What Can You Do with a Finance Degree?
If you’re a “numbers person,” then you might be thinking about pursuing a degree in finance. A program in finance deals heavily with numbers and a variety of other disciplines. Business and financial occupations vary widely and while having a knack for numbers is a good indicator that a finance degree may be for you, there is plenty more to consider.
Some universities offer a bachelor degree in finance, while others, like CTU, offer a bachelor degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. What’s the difference? That depends on the university you select. It’s important to carefully research the school you plan to attend to determine which degree program offers you the knowledge and skills you need to reach your career goals.
At CTU, the business administration program is designed to give you a fundamental understanding of core business concepts, from marketing and management to accounting and economics. A concentration in finance focuses your education in specialized topics, including:
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Money and Capital Markets
- Risk Management
- Corporate Finance
- International Finance
As you decide whether to pursue a degree in finance, it may be helpful to know more about potential career paths you might take once you graduate. Since every type of business deals with money, professionals with specialized finance knowledge are valuable. Depending on your interests, you might choose to work for a large organization, like a bank or corporation, or you may decide to go on your own, opening a financial planning agency or starting a business.
There is a wide array of possibilities, and to help you see some of your options we’ve compiled a list of growing occupations where a finance degree is useful.
5 CAREERS USING A FINANCE EDUCATION
What they do: Commonly found in insurance organizations, actuaries analyze statistical data to determine the financial costs of risk and uncertainty2. You will need a bachelor’s degree and may also need to pass a series of exams to become certified in the field.
Projected growth: 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average
2012 Median Pay: $93,680 per year
2. Financial Manager3
What they do: Considered a “Bright Outlook” occupation by the U.S. Department of Labor4, a Financial Manager is responsible for the financial health of an organization. This role often requires a bachelor’s degree along with five or more years of related experience.
Projected growth: 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, as fast as average
2012 Median Pay: $109,750 per year
3. Personal Financial Advisor5
What they do6: Personal Financial Advisors counsel people on investments, taxes, insurance, retirement and other financial decisions. Most financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree, as well as financial certifications.
Projected growth: 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than average
2012 Median Pay: $67,520 per year
4. Financial Analyst7
What they do8: Similar to Financial Managers, analysts guide businesses and individuals on investment decisions. Many are employed in financial institutions9 such as security and commodity brokerages, banks and credit institutions and insurance carriers.
Projected growth: 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average
2012 Median Pay: $76,950 per year
5. Loan Officer10
What they do11: Loan officers work with consumers to evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Most professionals in this field work at commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and other financial institutions.
Projected growth: 8 percent from 2012 to 2022, as fast as average
2012 Median Pay: $59.820 per year
OTHER FINANCE JOBS TO CONSIDER
Finance graduates are not limited to jobs in banks and other financial institutions. There are many other occupations that use finance knowledge. For example, you might consider a position with the finance division of the FBI, where you might work as an FBI Finance Investigator. Finance majors can also be found in financial sales or within the field of technology where specialized finance knowledge is needed to develop finance software applications.
Most, not all, jobs in finance require at least a bachelor’s degree to land an entry-level position. In some cases you’ll need specialized certifications or training as well. As you consider your ultimate career goals, be sure to connect with finance alumni to learn more about their experience and how the degree enabled them to reach their career goals. Then, when you’re ready, learn more about CTU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance degree to see if it’s a fit for your goals and your life.
Image Credit: Flickr/Ken Teegardin
1Employment growth and median salary via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm
3Employment growth and median salary via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
5Employment growth and median salary via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm
7Employment growth and median salary via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
10Employment outlook and median salary via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/loan-officers.htm