What can I do with a degree in Finance?

Finance is a business degree. Coursework includes classes in accounting, business, economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics.

Following are some of the careers that you can pursue with a major in finance:

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Human resources managers usually need a bachelor’s degree. There are bachelor’s degree programs in human resources. Alternatively, candidates may complete a bachelor’s degree in another field, such as finance, business management, education, or information technology. Courses in subjects such as conflict management or industrial psychology may be helpful.

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Accountant

Accountants develop, assemble, prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

Most accountant positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

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Economist

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for most economist jobs. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience. Students can pursue an advanced degree in economics with a bachelor’s degree in a number of fields, but a strong background in mathematics is essential. A Ph.D. in economics may require several years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree, including completion of detailed research in a specialty field.

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Buyer or Purchasing Agent

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.

Educational requirements usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

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Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.

A high school diploma is the typical requirement for insurance sales agents, although a bachelor’s degree can improve one’s job prospects. Public-speaking classes can be useful in improving sales techniques, and often agents will have taken courses in business, finance, or economics. Business knowledge is also helpful for sales agents hoping to advance to a managerial position.

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Budget Analyst

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.

Employers generally require budget analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree. Because developing a budget requires strong numerical and analytical skills, courses in statistics or accounting are helpful. Federal, state, and local governments have varying requirements, but usually require a bachelor's degree in one of many areas, such as accounting, finance, business, public administration, economics, statistics, political science, or sociology.

Budget Analyst job openings

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. They evaluate insurance applications and determine coverage amounts and premiums.

Most firms prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business, finance, economics, and mathematics are particularly helpful.

Insurance Underwriter job openings

Cost Estimator

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.

Employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. A strong background in mathematics is essential. Construction cost estimators typically need a bachelor’s degree in an industry-related field, such as construction management, building science, or engineering. Those interested in estimating manufacturing costs typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, or finance.

Cost Estimator job openings

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics. For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.

Financial Analyst job openings

Management Analyst

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

A bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for management analysts. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Few colleges and universities offer formal programs in management consulting. However, many fields of study provide a suitable education because of the range of areas that management analysts address. Common fields of study include business, management, economics, political science and government, accounting, finance, marketing, psychology, computer and information science, and English.

Management Analyst job openings

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.

Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although employers usually do not require personal financial advisors to have completed a specific course of study, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Programs in financial planning are becoming more available in colleges and universities.

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Loan Officer

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.

Loan officers typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.

Loan Officer job openings

Compensation and Benefits Manager

Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.

Compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor’s degree for most positions, and some jobs require a master’s degree. Because not all undergraduate programs offer a degree in human resources, managers often have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management, finance, or a related field.

Compensation Manager job openings and Benefits Manager job openings

Financial Services Sales Agent

Financial services sales agents consult on a wide variety of banking, securities, insurance, and related services to individuals and businesses, often catering the services to meet the client’s financial needs. They contact potential clients to explain their services, which may include the handling of checking accounts, loans, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, credit cards, and estate and retirement planning.

Financial services sales agents generally must have a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level job. Studies in business, finance, accounting, or economics are important, especially for larger firms. Many firms hire summer interns before their last year of college, and those who are most successful are offered full-time jobs after they graduate.

Financial Services Sales Agent job openings

Real Estate Appraiser or Assessor

Appraisers and assessors of real estate provide an estimate of the value of land and the buildings on the land usually before it is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed.

Although requirements may vary by state, appraisers of residential or commercial property usually must have at least a bachelor’s degree. College courses in subjects such as economics, finance, mathematics, computer science, English, and business or real estate law can be useful for prospective appraisers and assessors.

Real Estate Appraiser job openings and Real Estate Assessor job openings

Compensation, Benefits, or Job Analysis Specialist

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as a person’s classification and salary.

Most employers require that compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists have a bachelor’s degree. Many specialists have a degree in human resources, business administration, finance, communication, or a related field. Some employers may accept previous work experience in lieu of a formal degree.

Compensation Specialist job openings, Benefits Specialist job openings, Job Analysis Specialist job openings

Property Manager

Property managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.

Many employers prefer to hire college graduates for property management positions, particularly for offsite positions dealing with a property’s finances or contract management. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, or public administration is preferred for commercial management positions. Managers of commercial properties and those dealing with a property’s finances and contract management increasingly are finding that they need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance, or real estate management, especially if they do not have much practical experience.

Property Manager job openings

Emergency Management Director

Emergency management directors prepare plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. They also help lead the response during and after emergencies, often in coordination with public safety officials, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

Emergency management directors typically need a bachelor’s degree in business or public administration, accounting, finance, emergency management, or public health. Some directors working in the private sector in the area of business continuity management may need to have a degree in computer science, information systems administration, or another information technology (IT) field.

Emergency Management Director job openings

Financial Examiner

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.

Specific requirements for financial examiners vary between federal and state governments. However, all financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) must have at least 6 semester hours in accounting.

Financial Examiner job openings