Finance, General

Finance degrees offer a wide view of the business world, often covering accounting, economics, and banking within the scope of managing current and future figures for businesses and organizations. The option to specialize in a certain type of finances is available at most levels of this study, which include associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate. Common concentrations include: econometrics, behavioral finance, corporate finance, financial evaluation, financial modeling, quantitative finance, and investment managing.

Associate Level

At the associate’s level, there are two common routes for earning a degree in finance: An Associate’s in Finance or an Associate’s of Business Administration in Finance. The AAS in Finance will include courses focused on business statistics, trends and law, along with principles of management and some basic accounting courses. An Business Administration in Finance version will likely have a similar curriculum, but with business law and customer service added on. The average entry-level salary at this education level is between $27,000 to $33,000 per year.

Careers for graduates with an associate’s in finance include: Financial Clerk, Bookkeeper, Accounting and Auditing Clerk, Information Clerk, Real Estate Broker, Sales Agent, Buyer, Purchasing Agent.

Baccalaureate

If earning a baccalaureate is the goal, there are two options at this level of education, too. The Bachelor of Arts in Finance and the Bachelor of Science in Finance are both 4-year programs that lead to practical occupations in banking, management, sales, entrepreneurship and more. Learning how to invest money, organize and manage personal or business finances, as well as portfolio management are top on the docket in this field of study. A BA will offer more flexibility in focus area, allowing for more liberal arts classes, while a BS will lean more heavily on mathematics and sciences.

Entry-level careers with a baccalaureate in finance include: Commercial Lender, Financial Manager/Planner/Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Bank Branch Manager, Security Analyst, Trust Manager.

Master Level

Depending on the ultimate career goal, there are three natural progressions for finance majors on the master’s level of education. The Master of Science in Finance, sometimes simply referred to as a Master of Finance, are the most common, however, a Master of Financial Economics (MFE) or Master of Applied Finance (MAppFin) are popular alternate paths.

Most graduate programs at this level of finance are designed to prepare for management and administrative roles. An MFE delves more deeply into the economic framework of theoretical finance. General progressions, post graduation, include roles in research or, depending on the type of program, in investment banking and finance. An MAppFin degree is a program type that focuses heavily in the application of finance theory. Generally hands-on, graduates typically have gained significant experience in the industry by the time they complete the program.

Career paths following a master’s in finance include: Commercial Banker, Financial Planner/Manager, Insurance Specialist, Investment Banker, Financial Analyst, Financial Manager, Broker. Entry-level salaries in this field clock in at around $74,000, but can easily exceed six figures.

Doctorate Level

If developing new financial models in a dissertation format is the ultimate goal, a doctorate in finance (DBA) will be the opportunity to do just that. Whether the focus is business, hedge funds, or central banks, the doctoral level encompasses it. These programs last anywhere from five to seven years, making them a significant commitment. Two top career paths for a doctorate in finance include academia, as a professor and researcher, or in quantitative analysis. Salaries at this level range from $70,000 to $120,000 and beyond, depending upon position.

Certifications in finance are many and based on career goals, but include: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), Certified Professional Risk Manager (CPRM), Corporate Finance Qualification (CF), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), and Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF). 

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Colleges

“…Harvard is a place of innovation and discovery. It is a community of scholars, who are very intelligent, ambitious, and collaborative. The most distinctive feature of Harvard is the vibrant energy that characterizes its student body, and that drives...” – CLAUDIA from CAMBRIDGE, MA

“…An outstanding university that provides limitless opportunities for superb education, involvement in various clubs and organizations, and the all-important ability to network among peers and colleagues. Penn State goes above and beyond to properly...” – Shane

“…The University of Florida is a prestigious public university dedicated on accepting prospective students with not only a yearning for higher education, but a passion for involvement in extracurricular activities which allows the student to grow...” – Shawna from Gainesville, FL

“…A 360 degree experience. You get rigorous academics, competitive sports powerhouse, and lively social scene. A place to grow and explore.” – Kelly from New Hudson, MI

