When considering a career in finance, you may wonder whether getting a master’s degree in finance is worth the investment.
When considering whether to pursue a master’s degree in finance, it’s important to consider the costs, benefits, and other factors involved.
To help you decide if this path is right for you, here’s a closer look at what you can do with a master’s in finance, how much you can earn, why you might want to earn one, and more.
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Finance?
A master’s degree in finance can open up a wide range of career opportunities in the financial industry. Here are some examples of jobs you might pursue with a master’s in finance:
- Financial analyst: A financial analyst helps individuals and organizations make investment decisions by analyzing financial data and economic trends. They may work for banks, investment firms, or other financial institutions.
- Investment banker: An investment banker helps companies raise capital by underwriting and selling securities. They may also provide financial advisory services to clients.
- Risk manager: A risk manager identifies and manages potential risks to a company’s financial well-being. They may work for banks, insurance companies, or other financial institutions.
- Portfolio manager: Portfolio managers oversee groups of investments on behalf of clients, such as pension funds or hedge funds. They make investment decisions to maximize returns while minimizing risk.
- Financial manager: A financial manager is responsible for managing a company’s financial operations. They may oversee accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting.
These are just a few examples of the many career paths you can pursue with a master’s in finance. The financial industry is vast and offers many opportunities for growth and advancement.
How Much Can You Earn With a Master’s Degree in Finance?
Earning potential can vary widely depending on your job title, location, and years of experience. However, a master’s degree in finance can help you earn a higher salary than you might without one.
According to PayScale, the average salary for someone with a master’s in finance is around $83,000 per year, but it can be upwards of $150,000 per year, depending on the job and other factors.
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Finance?
There are many reasons why you might want to pursue a master’s degree in finance. Here are a few:
- Specialization: A master’s degree in finance can provide you with specialized knowledge and skills to make you stand out to employers. Depending on your interests and career goals you can also choose to specialize in areas like corporate finance, investments, or financial planning, depending on your interests and career goals.
- Career advancement: If you’re already working in finance, a master’s degree can help you advance your career by giving you a competitive edge. You may be able to qualify for higher-paying jobs or positions with more responsibility.
- Networking opportunities: Pursuing a master’s degree in finance can also give you opportunities to network with professionals in the industry. You may be able to connect with alumni, attend conferences or events, and participate in internships or other programs that can help you build your network and gain valuable experience.
Earning a master’s in finance can help you advance your career and achieve your long-term professional goals.
Is it Better to Get a Master’s or an MBA in Finance?
If you’re considering pursuing a graduate degree in finance, you may also be wondering whether to get a master’s degree or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.
While both degrees can provide valuable skills and knowledge in finance, there are some differences to consider.
A master’s degree in finance is typically more focused on finance-specific topics like financial analysis, investments, and risk management. It may also provide more in-depth technical training in areas like financial modeling and data analysis.
On the other hand, an MBA with a concentration in finance provides a broader business education that covers topics like accounting, marketing, and organizational behavior in addition to finance. It also offers more opportunities for leadership and management training, which can be beneficial if you’re interested in pursuing executive-level positions in finance.
Ultimately, the decision between a master’s degree and an MBA in finance will depend on your career goals and personal preferences. If you’re looking for a more specialized education in finance, a master’s degree may be the better choice. If you want a broader business education with a focus on finance, an MBA may be a better fit.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Master’s in Finance?
The cost of a master’s degree in finance can vary widely depending on the school you choose, whether you attend full-time or part-time, and whether you attend in-person or online.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the average cost of tuition for an online master’s in finance program is about $450 to $1,140 per credit. While these figures are for online programs, tuition for online and in-person programs are typically very similar.
In addition to tuition and fees, you’ll also need to consider the cost of books, supplies, and living expenses if attending a program in person. If you are attending an online program, you may be able to save on some of these costs, but you may incur other expenses, like technology fees.
It’s important to carefully consider the cost of a master’s degree in finance and whether it’s worth the investment. Consider looking into scholarships, grants, or other forms of financial aid that can help offset the cost.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s in Finance?
The length of a master’s degree in finance program can vary depending on the school and whether you attend full-time or part-time. Typically, a full-time program takes one to two years to complete, while a part-time program may take two to four years.
If you choose to pursue an online program, you may be able to complete the degree more quickly or at your own pace. However, it’s important to ensure that the program is accredited and provides the same level of education and training as an in-person program.
Choosing the Right Program
If you’ve decided that a master’s degree in finance is right for you, choosing the right program is important.
Here are some factors to consider:
Online vs. in-person programs
Decide whether you want to attend an online program or an in-person program. Online programs can be more flexible and convenient, but they may not offer the same level of networking opportunities or hands-on experience as in-person programs.
Make sure the program is accredited by a reputable organization like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Consider the cost of the program and whether you’ll need to take out loans or apply for financial aid. Also, look for scholarships or grants that can help offset the cost.
Consider the specializations offered by the program and whether they align with your career goals. Some common fields in finance include corporate finance, investments, financial analysis, and risk management.
Is a Master’s in Finance Right For Me?
Now that you’ve learned more about what a master’s degree in finance entails, you may wonder if it’s the right choice for you. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you interested in pursuing a career in finance? If you’re passionate about finance and want to work in the industry, a master’s degree in finance can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.
- Do you want to specialize in a particular area of finance? If you have a particular interest or passion for finance, a master’s degree can provide you with specialized training and knowledge to pursue those interests.
- Do you want to advance your career in finance? If you’re looking to move up the ranks in your finance career, a master’s degree can provide you with the credentials and knowledge you need to take on more advanced roles.
- Can you afford the cost and time commitment? A master’s degree in finance can be a significant investment of both time and money. Consider whether you can afford the cost and are willing to commit the time and effort required to complete the degree.
- Have you researched and chosen the right program? Make sure you’ve carefully researched and chosen the right program for your needs and goals. Consider factors like accreditation, cost, and specializations offered.
A master’s degree in finance can be a valuable investment for those looking to pursue a career in finance or advance their existing career. It can provide you with specialized knowledge and training, potentially leading to higher salaries and more advanced job opportunities. However, it’s important to carefully consider the cost, time commitment and selection of the right program for your needs and goals.