Finance Bachelor’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries
Are you great with numbers, statistics, and math but aren’t sure which academic discipline to pursue? Consider a career in finance as it’s an excellent fit for those skills and strengths. You’ll have a lot to look forward to, including a steady job outlook with traditionally high salaries.
The best way to start your career in this field is by earning a bachelor’s degree. There are a few types of finance degrees, most of which lead to high-paying jobs. Not only that but, earning a bachelor’s degree gives you a competitive edge over other candidates. This article covers some of the best finance bachelor’s degrees, career outcomes, and salary expectations.
What Is Finance?
Finance is a specialized branch of business that focuses on managing money, debt, investments, and banking. Corporate finance focuses exclusively on the capital structure, including equity, and how it affects funding or other actions that management might take to increase its value or profitability.
What Is a Finance Bachelor’s Degree?
A finance bachelor’s degree is a four-year program offered by business schools and universities designed to prepare students for various careers in the finance field. Most universities offer a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus on finance, with some offering a Bachelor of Science in Finance.
As a finance major, you will learn about topics including portfolio management, risk management, financial markets, financial statement analysis, financial management, business law, financial analysis, investment strategies, and financial accounting.
Finance Bachelor’s Degree Requirements
To earn a bachelor of finance degree, students need a high school diploma or equivalency. You must complete specific requirements set by the universities. Although these requirements vary with each university, the principles are similar. Having a high GPA from high school increases your chances of being selected for enrollment as part of the education requirements.
After enrolling in the school’s undergraduate program, you must complete the necessary number of credit hours including both core and general courses. Universities can be strict about maintaining a high GPA throughout your degree program.
How Much Does a Finance Bachelor’s Degree Cost?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates that the tuition cost for a four-year degree program is $16,647 per year . The cost of finance degree programs varies with each university. The total cost of this program also increases when considering on-campus boarding, transportation costs, and learning materials.
Finance Bachelor’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Finance Degree
There are various ways that both on-campus and online students pay for their degree, including scholarships, federal direct loans, savings, grants, and private student loans. You should consult with your university or lender of interest before making any decisions.
Best Finance Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Boston University||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Concentration||The New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Florida International University||Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance||The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Science in Finance||The New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Minnesota State University Mankato||Bachelor of Science in Finance||The Higher Learning Commission|
|New York University||Bachelor of Science in Business, Finance Concentration||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|North Carolina State University||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Concentration||The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|The Ohio State University||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Specialization||The Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Memphis||Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting||The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of Michigan Dearborn||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Major||The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business|
|University of Pennsylvania||Bachelor of Science in Finance||The International Association for Management Education|
Best Colleges for Finance: Top Finance Bachelor’s Degree Programs
A degree in finance can help you launch your career in various fields including accounting and business. Finance graduates can work as credit analysts, risk analysts, budget analysts, investment bankers, and venture capitalists. Below are some of the best in-person finance degrees that you should consider.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Concentration | Boston University
Boston University is a top university with over 33,000 students. Business administration students will learn about business finance and related topics such as financial statement analysis, investment banking, and equities and securities analysis.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance | Florida International University
In this program, you’ll learn how to raise money and effectively manage your company’s finances. You’ll also learn things like how to determine if an interest rate would make for a risky investment.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is one of the best institutions to learn finance. As a finance major, you’ll learn the principles of microeconomics, optimization methods with business analytics, and financial markets. This finance program also covers data science and data analysis topics.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | Minnesota State University Mankato
Minnesota State University is a top university with over 120,000 alumni worldwide. This university offers a finance undergraduate degree program that prepares students for a wide range of financial occupations. You’ll gain the analytical and technical skills to work in management, banking, accounting, and finance.
Bachelor of Science in Business, Finance Concentration | New York University
Enrolling in NYU Stern’s undergraduate degree gives the students an opportunity to learn about the finance industry and financial markets. The curriculum is split into two sections, corporate finance and investment/capital markets. This means that you’ll have practice in different aspects of finance.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Concentration | North Carolina State University
This concentration in finance means that you’ll have training in business management practices and financial markets. The courses are designed to equip you with skills to help you make informed decisions in any situation.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Specialization | The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University offers more than 12,000 courses from 18 different colleges and schools. Enrolling in this school’s finance specialization degree means that you’ll study trading, financial markets, and applied fundamental investing. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with the school’s finance alumni during events and courses.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting | University of Memphis
The University of Memphis through the Fogelman college offers a major in accounting, which covers concepts in finance. In addition, this degree program sets up students for professional certifications including Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Analyst (CFA).
