With a bachelor of science in finance, you’ll gain the education needed to succeed in a variety of careers in business, finance, law, banking, and/or insurance. You’ll take courses in accounting, study investment theory, learn how to teach individuals to plan their finances, and grow to understand corporate financial systems. Students can find work in the field after graduation or pursue a graduate degree for additional opportunities.
What is a Degree in Finance?
The study of finance is a broad field that covers many topics and crosses a variety of disciplines. Students take courses in accounting, economics, statistics, marketing, business administration, and investment management. Students may study finance broadly—covering a variety of skills and applications—or may choose an area of focus like corporate financial management or financial planning. Students studying financial planning often go on to work for banks or pursue graduate degrees to work as lawyers.
Students studying corporate financial management learn about microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics; how to use financial data and mathematical equations and algorithms for decision-making; and how to use statistics to develop profitable customer pricing models and employee pay scales. Additionally, many finance bachelor’s degree programs also work business administration and management courses into the mix, preparing students for leadership roles as finance directors or CFOs.
What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Finance?
- Financial Data Modeling
- Investment Theory
- Money Capital Markets
- Tax Accounting
- Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
- Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy
- International Finance
- Supply Chain Management
What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Finance?
The advantage of a degree in finance is its flexibility. A strong background in business administration, financial management, accounting, and finance law qualifies finance graduates for a seemingly endless number of opportunities across a very diverse array of industries. Because of this, it is unusual for students with finance degrees to struggle to find work after graduation. Additionally, students can pursue graduate degrees to open the door to more opportunities and higher paying roles.
How Long does it take?
A bachelors in Finance will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.
Online Finance Degree
Studying finance is an attractive choice for many university students. Finance is an exciting and rewarding career but it is highly competitive. It is also common for adult students working in business who want to advance in their career with more solid knowledge. There are several universities offering entirely online degree programs in finance. Students are required to complete around 120 credit hours to earn their degree. Students can also choose between several specializations including behavioral finance, derivatives, capital markets, econometrics, financial modeling, quantitative finance and investment management.
*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Finance Director
What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?
Finance refers to the work related to the creation, management and investment of money. In other words, it studies the ways to generate capital and how to invest this capital in the most rewarding way. Finance can be classified into three levels: personal finance, corporate finance and public finance. The same main principals apply to the three levels but the tools and procedures differ significantly. The flow of money is the core of finance and it is facilitated by several tools including securities trading and stock broking, investment banking, financial engineering, and risk management. Working in finance is generally one of the most financially rewarding careers.
What does finance student learn?
Finance is a wide, intense and dynamic field that represents the core of business and economy around the world. It includes a large variety of tools and processes that should be mastered to gain success in this important field. The following list shows the courses commonly offered in a finance degree program:
- Statistics: this is a fundamental course for finance since a large part of financial decisions is based on statistical data about the market. Financial analysts should be able to evaluate the significance of the data presented and determine trends.
- Accounting: this course is mainly focused on the internal operations within a corporate or organization. Although the nature of accounting differs from finance but it is essential to completely understand the accounting terms and principles to reach valid financial decisions.
- Corporate finance: this course introduces how companies deal with fund raising, capital structuring and investment with the aim of maximizing the shareholder value using short-term and long-term planning.
- Economics: it is the branch of finance that deals with the production and delivery of goods or services. It can be divided into macroeconomics which considers the country as a whole and microeconomics which focuses on companies or individuals.
- Financial reporting: there are standards for reporting financial performance which comes in the form of several statements including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and statements of shareholders’ equity.
- Governmental finance: this course describes the role of the governments in economy to evaluate methods to increase the government revenue and limit government expenditure while maintaining the good performance of the economy.
- Monetary institutions and policy: this course introduces the most important monetary institutes around the world and how they normally operate including central banks, resident credit institutions and the international monetary fund.
Now I have the finance degree…where can I work after graduating?
Finance is an exciting, dynamic and highly competitive career. It is financially rewarding with some finance companies achieving more than $100 billion of revenue. There is high demand for finance graduates due to their essential role in different businesses. The following list shows career options available for finance graduates:
- Financial planner: the role of this job is to help clients plan the use of their available financial resources in short-term or long-term investments. This depends on the objectives of the clients and the amount of money available.
- Financial analysts: they work in evaluating the performance of financial institutes that is a critical step in investment decisions as mergers, acquisitions, stock offerings, and corporate restructuring and expansion.
- Investor relations associate: the role of this job is to prepare and present financial information related to a company or corporate.
- Budget analyst: they work in analyzing the budget for running businesses or the establishment of new business.
- Actuary: the role of this job to evaluate the risks associated with financial decisions in the future. They used mathematical models, statistics and financial statements in a process known as financial risk management. This is particularly important for companies working in insurance and pension.
- Other available jobs: accountant, credit analyst, commercial real estate agent and business teacher.
Should I choose a finance degree?
Finance is a degree that has high demand in the job market. It is highly rewarding if you started a successful career in this field. If you have the passion towards business and numbers then studying finance is certainly a good choice for you. You should also have the following skills to succeed in this field:
- Analytical and problem solving skills: this is the most important skill for finance. You will need to analyze the available data to reach valid decisions.
- Communication skills: you will need to have excellent communication skills to explain your work clearly and accurately to your clients or employers who may lack the same financial knowledge in many cases.
- Keeping track of market updates: you should always keep track of what is going around in the business world because things can dramatically in short time.
- Attention to details
- Management and leadership skills
Best Jobs for Finance Degrees
A bachelor of science in finance can qualify students for careers in many different roles across a variety of industries. With a bachelor’s degree, students may find work in banks, for insurance companies, and in corporate finance. Students may also choose to continue their education to earn a graduate degree in finance, business administration, or law to qualify for work as a chief financial officer, tax lawyer, or actuary.
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Get a Certificate in Bookkeeping First
A certificate in bookkeeping focuses on many of the same basic concepts as introductory finance coursework, but having a certificate may allow you to find work in your field sooner. With bookkeeping training, you can find work as a bookkeeper and earn money and experience while later pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance. Additionally, since some of the coursework overlaps, you may be able to transfer the credits from the certificate program to reduce the number required to earn your bachelor’s.