One thing all corporations have in common are the numbers making up their entire business models. Graduates of finance degrees work with these numbers daily to make investments, launch products, and assist in business strategies. Graduates of finance programs work as financial advisors, budget analysts, financial managers, and loan officers.
An online degree program gives students the flexibility to work at their own pace with the same curriculum as brick and mortar schools have. Due to this fact, online finance graduates have comparable opportunities after graduation. Students can start investing in their own futures with this online finance degree program guide.
Online Courses for Online Finance Degree Programs
Online students are expected to complete various courses throughout their online finance degree studies. Examples of introductory courses include financial accounting, statistics, principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and business law and ethics. As students progress through the curriculum, they are expected to complete courses on accounting, principles of taxation, risk management, insurance, and financial statement analysis.
Many online programs require the completion of a capstone project before graduation. This comes in the form of a final research project where students solve a real-world financial problem. Students are also expected to complete a finance internship or a practicum. Courses vary depending on the intuition and finance program; however, these are some of the standard courses in a finance program:
In online investment courses, students learn the topics of trade mechanics, security markets organization, security classification, financial intermediation, and general asset principles. Applying economic principles to various types of investments like real estate, variable-returns, futures, and brokerage operations are also covered during investment courses.
Theoretical principles of financial decision-making in health assessment, financial planning, working capital, and growth management, are covered in managerial finance courses. Risk-return and valuation of real assets and investments are a few other principles covered in these courses. Additionally, students analyze types of business data to make financial decisions that ultimately impact organizations.
Finance students may have to complete an asset management course. The course covers the principles of asset management using quantitative methods. Students learn to select and design stock portfolios and other investments in these types of courses.
Options and Futures
Students learn how to evaluate derivatives to determine value in these types of option and future courses. Prior to starting a course, students should take investment, business finance, business calculus, and probability and statistics courses. Here, students generally use the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Publication instead of a traditional textbook.
International Finance Markets
Students expand on international financial markets and how technology, globalization, and regulation affect them. Derivatives, futures, options, and swaps are topics these courses can cover. To enroll in a course, students must have a basic understanding of statistics, economics, and finance. Students must also stay on top of current events such as international portfolios and spot markets.
Accreditation for Online Finance Degrees
Students choosing an online finance program should ensure the university is accredited. Universities with national and regional accreditations are recommended. The process of receiving certification involves a review of the institution’s educational programs and student services. Accreditation is important since it affects a student’s transferability and their ability to receive financial aid.
The Best Online Finance Degree Programs
This private Christian college offers a 121-credit bachelor’s in finance degree. The university, with more than 140 majors, is located in Longview, Texas.
The online finance curriculum teaches classes such as accounting, federal income tax, risk management, insurance, and portfolio management. Additionally, students are expected to take religious courses. Distance learners can take advantage of remote tutoring services.
Florida International University
With a campus of 56,000 students, Florida International University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.
The 120-credit curriculum features classes like calculus for business, applied business statistics, and securities analysis. The program is entirely online, and students can complete their eight to 12 hours of coursework through the Canva program. Additionally, students are paired with a “success coach” who provides personalized support during the program.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
An online Bachelor of Science in finance degree is offered by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With more than 20,000 students and 140 programs, UAB provides students with the skill set to succeed within investment service, financial analysis, real estate, and corporate finance careers.
The 120-credit program can be completed in four years by first-time college students, while transferees can graduate sooner. Students need to complete a capstone project that is writing-intensive and focuses on a student’s knowledge in several different business fields.
The Cost of Online Finance Degree
The total tuition rate for an online finance degree varies depending on numerous aspects. State residency plays a part in the overall tuition as universities range their fees on whether students are in or out of state. However, many schools offer a flat fee for online education. Know that distance learners have technology fees that brick and mortar students wouldn’t. The total tuition for online education can range anywhere from $24,000 to $75,000.
Potential Careers after an Online Finance Degree Program
A career in finance does not translate directly to an accountant; it can mean many different possible positions. A few of those positions include financial analysts, financial managers, securities and commodities sales agents, and personal financial advisors. No matter the position, financial graduates work through a global economy and competitive market.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), finance jobs are expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028. This means that there will be around 591,800 new jobs. Here are just a few possible jobs for online finance graduates.