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Major | University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration which can set you up for a career in finance. According to this school’s official website, 94 percent of this program’s graduates received job offers. You will learn important financial management concepts to help you launch a career in administration.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania through the Wharton School offers a finance program that develops skills for students to work in the field of finance. You’ll learn concepts such as financial derivatives, behavioral finance, capital markets, global valuation, and risk analysis.
Best Online Finance Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Arizona State University Online||Bachelor of Arts in Business – Financial Planning||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Colorado State University-Global Campus||Bachelor’s Degree in Finance||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Missouri State Online||Bachelor of Science in Finance||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Northeastern University||Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management||The New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Penn State World Campus||
Bachelor of Science in
|Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Bachelor of Science in Finance||The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs|
|University of Arizona||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting Major||Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business|
|University of Florida||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Major||The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission|
|University of Illinois, Springfield||Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Concentration||Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business|
|University of Maryland Global Campus||
Bachelor of Science in
|The Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
Best Colleges for Finance: Top Online Finance Bachelor’s Degree Programs
You should consider an online finance degree if you want to learn but have a full-time job. The curriculum is often the same, but students have access to flexible learning schedules. Below are some of the best colleges offering online finance degrees.
Bachelor of Arts in Business – Financial Planning | Arizona State University Online
This degree option is ideal for aspiring financial planners as it equips students with skills from several finance fields including tax, insurance, portfolio management, and real estate management. The coursework will help you prepare for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification exam.
Bachelor’s Degree in Finance | Colorado State University-Global Campus
In the online finance program at Colorado State University, you’ll learn how to tackle problems by applying financial analysis techniques. You’ll also learn how to interpret financial ratios, financial risks, and investments.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | Missouri State Online
You should consider this university’s online finance degree if you also want to earn a certification from the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute as the coursework will prepare you for this exam. You’ll also learn how to manage money, securities, stocks, and investments for individuals and business organizations.
Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management | Northeastern University
Completing Northeastern University’s finance and accounting degree gives students skills that will allow them to work in an evolving finance and accounting field. The curriculum covers finance subjects such as business statistics, managerial accounting, financial accounting, cost accounting, and principles of auditing.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | Penn State World Campus
This is a 120-credit degree program that will help you get ready for a job in finance. In addition, this program has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program which is ideal for students looking to earn a professional certification to get a higher-paying job.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | Southern New Hampshire University
This program from Southern New Hampshire University will equip you with skills in finance, communication, social responsibility, entrepreneurial thinking, and global orientation. You’ll also learn how to manage stock portfolios using the school’s state-of-the-art simulation applications. To graduate, you must complete a total of 120 credits.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting Major | University of Arizona
Accounting is a fundamental aspect of financial analysis. As an accounting major, you’ll learn how to write and analyze financial reports. You’ll also pick up critical thinking skills which come in handy when solving problems or making recommendations to stakeholders to help them make better-informed decisions.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance Major | University of Florida
The University of Florida helps create over 130,000 jobs per year due to its strong curricula and connections. As a finance major, you’ll get the skills to launch your career in finance. The coursework covers operations management, finance management, financial accounting, financial modeling, financial reporting, equity, and capital markets.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Concentration | University of Illinois, Springfield
The goal of this program is to help students complete their degrees while developing essential skills for use in the finance field. The coursework includes finance-related topics such as financial management, business ethics, financial markets, federal income taxation, and the securities market.
Bachelor of Science in Finance | University of Maryland Global Campus
The University of Maryland will help you develop the skills necessary to examine financial statements to influence your decision-making, planning, and forecasting processes. To graduate, you’ll need to complete 120 credits.
What’s the Average Finance Bachelor’s Degree Salary?
Top Finance Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Finance Bachelor’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Compensation and Benefits Manager||$125,130|
|Personal Financial Advisor||$89,330|
Best Finance Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Explained
Compensation and Benefits Manager
- Average Salary: $125,130
- Job Outlook: 4%
- Number of Jobs: 18,700
- Highest-Paying States: Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey
Compensation managers develop employee payment schedules including benefits and allowance packages. They do this by monitoring government regulations and examining current market conditions.
Personal Financial Advisor
- Average Salary: $89,330
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Number of Jobs: 275,200
- Highest-Paying States: New York, Maine, Montana
Personal financial advisors make recommendations to help clients adopt the best strategies to manage their finances. These finance professionals help clients meet their short and long-term financial goals. They have expert knowledge in finance, tax, accounting, and law. They also help investors make smart decisions in the financial market.