“…My school is big on traditions and is overall a very friendly campus. The professors are willing to help you one on one to help you get the grade you need and deserve. I rate my school a 10 from 1-10 because its a very big happy family who look out...” – Amanda from Houston, TX

“…UCF is a very high quality university that is more affordable than most. The university has an abundance of ways to help you get through your college expenses through book and work study programs. The campus is great! All the essential necessities a...” – M from Winter Garden, FL

“…it is a great school because of the atmosphere, teachers, and everything that has to do with austin. it is at an awesome location. i feel welcomed and happily plan to live and get a job here.” – Emile from Dallas, TX

“…Arizona State University is a great school. I attend the Walter Cronkite School for students of Mass Communication and Journalism and I love the experience I have gained from the college. I feel prepared for future jobs and work experience. ” – Kirsten from Phoenix, AZ

“…Purdue University is filled with surprises. No one would expect a school in central Indiana to be one of the most diverse, most academically rigorous, most involved, healthiest, and inspiring universities in the world. It is literally difficult to...” – Evan from Placentia, CA

“…NYU isn't for everybody, but if you want to become more independent, meet lots of interesting and diverse people, and eat a variety of food NYU is the perfect place for you. Even though sometimes it can feel like only wealthy people belong here, you...” – India from Bryn Mawr, PA

“…The University is a wonderful school because of its diverse student body, strong academics, and recreational facilities. There are so many great tutoring and advising resources available for me whenever they need help with certain classes. Also, I...” – Maria from Tucson, AZ

“…USC is the place for opportunities. You are not only paying for a great education, but also connections and resume builders that will help you get where you want in life. USC is a school for leaders and overachievers. ” – Madison from Los Angeles, CA

“…This school is inclusive, and has a great sense of community. I love visiting my friends here. The education is amazing.” – Peyton from Ellensburg, WA

“…I rate UPenn at a 10 out of 10, I love my school and everything about it. I think what really makes us great is the oppurtunity to have a well rounded education so critical thinking is put at the center of all classes. In addition it is a beautiful...” – Ami from Philadelphia, PA

“…The campus, food, organizations, people, academics, and nightlife of Michigan State University are unlike any other. MSU is full of down-to-earth, nice people who want to have fun but also focus on their academics. Though it is a big campus, it is...” – Lauren from Westland, MI

“…Northwestern is a great school, blending first class academics and Big 10 sports in a way that typically isn't seen among comparable universities. Students are bright and are typically highly motivated, passionate, and active in leadership roles....” – Kayla from Camdenton, MO

“…There is no other place I would have chosen to pursue my higher education. Ohio State offers rigorous academics as well as plenty of organizations for students to participate in! In short, Ohio State offers everything you could ever want.” – Cherieanne from Chattanooga, TN

“…The Campus is basically a miniature city within Syracuse. There are always activities to attend and ways to get involved. The classes are tough, but very rewarding if you put in the effort.” – Catherine from North Sutton, NH

“…Great friendly campus in the middle of cornfield, USA. Classes are theoretical and challenging in the engineering dept. However, it's easy to take a variety of other classes (art, history, dance, etc), regardless of your major.” – Alleycats from Urbana, IL

“…UGA offers an ivy league education, for a public school price. Situated in Athens, GA: ranked the #1 College Town that Rocks by Rolling Stones magazine in 2007 and one of 29 Must Visit places by LA Times magazine in 2009, there are plenty of things...” – Darien from Senoia, GA

“…FSU is an immense college with a beautiful campus and diverse student body. The college boasts hundreds of extracurricular programs and clubs, so there is something for everyone. Florida State is a leader in many disciplines and builds leaders.” – Carla from Tallahassee, FL

“…The University of Miami is a prestigious school with a lot to offer. The school is diverse and gives a small university feel in a big town environment. The University of Miami is a great place to go to school because it provides a good degree, has...” – Maureen from Webster City, IA

