Degrees Available From a Finance Course

To succeed as a professional in the field of finance, a solid, well-rounded education is necessary. A graduate of a finance course program typically aspires to enter into employment as a banker, accountant or tax consultant, financial planner or advisor, stockbroker, or even as a finance attorney. While many of the educational requisites for each of these professions overlap, there are also education requirements that are specific to each career. Financial professionals need to have a minimum four-year bachelor of science degree. And because finance matters need to be addressed at the individual, national, and global levels, many professionals subsequently pursue master’s degrees in business administration (MBAs) as well as professional certifications to enhance their credentials and expand their career options and opportunities. Some professionals also obtain their doctoral degrees with concentrations in finance.

At the undergraduate level, a student earns a bachelor of science degree, most typically with a major in finance, economics, or real estate.

There are several areas of study that are usually required in finance programs: banking, investments, corporate finance, and international finance. Courses in banking cover topics involved in managing a bank or other financial institution. Banking course work also involves learning how to analyze if an applicant for a loan is credit worthy and will be able to repay a loan if approved. Courses in investing teach students how to determine what percentage of an individual’s money to invest and where, for example in stocks, bonds, or other areas, so that the individual has a high level of return appropriate for the amount of investment risk involved. Students in corporate finance courses learn how to analyze if prospective clients will be profitable investments for a corporation. They also learn strategies for corporations to raise money, for example, through retained earnings, equity, and debt. And, as its name implies, students taking international finance courses look at finance management outside the United States or within a multinational business or corporation. In the area of real estate, students take courses such as real estate law and real estate appraisals.

MBA programs provide graduate students with a more detailed understanding of the work and career options they can encounter in the finance industry. These students receive advanced training as they learn more about financial theory and techniques. Examples of some of the courses available at the graduate level include asset valuation and strategy, equity markets, corporate financial strategy, private wealth management, and corporate governance and restructuring.

Graduates from MBA programs are well qualified to find positions as senior financial analysts, treasury analysts, and senior associates in financial consulting and in the areas of corporate finance, investment banking, and investment management. Top employers around the country look to hire professionals who have completed MBA programs as they are well-prepared to face the challenges the financial world presents.

Financial professionals with aptitudes for quantitative-type work who wish to earn their doctorate degrees can enter PhD programs to train on research methods and enter into academic positions in financial economics. PhD programs in finance require hard work on the part of the professional as they develop theoretical models and perform empirical testing on them.

A finance graduate certificate serves a financial professional many ways. A certificate complements the MBA already earned, demonstrating the professional’s desire to learn new information and challenges. Certification enhances a résumé, setting the individual apart professionally. Examples of finance certificate courses include capital budgeting and financing, quantitative analysis for decision making, and financial management. Certifications are conferred from accredited schools and associations.

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