Next to health care, finance jobs are growing faster than in any other area. Finance prepares students for jobs in banking, investment, insurance, corporate, and government. Accounting students need to know finance, marketing, management, and human resources. You also need to understand finances as they influence decisions in all of these areas.
In this article, we discuss the different types of financial degrees, careers in finance, corresponding salaries, and skills for financial degrees.
Types of Finance Degrees
In the finance world, there are various levels of degrees you can choose depending on your specific interests. So you may be wondering, what can you do with a finance degree? A bachelor’s degree in finance will prepare you for entry-level work in the finance field, whereas a master’s degree in finance or a doctorate degree in finance will make you better suited for management or instructor roles in this field. Listed below are the three main types of finance degrees you can pursue:
In the financial world, there are several degrees that you can choose based on your specific interests. You may be wondering what to do with a finance degree? A bachelor’s degree in finance prepares you for entry into finance, while a master’s degree in finance or a doctorate in finance makes you better suited for leadership or lecturing roles in this area. Below are the three main types of finance degrees you can pursue:
1. Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
A bachelor’s degree in finance is usually the most common requirement for a career in finance. This degree takes four years and prepares you for the basic fundamentals you need as a finance professional.
While a Bachelor’s degree in Finance builds on your financial skills, you will also be taught leadership and communication skills to fully round off your skills.
Why Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance:
Many entry-level positions in the financial world require a bachelor’s degree in finance (or an equivalent business degree) to be considered at all. A bachelor’s degree prepares you with the basic fundamentals you need for a successful financial career.
If you choose to do this, your bachelor’s degree in finance can also provide you with further training to advance your career later.
2. Master’s Degree in Finance
After completing a bachelor’s degree in finance, you are qualified to pursue a master’s degree in finance. This degree tests for two years and expands the fundamentals of finance by focusing on specialized areas of finance.
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Finance:
If you really want to gain a competitive advantage in the financial market, stand out from your undergraduate colleagues with a Masters’s in Finance. A Master in Finance will better prepare you for specific areas in finance, such as Trading, investment, or risk management positions.
3. Doctorate Degree in Finance
A doctorate in finance enables you to become a finance researcher and/or a finance teacher and qualify for almost any position in the finance world. A doctorate in finance takes another four to five years after completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Most Ph.D. students in finance will continue to earn over $ 180,000 a year in the professional world.
Why Get a Ph.D. in Finance?
If you are looking for a teaching or research position in finance, a Ph.D. in finance is best for you. While you are prepared for any role in finance, many who choose to pursue a doctorate in finance are interested in selective research or instructional roles.
Top Skills Finance Majors Have
During your undergraduate studies, finance courses will give you a solid understanding of financial insight, technology, and interpersonal skills that are essential to succeed in the job market.
Understanding the different types of financial environments also plays a crucial role in deciding which areas to focus on in your financial career. Below are the top 10 that are critically important in the financial industry.
- Accounting Qualifications/Certifications
- Interpersonal Skills
- Management Skills
- Communication Skills
- Strong Problem Solving Skills
- Financial Forecast Reporting
- Analytics Capabilities
- Software Skills
- Business Savvy
- Innovative Skills
Highest Paying Financial Jobs With A Finance Degree
A degree in finance or accounting can unlock many promising career options after graduation.
- Financial Planner
- Financial Analyst
- Investor Relations Associate
- Budget Analyst
- Credit Analyst
- Commercial Real Estate Agent
- Business Teacher
1. Financial Planner
Finance majors learn about a variety of investment vehicles, and this knowledge can help financial planners to advise clients about how to manage their finances. Finance majors can decipher trends in the securities markets and apply this perspective to their planning sessions.
Financial planners must have crunch numbers and apply principles of accounting in order to devise plans suitable for individual investors. They also need to inspire trust in people and promote their services. Therefore, finance majors with strong interpersonal skills and persuasive abilities will be most likely to succeed in this profession.
Salary and Employment Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personal financial advisors earn an average salary of $ 87,850, and jobs are predicted to expand at a rate of 4% through 2029.
2. Financial Analyst
Financial analysts research stocks, bonds, companies, and industries to assist bankers, investors, and corporate finance officers with mergers, acquisitions, and stock/bond offerings, as well as company expansions and reorganizations. They can benefit from their finance education by analyzing financial statements and other financial data.
Financial analysts create financial models and perform complex quantitative analyzes. Financial analysts also create reports detailing their findings and share their analysis with other members of the banking or finance team.
