If you’re interested in a stable career with tons of opportunities, finance may be a good field to consider. Getting a bachelor’s in finance will set you up with the knowledge and skills you need to jump into the professional world of finance.
If you want to learn more, follow the guide below and use it as a jumping-off point to help you with your research.
What Is Finance?
We have all heard of finance and understand that it has to do with money, but what exactly does it mean to have a career in finance?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, finance is “the system that includes the circulation of money, the granting of credit, the making of investments, and the provision of banking facilities.”
What Is a Finance Major?
Finance majors can expect to learn about every aspect of the system. Some majors may even offer concentrations in areas like real estate, corporate finance, international finance, investment management, asset management, business analytics, and capital markets.
Here is a sampling of some coursework for a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance:
- Introduction to Fiance
- Economics (Micro and Macro)
- Real Estate
- Portfolio Management
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Modeling
- Strategic Management
What Is the Difference Between a BS and a BA in Finance?
Though both the BA and the BS include financial coursework, the main difference between them is that BAs usually require fewer courses for the major and require more general distribution requirements.
The difference between a BS and a BA in finance is relatively small. That said, it’s important to understand that there is a difference and what those differences are.
For example, you may take an American government course or a Latin American history course to cover general social studies distribution requirements. This will likely also be the case in a BS, only that you will have fewer general distribution requirements and more requirements for the major.
Should You Major in Finance?
Ultimately, only you can answer this question. You should ask yourself why you are interested in finance and what kind of work you are interested in doing professionally. If you are interested in thinking critically and analytically about money and assets in a fast-paced environment, you will likely thrive in finance.
Think about the kinds of skills you’ll need to succeed in finance. A finance major prepares students with the skills they will need to think quickly and analytically to make smart financial decisions as a finance professional.
It’s also important that you have a facility for numbers in general and for doing quick math. Though you may not need to understand complicated, advanced calculus, you should be able to work with large numbers in your head quickly and easily.
How to Become a Finance Major
If you’re still in high school, you have some time to make some strategic decisions about how to get to your goal of becoming a finance major. First of all, make sure you’re working hard and doing well in your academic coursework, especially math.
Then, see if you can take advanced math courses like calculus and even statistics. Though a statistics course is more useful for social science fields like psychology and other analytical fields, it is also a useful tool in the world of finance.
Accreditation and Paying for Your Degree
Below, we have included an unranked list of some of the top BA and BS programs in finance from around the country. There are many other reputable programs out there.
Always make sure to research accreditation. Accreditation is like a stamp of approval from a registered accrediting body or agency that certifies that a program meets standards of rigor and excellence in a field. Without accreditation, your degree will not hold much value.
Top Colleges With a Bachelor’s in Finance
Luckily, you don’t have to look very far to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. You can find many excellent traditional classroom degrees and flexible online programs to meet your needs. Below are some excellent examples.
Located just west of Boston, MA, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in finance. Though this is technically a concentration and not a major, graduates of the program are ready to enter the finance world after graduation.
Florida International University
Miami’s largest public university, Florida International University, or FIU as it is better known, offers excellent classroom and online undergraduate degrees in business administration with a finance track. Students who choose the online option can complete the degree entirely online.
The flexibility of the online program allows students to start studying whenever is most convenient for them, in the spring, summer, or fall. Classes are also asynchronous, so students can tune into their classes whenever works best for them.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is one of the largest public state universities in the state of Michigan. Located in East Lansing, the school has a large business school that offers a BA in Finance. The program offers courses like international financial management and security analysis
University of Pennsylvania
It’s no secret that the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is one of the top business schools in the country. Wharton offers a Bachelor of Science in Finance where students take courses in categories like leadership, technology, innovation and analytics, and global economy.
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis offers a classroom and an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Online students are given a ton of flexibility with their coursework and are offered remote technical support and student services.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s in Finance?
Your career outlook with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance is pretty good. No matter what exact professional path you’re interested in pursuing, an undergraduate background in finance will help you stand out from the pack.
You can expect to access a high standard of living in the finance world. You should also enjoy job security, with the knowledge that the field is growing and that job opportunities in financial services are still on the rise year after year.
Though you could pursue a graduate degree in finance, an MBA, or even a doctoral degree in finance, most finance majors go straight into the professional field after completing their undergraduate degrees.
Below are just a few of the most common jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
A portfolio manager works for a bank or a financial management firm. They are in charge of certain financial portfolios that they must manage in line with the ebbs and flow of the stock market and the economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job growth for portfolio and financial managers is set to increase by 15 percent by 2029.
A financial analyst is a financial expert who advises businesses and clients about investment decisions. Financial analysts could work internally with a large company or externally as consultants. Their mean annual salary is just over $81,500.
Stockbrokers work on Wall St. and in other financial centers. Their more technical title is securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Stockbrokers make the majority of their income through commission, but their base annual income averages to just over $62,000 per year, according to BLS.
Personal Financial Advisor
According to BLS, personal financial advisors make a mean annual salary of $87,850. Most Personal Financial Advisors have a background as Certified Financial Planners working at a bank or a large firm before they start working for personal clients.
Majoring in finance is a solid step in the right direction if you want to pursue a career in the financial services industry. Most major employers will consider you eligible for entry-level positions so that you can learn the ropes and start getting valuable experience.
Then, it’s only a matter of time before you work your way up and move toward the specialized finance career you might be dreaming about.
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