“…Georgetown University Law Center is an amazing combination of high quality academics and networking opportunities. Everyday there is something going on..an Alumni cocktail, the book launch of a member of staff, judge, politician etc. There are many...” – Charlene from Washington, DC

“…The perfect place for stars looking to shine. Our stars do not only show up at night. They shine during the good times of our country, contributing to society in a positive way. They also shine during the bad times of our country, standing up for...” – Khiana from Newark, NJ

“…The atmosphere of Baylor is very relaxing. The people on campus are really friendly. It is easy to make friends on a campus this size.” – Chalice from Pflugerville, TX

“…WSU has become my home away from home. The people are great and you truly feel like you're part of a family (I recommend going to the football games if you don't feel this way). The only bad part is the cold weather, so be prepared!” – Isabella from Hoquiam, WA

“…UMD, College Park is a school full of opportunities and great education. It has a campus feel, but is large enough to feel like it's own town and easy access to Washington, D.C. and other commercial areas, providing plenty of opportunities for...” – Jennifer from Western Maryland

“…Clemson University is a community that strives to promote equality among it's students, promote environmental sustainability through numerous on-campus programs, and provide a rigorous education for preparation for their career field. Clemson also...” – Matthew from Mount Pleasant, SC

“…Northeastern has an excellent sense of community and immediately upon entering you feel right at home. The professors are helpful and they want to see their students succeed. The athletics and the multitude of on-campus activities give students a...” – Bailey from Queensbury, NY

“…in my opinion, this school is underrated. it is an excellent university with excellent professors and spectacular school spirit. it can definitely compete with other texas universities. ” – Christopher from Houston, TX

“…The University of Notre Dame is a privately funded, Catholic, liberal arts university. It is most well-known for athletics, especially football, ethics and social justice studies, and the Mendoza School of Business. Notre Dame also boasts a beautiful...” – Marcus from WI

“…Central Michigan University has the best professors for the Recreation Department! Everyone here is a family and the people really do care about your well being and future. This college has made me a better person through it's programs.” – Jelina from Mt. Pleasant, MI

“…It is a beautiful campus and will make you proud to be a bull. There is always stuff going on around campus and a lot of fun ways to get involved. Academics are taken seriously and managable with work. ” – Brenna from St. Petersburg, FL

“…I transferred to OU from Marietta College and I believe it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I had much anxiety being a minority student on a campus with about 30,000 students but OU offers so many organizations that cater to the...” – Proud Bobkitty

“…Pitt literally has something for everyone. There are majors/minors/certificates in nearly anything you could think of, over 400 clubs, and Pittsburgh is a city that offers a wide variety of living arrangements, tons of restaurants, and entertainment...” – Angelica from Pittsburgh, PA

Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

“…bc is a great university that is geared for all types of students. it is a liberal arts university with schools in business, nursings, arts and sciences, and education. everyone at bc is friendly and outgoing, and it is a great choice for a college...” – Anonymous from Chestnut Hill, MA

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL

“…auburn has something special about it that i cannot quite put into words. you have to experience it to understand what people mean by the auburn family, and after you are there, you will never be the same. i have learned the value of being an auburn...” – Sara from Auburn, AL

“…Vanderbilt University is an institution geared towards challenging its students academically in order to ensure a successful future. However, there are resources such as 24-hour tutoring and extensive office hours to help with the rigorous work. With...” – C from Georgia

“…Great school for adventurous students. If you want to start a career, this is your first step. You get to enjoy the city while getting a great education.” – Katie Rose from Northampton, PA

“…texas state is a picturesque school full of life, diverse, with a river that runs through it, and also full of people that are willing to help you on anything from personal problems, to math homework. ” – Genesis from Houston, TX

“…Johns Hopkins offers rigorous academics and research opportunities, and caters to a wide variety of academic interests. The smaller size of the school makes it feel like a home and connects you to the rest of your peers. There is a sense of unity...” – Vanessa from Thousand Oaks, CA

“…The campus is beautiful and not too spread out. All of my classes have been wonderful thus far, and really are shaped to my interests. There are so many study enhancements in this community to make sure that students do succeed. ” – Taelor from Columbia, SC

