Our world is business-oriented. It’s no secret that financial institutions make life-altering business decisions every day. But who makes those financial decisions and how do you get there? The answer is by enrolling in finance MBA programs.
You can earn such credentials from business schools like Wharton, Stern, and Sloan. Many executives, managers, CFOs, and others have an MBA in finance. An online MBA degree can give you a vast field of opportunities for career-building.
What Is an MBA in Finance?
An MBA, or master of business administration, prepares graduates for higher positions in a particular business field. More specifically, an MBA in finance prepares you to fill executive and managerial financial positions.
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MBA graduates enjoy more senior positions in financial management, real estate, investment banking, and more. Let’s explore finance MBA programs in more detail so you can decide if, when, and where you should earn your MBA.
Is Getting an Online MBA Worth It?
While some future MBA students may be hesitant to earn their degrees online, these programs give you a more flexible schedule. Ultimately, you need to determine if earning an online MBA degree is right for you and your personal learning style.
The Best MBA in Finance Programs
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best finance MBA (AACSB accredited) programs in the country. Below is why these institutions stand out.
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton Business School
The Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, speaks for itself. It was the very first business school in the United States and has had a sterling reputation the entire time.
Managers are keen to hire graduates from Wharton. If you want to attend, you will need expert decision-making skills, leadership qualities, and a mind for innovation.
Once you apply to Wharton, you can focus on various concentrations like:
- Real estate
- Corporate finance
- Investment banking
- Private equity
- Asset management
These concentrations prepare students for a lucrative specialized career after graduation.
Wharton School students have the unique option of pursuing dual degrees. The accelerated law degree from Penn Law virtually guarantees employment upon graduation. Wharton is in the heart of Philadelphia’s University City, home to other notable schools like the University of the Sciences and Drexel.
Students take a total of 19 credit hours: nine and a half of core curriculum, five of the chosen major, and four and half of electives. Students can expect to finish the MBA program in two years.
New York University – Stern Business School
NYU is a fantastic school that surrounds Washington Square Park in Manhattan. Known for its prestige and variety, NYU has business experts at Revlon, Fox, Goldman Sachs, and more successful companies.
The Stern School offers MBA different concentrations like:
- International business
- Investment banking
- Corporate finance
- Health care administration
- Supply chain management
- Not-for-profit management
The MBA at Stern separates students into cohorts of 60. These blocks do everything together, so you’ll always have a place to network. The only time when students don’t interact with their respective block is when taking elective courses as part of Stern’s MBA finance program.
MBA graduates get to start a job search in New York City, which all but guarantees exceptional employment opportunities. Along with standard full-time MBA programs, Stern offers executive MBA programs.
The full-time MBA program at Stern consists of 60 credits of electives, core courses, and majors. The program takes two years to complete.
The tuition for the entire MBA program runs upwards of $200,000. Even though the price is steep, the benefits of the Stern School credentials are arguably worth the financial risk.
University of Virginia – Darden School
Located in the heart of Charlottesville, Virginia, the University of Virginia Darden School is another great business school. MBA graduates enjoy lofty positions at companies like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Google.
The University of Virginia commits itself to diversity and inclusion. This reflects in its curriculum as it relates to the business world’s ever-changing face.
You can concentrate in:
- Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
- Strategy Consulting
- Supply Chain Management
Virginia’s Darden School has multiple campus locations. Naturally, the main branch is the campus in Virginia. There are also locations in Shanghai, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Along with an online MBA program, the University of Virginia’s Darden School has a pretty considerable reach.
The University of Virginia offers impressive connections, networking events, and more to build an open line of communication with established business leaders.
Perhaps the most significant selling points for an MBA in finance program are the increased salary and higher positions. Degrees in accounting can land you a comfortable job, but MBAs go a step further.
According to PayScale, the average salary for MBA graduates is around $89,000. This is pretty significant, as undergraduate degree average salaries in the same field are approximately $71,611.
When graduates start their careers in finance, they make around $50,000 to $58,000. You can see why your MBA in finance program could be worth the trouble.
MBA graduates often win high positions in private equity firms, real estate, investment banking, and corporate finance.
While having a bachelor’s degree in finance can give you a solid career in something like asset management, finance MBA programs take you further.
A Note on Testing and GMAT Scores
Your GMAT score is an important signifier of what you know. Whether it’s reading, verbal, or writing skills, the test prepares you for what you will experience in various MBA programs. There are a few crucial things to know about the GMAT before applying for an MBA in finance program.
Do You Need GMAT Scores?
Sometimes. Many standard MBA in finance programs require you to submit GMAT scores along with your application. These schools often won’t even look at your application if GMAT scores are missing.
The Rise of Test-Optional Schools and MBA Programs
SATs, ACTs, and the GRE usually determine whether you have what it takes for undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees. However, test-optional schools are gaining more traction in the world of academia.
Some schools are more lenient and allow students to submit applications without test scores. This goes for GMAT scores, too, but students still have to exhibit academic excellence.
Many schools that waive GMAT scores require other equivalent experiences. Students usually need a solid GPA and even some specific credits, internships, and more. It depends on the particular schools of business.
This is a fantastic option for those who didn’t score as highly as they wanted to or who struggle on tests. While most schools still require test scores, the trend of online MBA programs not requiring GMAT scores is growing.
Final Thoughts on the Best Finance MBA Programs
No matter which MBA program you choose, you’ll give yourself higher earning potential. Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, your MBA in finance can give you an invaluable boost in your career.
With a salary boost of over $30,000 a year, you should consider joining one of the best MBA in finance programs. You’ll learn much more about your field, and give yourself an upper hand over your potential colleagues. It takes time and energy, but it’s worth it.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.