Getting a Degree in Finance
Getting a degree in finance can be a smart choice for someone who loves numbers and wants to work with money in a professional setting. Finance majors develop analytical skills to read financial statements and appraise the financial standing of companies, organizations, or other entities. They also work with spreadsheets and other software that is used to process and present financial information to colleagues and clients.
Associate’s Degree in Finance
If you want to go for your associate’s degree in finance, you can qualify for many clerical or agent positions. These jobs can provide an opportunity for advancement after a few years. Getting your associate’s degree in finance will probably take you a couple of years.
You may take courses in statistics, trends and business law, principles of management, and accounting and investment. You can get your degree at a local community college or look for an online option. Davenport University, Northeast Iowa Community College, or Johnston Community College all have highly rated online programs.
Jobs you can get with an Associate’s Degree in Finance
- Financial Clerks, who keep and update financial records, and do administrative work, have an average salary of $40,540, according to BLS, as of 2019.
- Accounting Clerks, who are responsible for numerous tasks such as matching invoices to purchase orders or vouchers, maintaining accounting records, filing documents, and assisting with the processing of accounts payable and receivable, have an average salary of $41,230, according to BLS, as of 2019.
- Information Clerks, who perform clerical duties, maintain records, collect data, and provide information to customers, have an average salary of $35,390, according to BLS, as of 2019.
Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
Getting your bachelor’s degree in finance is the next level up from getting a job with an associate’s degree. Getting your bachelor’s degree will take around 4 years, depending on if you go to school full or part-time. Doing so will prepare you for the fundamentals you will need as a finance professional. You will be taught leadership and communication skills and should be able to pick a specialization.
Some of the specializations might be corporate finance, studies in investments, financial statement analysis, and international finance. You might take classes in capital management, investment banking, or portfolio management, depending on your specialization.
For online programs, Capella University, Southern New Hampshire University, and ECPI University are all highly rated. For in-person programs, Purdue University, Grand Canyon University, and The University of Virginia are all highly rated.
Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
- Budget Analysts, who organize the finances of an organization, run reports, track spending, and create and monitor budgets, have an average salary of $76,540, according to BLS, as of 2019.
- Financial Analysts, who study reports concerning the performance of different investments, and provide financial feedback to organizations to make financial decisions, have an average salary of $81,590, according to BLS, as of 2019.
- Financial Managers, who help plan and manage the financial activities of an organization, and help executives make financial decisions, have an average salary of $129,890, according to BLS, as of 2019.
Master’s Degree in Finance
Deciding to get your master’s degree in finance can be the right next step if you want to move further in your career in finance. You would learn about new trends, technologies, and theories so you can stay up to date with the industry.
You might cover topics such as investment banking, financial modeling, and economics. Students will take courses such as portfolio management, financial reporting, and financial investments.
A master’s degree should take between 1-2 years, depending on if you go full or part-time. You would need to have a BA, preferably in finance. Some schools might also require previous work experience.
For online programs, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, and Boston University are all highly rated. For in-person programs, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Columbia University in the City of New York are all highly rated.
Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
- Portfolio Managers, who are responsible for creating and managing investment allocations for clients or who work with individuals and families, or corporate investors, have an average salary of $86,856, according to Payscale, as of 2020.
- Chief Financial Officers, who are senior executives, and are responsible for managing the financial actions of a company, have an average salary of $135,872, according to Payscale, as of 2020.
- Investment Bankers, who assist governments and corporate investment portfolios, and that help companies build passive income that sustains operations, have an average salary of $100,556, according to Payscale, as of 2020.
Doctorate Degree in Finance
Getting a doctorate or Ph.D. in finance will give you a better chance of securing a higher-paying job after graduation. A Ph.D. should take you around five years depending on the program. You might take courses in microeconomics, statistics, corporate finance, finance theory, or similar. You might find a job as a financial manager, a compensation and benefits manager, or a budget analyst. The University of Arizona, Walden University, and Boston College all have highly rated programs.
- Business Administration
Getting your degree in finance means you can apply for certain scholarships just for finance, or similar majors. Here are a couple of them:
For A Bright Future Global Scholarship Program
This scholarship is designed to inspire and equip young adults to tackle the pressing issues affecting their communities. To be eligible students must have a desire for higher education with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, educating children, or the creative arts. Applicants must also be a part of an underrepresented minority. Students must also demonstrate high performance and self-drive as evidenced by outstanding achievement in school and community or work-related activities. The number of scholarships varies. For more info, please go here.
Matt Fong Asian Americans in Public Finance Scholarship
This scholarship was established in memory of Matt Fong, a former California State Treasurer. Students must be an incoming sophomore, junior, or senior at a 4-year college or university. They also must be majoring in accounting, political science, public policy, business administration, or related fields. Students must be enrolled in a California college or university, and be at least 50% Asian, with financial need. Preference will be given to those with a record of community service or volunteer work. The award will be in the amount of $2,500. For more info, please go here.