Salary and Employment Outlook: According to the BLS, financial analysts earn an average salary of $81,590, and jobs are predicted to grow at a faster than average rate of 5% through 2029.
3. Investor Relations Associate
Finance professionals with strong writing, organizational, and communication skills can be successful in this role. Investor relations experts prepare financial information about your company or your corporate customers and present it to investors, analysts, and business media.
The analysis and software tools that were developed as part of their financial education facilitate this process.
Salary and Employment Outlook: According to PayScale, early-career investor relations associates earn an average salary of $61,076.
4. Budget Analyst
Budget analysts apply funding principles to projects and proposals in business, education, government, and nonprofits sectors. You will analyze budgets and evaluate the financial impact of current and new ventures.
Budget analysts need refined communication skills as they interview managers to gather information for suggestions. They also train employees on budget development processes for their organization. Finance majors develop the essential analytical and communication skills required to become successful budget analysts.
Salary and Employment Outlook: According to the BLS, budget analysts earn an average of $76,540, and jobs are predicted to grow by about 3% through 2029.
Actuaries play a leading role in finance-oriented companies such as insurance companies, banks, rating agencies, and accounting firms. The finance graduate with strong math skills is ideally positioned to calculate the likelihood of various events and assess the financial consequences for those outcomes.
Just like financial mathematicians, actuaries manipulate software to perform calculations and present their results. They present their recommendations to the executives of their company and convince others of the correctness of their decisions.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Actuaries earn an average salary of $ 108,350, according to the BLS, and jobs are projected to grow at an above-average rate of 19% through 2029.
Finance majors learn to prepare, interpret, and criticize financial statements as they complete the accounting component of their degree. This will enable them to perform complex accounting work in finance-oriented industries.
Finance students develop a range of accounting skills by learning to analyze business problems with precision and attention to detail, which prepares them for the world of accounting. Just like accountants, finance professionals, clients, and colleagues learn to present financial information using charts, graphs, and other visual aids.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Accountants earn an average salary of $ 71,550, according to the BLS, and jobs are projected to grow 4% by 2029.
7. Credit Analyst
Credit analysts evaluate the creditworthiness of prospective creditors and assess the risks associated with the offer of financing. Finance majors learn to assess the financial viability of companies and to interpret their financial records and data. The investigative mindset of a financial professional would allow the credit analyst to verify the legitimacy of the financial information provided by customers.
Finance majors analyze trends in industries that can affect the ability of companies to generate the income needed to repay loans.
You will have the communication skills credit analysts need to extract information from prospects and share their analysis with colleagues.
Salary: According to the BLS, credit analysts earn an average salary of $ 73,650.
Lawyers in many areas of expertise, including divorce, product liability, civil litigation, corporate, labor, and securities law, benefit from financial literacy. Lawyers investigating financial irregularities must read and understand financial statements. Civil law attorneys need the ability to gauge reasonable compensation for settlement.
Research and analysis skills developed by financial professionals enable lawyers to prepare their cases. Presentation skills and knowledge of presentation software will help lawyers provide arguments and prepare exhibits.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Lawyers earn an average salary of $ 122,960, according to the BLS, and jobs are projected to grow by about 4% through 2029.
9. Commercial Real Estate Agent
Financial professionals with strong verbal skills and a sales focus should consider careers as commercial real estate agents. Commercial real estate agents analyze clients’ business plans and financial situations in order to recommend suitable premises for their businesses.
When listing a property, realtors must estimate the property’s value based on its financial potential for potential buyers. Agents advise clients on ways to finance property purchases and start new businesses.
Salary: Commercial real estate agents earn an average salary of around $ 42,500, according to PayScale.
10. Business Teacher
Finance majors improve the communication and presentation skills that are essential to the teaching profession. Business teachers draw on broad business knowledge while teaching high school students the basics of accounting, management, marketing, and investing.
Finance professionals with curiosity about the business world and enthusiasm for business issues are well suited for this role. People who have a higher degree in economics can also teach at junior and four-year colleges.
Salary: According to PayScale, business teachers earn an average salary of $ 41,654.
What are The Main Types of Finance Degrees?
1. Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
2. Master’s Degree in Finance.
3. Doctorate Degree in Finance.
4. Commercial Banking.
5. Investment Banking.
6. Financial Planner.
7. Insurance Agent.
8. Public Accounting.
Which are the Best entry-level finance degree jobs?
2. Tax Associate
3. Financial Analyst
4. Credit Analyst
5. Data Analyst
6. Budget Analyst
8. Insurance Claims Adjuster