“…OSU & Corvallis has so much to offer (year-round) it's sometimes hard to know where to start. It has a beautiful, relaxed campus with nearly 25,000 students & Corvallis' central location provides easy access to plenty of activities in less than 3...” – Earl from Tangent, OR

“…lsu is culturally and socially diverse, making it an exceedingly welcoming place. classes are varied and pander to the interests of many different types of students. every event is culturally rich and provides a fantastic experience.” – Nicholas from Cypress, TX

“…Colorado State University has given me the best college experience I could dream of. There are opportunities for anything you could imagine - and these opportunities are everywhere! Everyone is friendly, and all anyone wants is for each and every...” – Bailey

“…Georgia State is full of diversity! I love how many different people I can meet in just one hour. Many majors, opportunities, clubs, and organizations are offered here.” – Lydia from Lawrenceville, GA

“…Virginia Tech is a beautiful place full a good people and food. The community is very welcoming and engaging to students. There is a wide variety of courses and you will always find something to do that you like.” – Delaney

“…U of Iowa is an institution that invites young minds to grow and develop with the help of highly educated leaders. Family values are important within the administration and add value to the environment within the grounds of the university. Service is...” – Eric from Pingrey Grove, IL

“…i very much love this school. the academics are amazing since the staff is so willing to help students with any problems or questions. the school offers many opportunities for students to go beyond their comfort zones to experience new things as they...” – Marcela from Northridge, CA

“…this school offers a diverse curriculum. studying abroad is heavily encouraged, and mandatory for multiple majors. the professors want you to succeed, you need only ask!” – Scott from San Diego, CA

“…1. George Mason has a compact campus, but plenty of people. 2. There are a ton of fun unique activities to try out. 3. GMU is definitely diverse!” – Anon.

“…the university is a very beautiful place if you ignore all the construction being done at the moment. everyone at the school are extremely nice people and are there help you. there are tons of opportunities for you to have fun and also be successful...” – adrian from pittsburgh, pa

“…If I were to describe DePaul in three sentences i'd have to say, it's very unique, as in location, religion, as well as culturally. There are so many different kinds of people here, ones you wouldn't expect to have similar interests, and ones that...” – Gina from Edina, MN

“…The students here are all brilliant, motivated, inspired people. Everywhere you go there is amazing science happening, and every individual has terrific opportunities through the UROP program and the many research connections that MIT has to gain...” – Jedidiah from Acton, ME

“…Rutgers New Brunswick has the prestige of being one of the 8 earliest founded colleges in the nation and is often ranked within the 100 best colleges in the world, for less than half the cost of an Ivy League school. Research opportunities,...” – Joanna

“…University of Denver is an AWESOME school! The small and focused class sizes allow students to get a wonderful education and the professors truly care about the students well being. It also offers a wonderful social life with sororities/fraternities,...” – Tara from Highlands Ranch, CO

“…The George Washington University is full of internship and job opportunities. Studying at the center of politics, many students share valuable connections and memorable experiences. With embassies, museums, monuments, students can always find...” – Washington, DC

“…Pace University is a great school that has afforded me so many fantastic opportunities I would not have received had I gone elsewhere. Pace has the most fantastic location in the heart of downtown Manhattan, making it ideal for anyone who wants to...” – Sarah in Brooklyn, NY

“…The place where God wants me. The place that makes that's helping me become a better person. The place where I will make lasting friendships and life-changing, world-impacting decisions.” – Camila from Encino, CA

“…Lots of walking.Great scenery. Many fun extracurricular and exciting course opportunities.” – Arlandra from Cincinnati, OH

“…An open and beautiful campus with people who also share those qualities. The staff here are amazing and do their jobs here with the goal to educate the students that pass through so that they may carry the wisdom gained throughout their lives....” – Mehigan from King George, VA

