What Can You Do With A Finance Degree?

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The field of finance will always be necessary for businesses to succeed, so job opportunities will never disappear. Finance is the study of how people and businesses manage their money–both incoming and outgoing–and the means used to distribute and achieve necessary funding. If you’re passionate about helping people achieve goals–whether it be purchasing a new car, home, insurance coverage–then you should seriously consider a degree in finance. With a degree in financing, you’re guaranteed to make a comfortable living while assisting companies and their industries boom.

Branches of Finance

There are three main branches, or types, of finance in the business industry; and they all deal with investing, credit, and banking services. The branches and their brief descriptions are located below.

Personal finance – managing and planning individual and family budgets while accounting for retirement plans and other life-altering events; also recognizing specific pros and cons to taking financial risks

Public finance – managing government spending, taxing, and when and how a government becomes involved with its nation’s economy

Corporate finance – creating strategies to expand maximum profits for shareholders of corporations from both short- and -long-term investing standpoints

How to Get Your Degree in Finance

If you’re interested in helping people and businesses get the best bang for their bucks, then studying financing can land you the career of your dreams. If you choose this particular area of study, then your next step is to find a school that can provide you with one of the best finance programs available.

The University of Pennsylvania‘s finance program is number 1, according to this list by U.S. News. Located in Philadelphia, PA, students can join the university’s finance program to learn everything from asset management to the study of venture capital. With a student-faculty ratio of 6:1, there’s no denying that you will receive the attention you deserve and gain personal relationships with your professors to enhance your educational experience.

Sliding in at number 3 on the same list is Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly referred to as MIT. This school’s finance program offers courses in everything from Entrepreneurial Finance to Finance and Fraud in the Revolutionary Atlantic. The private research university was founded in 1861 and is located in beautiful Cambridge, MA.

Another excellent school to attend for finance is the private institute Carnegie Mellon University.¬† Located in Pittsburgh, PA, this university offers students the opportunity to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Computational Finance, which is the study of the use of mathematics and statistics to solve financial issues. Computational finance is not always offered at all universities. To take a closer look at Carnegie Mellon’s program, click here.

Careers in Finance

What can you do with a degree in finance? Whether you have a bachelors degree or masters degree in finance, you have a wide range of career paths available to you. The field of finance will only disappear with the extinction of the human race, so there’s no need to worry about companies cutting back on their finance departments any time soon.

Beginner’s Luck in Finance

If you plan to attend a college or university for a bachelors degree in finance and nothing further, then these are some types of jobs for which you qualify. And remember, with experience excelling talent comes promotion.

Financial Auditor

To become a financial auditor, you must have a bachelors degree in finance. Knowing the basics of records keeping and regulations in finance is imperative if you plan to accept a position assessing financial records and statements for businesses. Financial auditors are good communicators and very thorough when inspecting financial documents for accuracy confirmation. Qualities preferred include additional knowledge in accounting and business.

Entry level financial auditors often make around $48,000 a year.

Junior Tax Associate

Entering the finance field as a junior tax associate will provide you with an opportunity for exceptional experience. You will often work side-by-side with a professional tax accountant to increase your knowledge of tax laws and how to review and assess financial documents based on client  income and spending. Good communication and reasoning skills are required, as is exceptional knowledge in accounting. Junior tax associates and their supervisors are experts at solving mathematical problems accurately and quickly.

Junior tax associates can make over $52,000 for the first few years in that position.

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst is responsible for determining and improving the financial status of a business. This position requires excellent research abilities and advanced proficiency in oral and written communication. Financial analysts create reports that include the statistics of a business’s financial status and what methods that business can use to increase its financial status.

Financial analysts can make anywhere from $38,000 to over $100,000 annually.

Advanced Finance Careers

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For individuals with a masters in a specific field of business in addition to having earned a bachelors degree in finance, even more job opportunities are available. In helping people make the right financial choices, you are helping to improve the world of business with one decision at a time.


With a very vague name, a controller’s job is to protect and manage financial assets of a business. Controllers are often responsible for creating and controlling the methods of protection and also in charge of gathering organizing financial data to present to finance departments. Strong research ability and attention to detail is required, as well as good verbal and written communication skills. Although the position only requires a bachelor’s degree, it is crucial that the applicant possess many years of experience in accounting and finance.

Controllers may earn a salary anywhere from $46,000 to over $180,000 a year.

Proprietary Trader

With a bachelors degree in finance and a masters degree in financial management, you could easily land a job as a proprietary trader. Proprietary traders are responsible for trading stocks and bonds and other financial assets of a company with that company’s money. They are able to make quick and savvy transaction decisions, and they therefore need excellent communication skills.

Propriety traders can make $62,000 to over $120,000 a year in salary, not including bonuses.

Companies that Hire People with Finance Degrees

There are hundreds of thousands of businesses in search of people highly educated in the field of finance. Having a bachelors degree is preferable, but having a masters degree is even better. Below are just a few companies with positions that involve working with finances on a daily basis.

Wyndham Worldwide – world’s largest hospitality company; positions in revenue management and billing management, among others

Kimberly-Clark Corporation – manufactures brand-name products (i.e., Kleenex and Huggies) and distributes products to 175 countries

L.L. Bean – designs and manufactures top quality necessities from everyday clothing to outdoor gear and luggage; offers positions in budget analysis and more

Amazon – online sales community for all your wants and needs from massive amounts of toilet paper to televisions and computers; large finance department with positions located anywhere from Beijing, China to Seattle, WA

WWE Corporation – headquarters in Stamford, CT; uses multiple forms of media to broadcast their entertainment to over 150 countries and in 30 different languages; finance department

Nearly all financial careers provide a more-than-comfortable living and require advanced skills in mathematics and high knowledge of business and money management. There are a number of universities and institutes with impeccable finance programs that will help you gain the knowledge you need to succeed in the world of finance.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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