A finance degree is a formal academic certification awarded to students who have completed their finance-related diploma at a college, university, or business school. Degree programs in this field rarely concentrate on one particular area of study. Instead, students learn various finance-related topics, including economics, accounting, financial analysis, risk management, taxation, and statistics.
Types of finance degrees
Finance degrees are of four major types, and students can earn them either from a university, college, or a business school.
1) Associate degree
An associate with a specialization in finance major can take, approximately, two years to complete. An associate’s degree in finance can often lead to entry-level positions at financial institutions or accounting firms. However, supervisory and management jobs may require a more advanced degree.
2) Bachelor’s degree
Students can complete their bachelor’s degree in finance major, in almost three to four years. This degree is the common requirement for different positions in the finance industry. For example, individuals seeking employment as personal financial advisors and financial services sales agents must have a bachelor’s degree to be considered for these posts.
3) Master’s degree
You can earn a master’s degree in finance in one to two years or less after completing your bachelor’s degree program. An MBA or master’s degree in finance can provide career opportunities in the finance industry, particularly in the analysis or management areas.
4) Doctorate or Ph.D. degree
Doctorate programs in finance, typically take three to five years, to complete and require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. A graduate degree is not always necessary, but it’s often recommended to maintain the intellectual rigor of the curriculum. With a doctorate in finance, you can work as a research assistant or senior supervisor at a university, college, or business school.
Career opportunities for individuals with a finance degree
Graduates with a finance degree can secure jobs in different fields. Almost every type of business requires the services of individuals who have specialized financial knowledge and experience. Moreover, degree holders are placed with the alternatives of working for a specific company; such as a financial institution or a bank, or setting up their business; such as a financial planning agency, or consulting firm.
Individuals with a finance degree can work in a variety of fields, including but not limited to:
i) Credit Analysts or Investigators: Credit analysts examine the financial data to determine the risk of offering a loan to individuals (consumer credit analysts), businesses, and companies (commercial business analysts).
ii) Finance Officer: A finance officer, also known as a financial manager, typically oversees the operations of credit unions, banks, and finance companies.
iii) Financial Advisor: A financial consultant works both as an investment advisor, and a financial planner. These professionals assist people in making financial decisions and achieving their financial objectives.
iv) Financial Planner: A financial planner assists people with budgets, retirement planning, and other financial planning tasks.
v) Financial Analysts: They analyze the financial situation of organizations and offer valuable advice to the company, on investment and fund management matters.
vi) Investment Manager: An investment manager advises and raises funds (capital) for a company.
vii) Loan Officer: A loan administrator is a credit union or bank employee, who assists customers with loan applications. Loan officers often check borrowers’ credit history and their eligibility for a bank loan.