“…utsa has a diverse student population, a wide range of student services (including an excellent gym facility, complete with cooking courses, personal trainers, and rock-climbing wall), and a rapidly growing academic program with professors from all...” – Catherine from Helotes, TX

“…i attended girl's state at ku this summer. ku has an absolutely gorgeous campus, a friendly environment, and so many great programs to choose from. i cannot wait to attend ku in the fall of 2017. ” – adrienne from dodge city, ks

“…Drexel is an incredible school because of its focus on experiential learning. Students here have a huge advantage over their peers if they take advantage of the co-ops. Some can graduate with up to a year and a half of major-related job experience.” – Xavier from Littlestown, PA

“…Iowa State has a beautiful campus: a large lake, a scenic atmosphere, and beautiful buildings. I could not believe the outstanding facilities I was able to tour nor the close but large feeling of the campus itself. Definitely ready to start my...” – Kaitlyn from De Witt, IA

“…The Open Curriculum serves the purpose for student to explore ad take their academic path into their own hands. The University is known for its music school: Eastman School of Music. An Awesome Science and Engineering College, with the added bonus...” – Orin from Brooklyn, NY

“…Beautiful campus, friendly and happy students, excellent academics. Amazing campus life, great school spirit, and great sports. Inviting atmosphere and great amenities!” – Jonna from Chapel Hill, NC

“…I actually applied to the University of San Francisco last minute. It was a choice that always lingered in my brain, but I never thought I would go that far from home. Without touring the school or talking to anyone from the school, I chose this...” – Amie from Phoenix, AZ

“…west virginia university offers an amazing experience that is second to none. not only are there very competitive programs on campus, but the mountaineers have become a staple in the world of college athletics. excitement looms in the classroom and...” – Jonathon from Morgantown, WV

“…Fordham University is a family with open arms waiting for you to walk in. Once you enter into the family, you are embraced and encouraged to tap into all of the family's resources. These resources WILL help your intellectual, moral and...” – Constantine from Randolph, NJ

“…The campus, really nice... The professors, friendly if you know how to network and talk to them... The people here, really friendly and getting to meet/know new people isn't a task at all. The school is very nice, they provide fun activities almost...” – Joe, On Campus, Stony Brook University

“…the university of colorado at boulder is a an amazing school with not only a great location but also a great academic program. boulder is a great city for any kind of person, athletic or not. with so much to offer both academically and with extra...” – Ana from Parker, CO

“…I have had a great time during my four years at AU. Not only did I receive an excellent in-class education, but I was able to supplement this part of my education with an internship every semester. In addition, the study abroad program that I did was...” – Kaitlyn from Frankenmuth, MI

“…On a Scale of one to ten I give Florida International University an eight. FIU deserves an eight because they really care about the student and try and help in everyway they can to make sure each and every student is successful. They provide...” – Saxon from Tampa, FL

“…Florida Atlantic University is a fantastic school. Florida Atlantic University has a beautiful, growing campus in sunny Boca Raton. Florida Atlantic University has excellent professors that are more than happy to help students in all aspects of...” – Andy from Coconut Creek, FL

“…Brigham young stands as a precedent for student education. It is a pinnacle of cleanliness of word and of character. It is a school like no other with the honor code as a standing tradition to be upheld by the students and the faculty. ” – Kaitlyn from Riverton, UT

“…University of Delaware is amazing, it instantly became home to me. Residence living is fun and offers a lot, professors are approachable and easy to understand, and the campus is a perfect size. I love the look of the campus also, the long greens and...” – Tara from Mount Laurel, NJ

“…I don't know what I love more, this school or this city! You get to experience New Orleans, but live in the nicer area! I really feel as though I am receiving a first-rate education!” – Alyssa from Clermont, FL

“…UNLV is a multicultural community. The staff members provides help to students who need or seek them. Also, it creates a welcoming invitation to newcomers. ” – Kim

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

“…The university is a fun place to meet new people. It gives you a great education and the professors are really interested in teaching the topic. The location of the university is also great and has many surroundings to help you enjoy your college...” – Kayla from West Jordan, UT

