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If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance and want to take your education to the next level, a master’s degree in finance program can be a great option. A master’s in finance can set you up for success in a very high-demand field, and by choosing an accelerated master’s degree program, you can get started on the next stage of your career as quickly as possible.

These accelerated programs provide an efficient and flexible pathway for students to earn their degrees in finance in a shorter time frame than traditional programs. By condensing learning materials, these programs offer the same high-quality education as traditional programs despite taking one to two years to complete.

To make it easier to find the right program, here’s a closer look at the best accelerated master’s in finance programs available online and more information on how these programs work and what to expect.

How Do Accelerated Master’s in Finance Programs Work?

Accelerated master’s in finance programs are designed to provide students with the opportunity to earn an advanced finance degree in a much shorter amount of time than it would typically take. These programs usually require a strong foundation in finance and related subjects.

Admissions requirements for accelerated master’s in finance programs may vary depending on the institution. However, standard eligibility requirements include the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field
  • A minimum GPA requirement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • A personal statement

Some programs may require applicants to have relevant work experience or complete specific prerequisite courses, so review your program’s guidelines for more information.

The accelerated format of these programs allows students to complete their coursework faster. These programs typically include a combination of shorter semesters, intensive coursework, and the elimination of long breaks between academic terms. By condensing the curriculum, students can earn their master’s in finance degree in less time compared to traditional programs.

It’s important to note that while accelerated programs provide a faster route to earning a master’s degree, they can also be more demanding and rigorous. Students should be prepared for an intensive learning experience and be willing to dedicate significant time and effort to their studies. If you’re someone who isn’t able to pick up new concepts quickly or has a busy schedule outside of school, you may find it challenging to keep up with an accelerated program.

Do Employers Respect Online Degrees?

The perception of online degrees has evolved significantly in recent years, and many employers now recognize and respect the value of online education. According to Northeastern University’s “Educational Credentials Come of Age” study, online degrees are viewed favorably by employers.

The study found that 61% of HR professionals view online degrees as equal to in-person degrees, and 71% have personally hired someone with an online degree. While a small percentage of employers still found online degrees to be lesser in quality, the majority respect online degrees and are just as willing to hire individuals with online credentials as those with traditional degrees.

Employers recognize the benefits of online degrees, including flexibility, the ability to acquire in-demand skills, and the demonstration of self-discipline and time management. As long as the online degree is earned from a reputable and accredited institution, employers are increasingly accepting and respecting these credentials.

Is a Business Administration Degree Worth It?

Understanding what types of jobs you will qualify for and how much you can expect to earn is essential when deciding whether or not pursuing a specific career path is a worthwhile investment.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals in business and finance tend to earn significantly more than the average worker. The average annual wage for business and finance occupations was $76,570 in May 2021, compared to the overall average of $45,760. This data demonstrates the potential for higher earnings and career growth in business-related fields.

Moreover, a business administration degree offers diverse career opportunities. Graduates can pursue various career paths, such as:

  • Financial Analyst: Responsible for analyzing financial data and providing recommendations to businesses and individuals.
  • Human Resources Manager: Oversees employee recruitment, hiring, and organizational management.
  • Marketing Manager: Develops and implements marketing strategies to promote products or services.
  • Operations Manager: Manages the day-to-day operations of a business to ensure efficiency and productivity.
  • Entrepreneur: Starts and manages their own business venture.

These are just a few examples of the many career options available to business administration graduates. There are also plenty of opportunities for advancement for those interested in continuing their education by pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The versatility of this degree allows individuals to explore their interests and follow a path that aligns with their passion and skills.

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Finance?

Earning a master’s in finance can open up many career opportunities in the financial sector. While the entry-level education requirement for many positions is a bachelor’s degree, having a master’s degree can give you a competitive edge and enhance your prospects for career advancement.

Upon completing your degree, you can explore diverse career opportunities, such as financial analyst and personal financial advisor roles. These careers offer competitive salaries, growth potential, and the chance to make a significant impact in the financial sector.

Financial Analyst

After earning a master’s in finance, you’ll qualify to become a financial analyst. While these positions typically only require a bachelor’s degree, having a master’s in finance can increase your chances of being hired and allow you to obtain a higher-paying job.

Responsibilities: Financial analysts are crucial in helping businesses and individuals make informed investment decisions. They evaluate the performance of different types of investments, including stocks and bonds, analyze financial data, and provide recommendations to clients or organizations.

Financial analysts can work in various settings, such as banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and government agencies.

Average Annual Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for financial analysts was $95,570 in May 2021.

Job Outlook: The job outlook for financial analysts is promising, with a projected growth rate of 9% from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Personal Financial Advisor

If you’re more interested in working directly with clients as your own boss or at a financial consultancy, you might want to become a personal financial advisor after completing your master’s in finance degree program.

Responsibilities: Personal financial advisors assist individuals in managing their finances, including investments, retirement planning, and tax strategies. They assess clients’ financial goals, develop personalized financial plans, and provide recommendations on investment options and financial products.

Personal financial advisors typically work for financial planning firms, banks, or as independent consultants.

Average Annual Salary: According to the BLS, the median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $94,170 in May 2022.

Job Outlook: The job outlook for personal financial advisors is projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all other fields.

Our Research

This list features some of the country’s best accelerated online Master’s in Finance programs. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution, either public or private, with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of the best accelerated online Master’s in Finance programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The 50 Best Accelerated Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Best Accelerated Online Master's in Finance Programs Badge 2024

University of Scranton

UMass Lowell

UM Dearborn College of Business

California Lutheran University

Indiana University

Johnson and Wales University

Southern New Hampshire University

University of Miami

Walsh College

University of Houston at Clear Lake

Purdue University Global

Georgia State University

University of North Texas