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Should I Earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Finance

Higher Education Articles May 15, 2014

Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in finance will be prepared for a variety of entry-level jobs, such as a portfolio manager, financial analyst, and financial planner. This article expands on the different paths graduates can take.

Educational and Career Choices for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates in Finance

Students enrolled in a finance bachelor’s degree program have many doors opened for them; these include access to entry-level careers in business and finance, preparation for master’s programs, and qualification for a finance professional certification credential. Preparation for a graduate program assumes great importance given that there is high demand among corporate employers for candidates with a master’s degree in finance.

Undergraduate finance majors are taught numerous subjects, including sound investing, cost control, and long-term financial planning. College coursework typically includes financial statement analysis, international finance, financial markets, statistics, and accounting.

Entry-Level Finance Careers

While either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Finance could be pursued by students, the same entry-level careers can be sought by graduates of both degrees. Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Finance program are offered a broader liberal arts perspective than those in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program. Finance majors can seek jobs in financial services, investments, and banking. Typically, they are employed by real estate companies, government agencies, insurance carriers, banks, and securities and commodities brokers. They can pursue entry-level positions in finance, such as:

•Commercial Lender
•Bank Branch Manager
•Security Analyst
•Trust Manager
•Portfolio Manager
•Financial Planner
•Financial Manager
•Financial Analyst

Finance Certification Choices

While not a mandatory requirement, certification is an attraction for applicants to many positions. A financial analyst, for example, could pursue a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential. Qualification for most credentials calls for a bachelor’s degree in finance, and candidates may need many years of work experience before they can get certified. Healthcare Financial Management (HFM), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO), among others, are certification programs these professionals can pursue.

Graduate Study

Employers often prefer job hunters who hold master’s degrees in finance; thus, a master’s degree can open the doors to advanced job opportunities. A finance background can also be the foundation for other master’s degrees, such as in business, law, and public administration. These professionals can opt for numerous upper-level career decisions, such as:

•Credit Analysis
•Risk Management
•Corporate Treasury
•Corporate Finance
•Equity Research

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