“…Hofstra is a great college, with an at home feel that will increase your chance of success. The campus is clean, the professors helpful, and the food is good! There is no other college I would have rather attended.” – Lorie from Minnesota

“…university of california riverside is an exceptional higher education institution that dedicates itself to providing quality education. the university is among the most diverse schools in the nation which makes it unique. there are multiple...” – Denise from Riverside, CA

“…Carnegie Mellon University is a strong university for anyone interested in modern technology and the changing world. The people here are enterprising and ambitious, and you will be sure to find yourself in inspiring companionship. For someone who...” – Sanjana from San Jose, CA

“…diverse student population, lots of nontraditional students and commuters. lots of options for food on campus. great teachers and class sizes.” – Mia from Dallas, TX

“…sam houston state university has an amazing environment. the teacher-student ratio is perfect. the atmosphere is perfect for anyone who doesn't want to get lost in the crowd.” – Felicia from Cedar Park, TX

“…Small classrooms and good teachers.” – Garrett from Portland, OR

“…It was my privilege to be accepted by the Nova Southeastern University pre-law program, but Nova has a degree program for almost everyone. Its science programs, especially in the area of oceanography, are second to none. My objective is to attend the...” – Eugene from Coral Springs, FL

“…Illinois State University (ISU) is a great way to get a great education and experience different things. You have adults and students that want to get involve with your career and future. It is a fantastic place to meet lots of unique and different...” – Amber from Chicago, IL

“…Miami University is a great mid-sized university for academics and social life. There are various organizations students can join and activities provided by the school to participate in. Big companies are always here recruiting, so there are many...” – Randy from Oxford, OH

“…i'd absolutely recommend this university for the simple fact that it offers a great community of both faculty and students. the campus is absolutely astonishing and the counselors truly care about your future. i found it extremely easy to adjust to...” – juwan from greensboro, nc

“…Uw- Madison is a fantastic school. The academics are strong, there is always something fun to do, the school spirit is remarkable, and on top of it al you live on a beautiful campus. I don't know any one that dislikes their experience here.” – Cordell from Barneveld, WI

“…Everyone here is very accommodating. Resources are easy to come by. The available courses are diverse and interesting.” – TF from Norwich, CT

“…The rustic mountains make calling it home easier than I ever thought possible. The friendly atmosphere creates lasting and loving friendships for a lifetime. Lastly, but not least, the innovative thinkers that enter the classrooms each day give a...” – Camille from China Grove, NC

“…The environment is very open and accepting, it gives everyone the opportunity to create a home. The curriculum is intense, however the instructors are more than equipt to teach college students, and willing to help outside of class. Overall, the...” – Monica from Glendale, AZ

“…UNCC is a great campus filled with a diverse population of cultures from around America and world. It is a medium size, with the full college experience, but not so big as to overwhelm an incoming student. UNCC is a young school that is growing fast,...” – Joshua from Harrisburg, NC

“…East Carolina is one of the best universities in North Carolina! It's a hidden gem! It has so much to offer! You will never be bored here and you will find the classes challenging and rewarding!” – Kristyn from Holly Springs, NC

“…SUNY Buffalo , also known as UB , is New York's flagship university. It is highly ranked , in both academics and athletics. 10/10 , would pick buffalo again.” – Mike from New York, NY

“…The University of Illinois at Chicago is a very populated university, mainly consisting of commuters from Chicago and it's surrounding cities and suburbs. Resources here are plentiful and there is always something for everyone. All in all, college is...” – Student from Chicago, IL

“…The University of Oklahoma has a wealth of opportunity to offer. It is a beautiful campus and the classes are kept small to offer individual attention to students. It also offers a lot of ways to get involved and give back to the community as well as...” – Brianna from Frisco, TX

“…Rowan is in my opinion is one of the best undergraduate schools in New Jersey. We have great academic programs like our top tiered engineering program, and we have a great array of campus life and opportunity. Life at Rowan makes it easy to work hard...” – Jamie from Vineland, NJ