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Should I Earn a Finance Degree?

Finance Degree Overview

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What Is a Finance Degree?
A finance degree is an academic degree awarded to students who have completed a finance-related degree program at a college, university, or business school.

Types of Finance Degrees
There are four basic types of finance degrees that can be earned from a college, university, or business school: An associate degree with a focus on finance can usually be earned in two years or less. A bachelor degree in finance can usually be earned in three to four years. A master's degree in finance can be earned in one to two years or less after completing a bachelor's program. Doctorate programs with a focus on finance take approximately four to six years to complete and require at least a bachelor's degree--though a master's degree is a more common requirement.

A bachelor degree is required for most positions in the finance field. However, there are some cases in which an associate degree would be sufficient. For example, an individual with a finance degree can often get an entry-level position at many banks and accounting firms. A masters degree or MBA in finance often leads to the best job opportunities. A doctorate degree in finance will qualify an individual to work as a faculty member at a college, university, or business school.

What Can I Do with a Finance Degree?
There are many different jobs available to graduates with a finance degree. Nearly every type of business needs someone with specialized financial knowledge. Degree holders can choose to work for a specific company, such as a corporation or bank, or choose to open their own business, such as a consulting firm or financial planning agency. Possible job options for individuals with a finance degree include, but are not limited to:
  • Credit Analyst - Credit analysts analyze financial information and assess the risk of offering credit to businesses (commercial business analysts) and individuals (consumer credit analysts.)
  • Finance Officer - Also known as a financial manager, finance officers typically manage the operations of banks, credit unions, and finance companies.
  • Financial Advisor - A financial advisor is a cross between a financial planner and investment advisor. These professionals help people invest money and achieve financial goals.
  • Financial Analyst - Financial analysts evaluate and analyze a company’s financial situation. They also prepare recommendations to help a company invest, manage, and spend company funds.
  • Financial Planner - A financial planner assists individuals with budgets, retirement planning, and other money management tasks.
  • Loan Officer - A loan officer is a bank or credit union employee that assists individuals during the loan process. Loan officers often assess creditworthiness and determine whether or not individuals are eligible for a loan.
  • Investment Banker - An investment banker advises and raises funds for a corporation.
Learn More about Earning a Finance Degree

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