The overall wellbeing of the financial health of an organization falls upon a financial manager. Creating financial reports, directing investment activities, and developing plans for an organization’s financial goals are duties of a financial manager.
A bachelor’s degree is required, along with work experiences in another profession like accountant or financial analyst.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly wage is $129,890, and the projected job growth is 16% until 2028, which is much faster than all other professions.
People in this position assist private institutions by organizing their finances. Analysts prepare budget reports and monitor spending. A bachelor’s degree is required, and courses in accounting and statistics are recommended to students looking to pursue this career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for a budget analysis is around $76,540, and the position is expected to grow by 4%.
A loan officer evaluates, authorizes, and recommends loan applications. This career path involves experience in customer service and sales. A bachelor’s degree and on the job is typically required of this role. Individuals must also be licensed.
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The median salary for a loan officer is $63,370. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this role is expected to grow by 8% by 2028.
Processing data for investments is the job of financial analysts. These analysts guide businesses and individuals to make investment decisions.
These professionals work with stocks, bonds, and many other types of investments. A bachelor’s degree is required to become a financial analyst.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage is $85,660, and the job outlook is expected to grow by 6% until 2028.
Accountants and Auditors
These professionals prepare and examine financial records to ensure accuracy and that taxes are paid correctly, in accordance with laws and regulations. Accountants and auditors also prepare written reports for their clients.
Furthermore, accountants specialize in assurance services and risk management, depending on the industry they work in. Management accountants report on a more detailed business level, like profits by product or geographic region. Accountants are required to have a bachelor’s degree, and an accounting certification is recommended.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a salary for an accountant or auditor is $71,550, and these positions are expected to grow by 6 percent.
Securities and Commodities Sales Agents
People working in these positions connect buyers and sellers in the financial industry. A securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent works with many products and clients throughout their working days.
This role is hugely stressful due to the large amount of money and small amount of time in their work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for this role is $62,270, and there is an expected 4% job growth until 2028.
Personal Financial Advisors
People in this role advise clients on investments, insurance, mortgages, estate planning, taxes, college savings, and retirement. Financial advisors meet with prospective clients to go over personal financial planning, such as financial goals, investment questions, and retirement expertise.
A personal financial advisor needs a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is preferred. The median wage for the role is $87,850, and the job outlook is 7% until 2028.
What Certification is Required in the Finance Industry
Unlike in other professions, a career in finance means students must obtain specific licenses and certifications. To work with stocks, bonds, and insurance policies, a financial advisor must be certified. Certified financial planners at both smaller and larger firms must be registered with state regulators or the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analysts need to be licensed through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
While not required, professional certificates can help professionals advance their careers in the finance industry. Professional certifications can include chartered financial analysts, certified international analysts, and financial risk managers.
Finance Career Resources
Association for Financial Professionals
This association was founded in 1978 and continues to provide support for finance and treasury professionals. Career support tools, professional training, webinars, industry reports, and publications are offered by the organization. Additionally, AFP members gain access to certification and networking programs, annual conferences, and more.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
NAPFA was founded in 1983 to support financial advisors, consumers, and students. Members of the association gain perks like access to scholarship opportunities, education guidelines, and white pages on key policy issues. NAPFA members also get industry discounts and a chance to list their services in the association’s member directory.
National Society of Accountants
The NSA works to provide tax resources, industry research, scholarships, and an interactive learning center to accounting and tax practitioners. The community also offers accounting and tax credentials, a database of accounting professionals, and an annual conference.
Choosing an Online Finance Degree Program
The finance industry continues to evolve, and so does obtaining finance degrees. An online finance degree is an excellent start to a successful career in the industry. Online degrees students complete their education on their own time, in their own terms.
These programs are perfect for students who work part-time or full-time jobs. Since the in-person and online financial education curriculum is similar, the degrees warrant similar opportunities in the industry after graduation.
After graduation, students work as financial managers, budget analysts, loan officers, accountants, and personal financial advisors. An online finance degree sets students up with lifelong skills to apply in the field of finance. A degree in finance is a sizable investment, but the reward is worth every penny.
Career Karma is another invaluable resource for prospective online finance students. Career Karma helps narrow down the best finance program for students.
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