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Getting Your Master’s Degree in Finance

Getting Your Master's Degree in Finance

Master’s Degree in Finance

Finance can be quite a broad term but includes matters regarding the study of money and investments. There are different types of finance, from personal to corporate to public. 

Finance as a study arose back in the 1940s and 1950s, however, finance, when it comes to banking, investing, and money in general has been around a very long time. 

Finance is a growing field. According to BLS, employment in business and financial occupations is projected to grow 5% from 2019-2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. 

Online or In-person

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in finance, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience. 

A Master’s in Finance  

Going to get your master’s in finance will allow you to move up in your career, and allow you to pursue higher-paying jobs. You will be able to take the skills and experience you will gain from the program into your own career. You will also find many networking opportunities from your time in school that can make finding a job that much easier after you receive your master’s degree. 

Concentrations in Finance

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some of the most common that you might find in a master’s of finance program:

Corporate Finance

Students will prepare to work with businesses’ financial tactics and strategies. 

Investment

Students will learn how to analyze investments, investment portfolios, and how to advise clients on investments. 

Computation and Programming

Students will study technical functions that finance professionals use in order to access data. 

MBA with the Finance concentration

This is for students who would like a broad degree in management but who also have an interest in finance. 

Classes in Finance   

The classes you take in a master’s of finance program will depend on the concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree. 

  • Corporate Finance – this class is an introduction to the fundamentals of corporate finance such as capital markets, acquisitions, debt securities, and more. 
  • Managerial Economics – this class provides an overview of economic tools and analytic approaches available to the manager of a company. 
  • Financial Management – this class would concentrate on financial management benefits that people are interested in regarding financial planning, investing, and other financial concerns. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students most likely will need to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, finance, statistics, business administration, or other related fields.

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

How to Choose a Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right finance master’s program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Most programs are two years long, but students might also be able to find an accelerated program and be done in a year. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost. 

Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the profession. 

Top Master’s in Finance Programs 

There are many different master’s in finance programs, some are in-person, and some are online. 

Here are 10 of the top master’s in finance  programs: 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Arizona State University
  • Georgia State University

Top Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Here are 10 of the top online master’s in finance   programs: 

  • Georgetown University
  • University of Miami
  • Webster University
  • Creighton University
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • Colorado State University
  • West Texas A&M University
  • University of Scranton
  • University of Houston – Clear Lake
  • Texas A&M University – Commerce

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Finance  

Budget Analyst

Annual Median Pay: $62,520

Budget Analysts assist both public and private organizations with managing their finances.

Accountant

Annual Median Pay: $51,796

Accountants will analyze and audit finances for people, companies, and organizations. 

Financial Director

Annual Median Pay: $114,230

Financial Directors are executives that manage the organization, a company’s financials and work on financial planning within the company. 

Stock Broker

Annual Median Pay: $59,958

Stock Brokers typically work for brokerage firms, buying and selling stocks for their clients. 

Personal Financial Advisor

Annual Median Pay: $67,421

Personal Financial Advisors will help individuals manage their money as well as help them plan for their financial future.

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Finance  

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in finance. You can also find other scholarships on College Recon

FWSF Scholarship

FWSF stands for the Financial Women of San Francisco. This scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students. The graduate scholarship is awarded to students who will be enrolled during the upcoming summer semester or afterward. Students must be enrolled at the main physical campus of a Bay Area (in California) accredited college or university or be enrolled and attend a school satellite campus. Students will need to be working on getting a degree and pursuing a career in the financial services industry. There will be multiple recipients receiving $15,000. 

The Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship

The Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship is to recognize outstanding performances by graduate program students preparing for a career in state and local government finance. There will be one award for $20,000 and graduates need to be enrolled full-time. 

WTS Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship 

This scholarship was established in 1981 by WTS International to encourage women to pursue career paths in transportation. It is in memory of Helene M. Overly, the first Executive Secretary of WTS. The scholarship is for those currently enrolled in a graduate degree program in a transportation-related field such as transportation, engineering, planning, finance, or logistics. Students need to have plans to pursue a career in a transportation-related field. Applications will need to be submitted through a student’s local WTS chapter. There are multiple recipients receiving $4,000 as an award. 

WIFLE Annual Scholarship Program 

This scholarship is awarded based on a student’s academic potential, achievement, and commitment to serving communities in the field of law enforcement and available to those who are in graduate or postgraduate programs. Students will also need to be majoring in criminal justice, or a related major such as social sciences, public administration, computer science, finance, linguistic arts, chemistry, and physics. The amount of the award varies. 

Spencer Educational Foundation Scholarships

These scholarships are available to those going to school full-time, or part-time while working full-time as a risk practitioner. Each award is for $10,000. Students will need to be pursuing a master’s degree seeking a career in risk management/insurance and have relevant work/internship experience and leadership skills. 

Finance Related Majors:

  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Statistics 
  • Economics 

 

About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.