How Hard Is a Master’s in Finance

Getting a master’s degree in finance can be very rewarding but difficult to achieve. Although this degree can open the door to fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities, it’s important to know before enrolling in a program what you would be signing up for.

Although earning a master’s degree in finance may be challenging, it is definitely achievable with the right mindset and preparation. Not only can a master’s in finance qualify you for a variety of high-level careers but it can also help you advance your career and develop your professional skills through networking and experiential learning opportunities.

To help you decide whether you want to pursue this type of advanced degree, here’s a few things you need to know about getting a master’s in finance.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s in Finance?

The length of time it takes to complete a master’s in finance program varies depending on the school and program you choose.

Generally, most programs take one to two years to complete, based on full-time enrollment. Students who enroll on a part-time basis will take longer to earn their degree. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to finish in as little as nine months. To get a better idea of how long it will take to earn your degree, you’ll need to check your school’s enrollment options.

It’s important to note that some master’s in finance programs require students to complete a few prerequisite courses before starting their programs. These courses may include topics like accounting, statistics, and economics, which means it may take longer to earn your degree if you haven’t already completed these prerequisites as part of your undergraduate degree.

What Classes Do You Need to Take For a Master’s in Finance?

The curriculum for a master’s in finance degree typically includes a combination of core and elective courses. Core courses cover fundamental topics like financial theory, accounting, economics, and quantitative analysis.

Elective courses allow students to specialize in areas of finance that align with their career goals, such as investment banking, corporate finance, or risk management.

In addition to traditional classroom learning, many master’s in finance programs offer experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, case studies, and simulations. These opportunities give students hands-on experience applying the concepts they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios.

Admission Requirements for a Master’s in Finance

Each school and master’s in finance program will have its own admission requirements, so you’ll need to check with the institutions you’re interested in to learn more about how you can qualify for admission.

With that in mind, most programs will require the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree  in math, accounting, or a related field from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended
  • Competitive GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement or essay

Depending on the program, you may also need to meet certain GPA requirements or complete an interview as part of the application process.

Make sure to review your school’s admission requirements to ensure you meet the criteria before applying. Also, keep in mind that admission requirements aren’t always set in stone. If you find that you meet most but not all of the requirements for the school you want to attend, it may still be worth applying.

Can You Get a Master’s in Finance Online?

Online programs are perfect for professionals who want to advance their careers by earning a degree while working full-time.

If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s in finance but don’t want it to interfere with your job or other obligations, you might consider enrolling in an online degree program.

Many schools now offer online master’s in finance programs. These programs offer the same coursework and curriculum as their traditional, on-campus counterparts but with the flexibility of online learning. Online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedules, making it easier for working professionals to pursue a degree while maintaining their current job.

It’s important to note that although online programs offer flexibility, they still require significant time commitment and dedication to complete. Additionally, online programs may not offer the same experiential learning opportunities as traditional programs, such as internships or in-person networking events.

Before enrolling in an online program, make sure to review the curriculum to ensure the program can be completed entirely online. Some online programs may require students to take certain courses on campus or complete on-campus residencies.

Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Finance Worth It?

Earning a master’s degree in finance can be a valuable investment, but whether or not it’s worth the time, effort, and money largely depends on your personal interests and career goals.

A master’s degree in finance provides advanced knowledge and skills in finance that can set you apart from other job candidates and make you more competitive in the job market. Many finance-related jobs have a higher-than-average salary and job growth rate, and with a master’s degree, you may qualify for higher-paying positions.

But before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in finance, it’s important to consider the cost of the degree and its return on investment. The cost of a master’s in finance degree can vary significantly depending on the school and program you choose. Because earning such a degree requires a significant time commitment, your ability to work and earn income during your program may be be affected. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits and determine whether a master’s in finance degree aligns with your career goals.

Jobs You Can Get With a Master’s in Finance

A master’s in finance degree can open up a variety of career opportunities in the finance industry.

Here are some examples of jobs you can pursue with a master’s in finance degree:

  • Financial Analyst: Financial analysts analyze financial data and provide insights to help businesses make informed investment decisions.
  • Investment Banker: Investment bankers help companies raise capital by underwriting and selling securities.
  • Portfolio Manager: Portfolio managers manage investment portfolios for individuals and organizations, making investment decisions to maximize returns while minimizing risk.
  • Risk Manager: Risk managers identify and assess potential risks that could affect a company’s financial performance and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.
  • Corporate Finance Manager: Corporate finance managers oversee financial operations for a company, which includes budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis.
  • Financial Advisor: Financial advisors help individuals and families make informed investment decisions based on their financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • Quantitative Analyst: Quantitative analysts use mathematical models to analyze financial data and develop investment strategies.
  • Financial Planner: Financial planners help individuals and families create financial plans to achieve their long-term financial goals.

These are just a few examples of some of the more common positions people with master’s degrees in finance hold.

Pursuing a master’s degree in finance can provide you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a variety of exciting and rewarding careers in the finance industry.

Depending on your goals, you might also consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on finance. An MBA is typically necessary for executive positions, including chief financial officer and chief executive officer.

Interested in a degree instead?

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