- Average Salary: $88,083
- Job Outlook: 17%
- Number of Jobs: 681,700
- Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia
Portfolio managers oversee all activities involving investment funds or investment portfolios. They serve both individuals and institutions. Other job duties include managing risk, conducting asset allocation, measuring portfolio performance, and choosing asset classes.
- Average Salary: $83,660
- Job Outlook: 6%
- Number of Jobs: 492,100
- Highest-Paying States: New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia
Financial analysts’ duties differ depending on the organization. Some of their responsibilities include financial forecasting, cost analysis, and financial reporting. Becoming a financial analyst is excellent for graduates with finance degrees as most entry-level roles require little experience when you have a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field.
- Average Salary: $81,430
- Job Outlook: 18%
- Number of Jobs: 70,800
- Highest-Paying States: Massachusetts, District of Columbia, New York
Financial examiners analyze financial transactions, records, and statements to ensure compliance with state or federal regulations. According to BLS, these professionals work in risk assessment or consumer compliance. They need great analytical, math, and organizational skills.
- Average Salary: $78,970
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Number of Jobs: 52,500
- Highest-Paying States: Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia
Budget analysts review financial records and make recommendations to help organizations manage their finances. Other duties of this role include consolidating departmental budgets into one, estimating future financial requirements, and monitoring organizational spending.
- Average Salary: $73,560
- Job Outlook: 7%
- Number of Jobs: 1,392,200
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, District of Columbia, New York
Financial auditors review financial reports to ensure adherence to regulations. Such financial records include income statements, account balances, tax statements, and balance sheets. They use analytical and critical thinking skills when reviewing reports.
- Average Salary: $71,790
- Job Outlook: -2%
- Number of Jobs: 119,400
- Highest-Paying States: New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia
Insurance underwriters use a wide range of techniques to determine insurance plans for individuals and companies. They act as a liaison between an insurance company and the clients. Insurance underwriters can work in insurance agencies and brokerage firms.
- Average Salary: $66,610
- Job Outlook: 1%
- Number of Jobs: 199,400
- Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Hawaii
Cost estimators take into account time, capital, and labor to help them approximate the total cost to complete a given project. They also make recommendations involving the best strategies to save money. Cost estimators have strong math, time management, and communication skills.
- Average Salary: $60,644
- Job Outlook: 4%
- Number of Jobs: 466,300
- Highest-Paying States: New York, Connecticut, District of Columbia
Stockbrokers help organizations and individuals purchase or sell things like bonds, stocks, and mutual funds using analytical and research skills. Stockbrokers typically perform trading activities using software and applications. A bachelor’s degree in finance will help you put your knowledge of the stock market to good use.
Benefits of a Finance Bachelor’s Degree
- Gives you a competitive edge . A bachelor’s degree significantly increases your competitive edge over other candidates in the job market.
- Most employers prefer hiring professionals with a degree . Employers typically prefer hiring candidates with degrees from accredited universities and colleges. This means you’ll increase your chances of finding work after graduation.
- It’s easier to earn a professional certification after completion . The coursework in a finance degree covers key subjects that will be on professional certification exams.
- You’ll develop skills for any situation . The degree curriculum is often tailored to match the needs of a constantly evolving financial industry. This means you’ll have the skills necessary to cope with changes in the finance industry.
- Credits can be used towards getting a master’s degree . It’s easier to earn a master’s degree after completing a bachelor’s degree program. It’s especially easier if you’re looking to earn a master’s in finance.
Should You Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance?
Yes, you should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance if you want to pursue a career in finance. Not only will this degree increase your chances of landing an entry-level job in the finance sector, but it will also prepare you for professional certifications. Careers in finance have a fairly promising outlook and high salaries.
Finance Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
What can a bachelor’s in finance do?
With a bachelor’s in finance, you can apply for a wide range of entry-level jobs depending on your job experience. You can work as an investment banker, financial manager, budget analyst, loan officer, financial analyst, personal finance adviser, commercial banker, or stockbroker. You can also pursue professional certifications such as CFA and CFP.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance enough?
Yes, a finance degree is enough to help you get a job in most entry-level finance positions. However, if you want to eventually be promoted to senior managerial roles, you should consider earning an MBA or professional certification such as CFA, CPA, or CFP.
Is a finance major hard?
No, not if you are willing to take the time and effort needed to make sure you understand what you’re learning. Finance majors require technical skills in mathematics, economics, and statistics which many people find challenging. However, just like most degree programs at a university, repetition and practice are essential to earning such a degree.
Which bachelor’s degree is best for a career in finance?
The best bachelor’s degree for a career in finance is a Bachelor of Science in Finance or a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in finance. These programs include coursework that covers many topics that equip students with in-demand skills necessary to work in today’s financial sectors.