrid and on-campus courses will require students to attend at least some classes in person.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Graduate certificate programs might take a year and a half or less to complete. Some programs on our list, such as the Applied Finance Certificate through Colorado State University, have a varied time frame that depends on the course and the student’s pace.

Deciding to further your education is a big step. As you map out your career path, talking with an advisor can help you balance your responsibilities and prepare for financial aid and enrollment deadlines. With the right help and an organized approach, you can kick-start a rewarding career in finance through an online graduate certificate.