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Masters in Finance

Based on salary and employment outlook, Forbes listed finance as one of ‘The Best Degree for Jobs’ in 2013. A degree in finance brings to mind the idea of rolling around in money.  Although the salary outlook is favorable, there are many questions you need to ask yourself before you enroll in finance degree.

  1. What will I Learn?
  2. What Courses will I take?
  3. What Admission Requirements Will I Have To Fulfill?
  4. Can I Pursue An Online Masters In Finance?
  5. What Can I Do With A Master In Finance?

What will I Learn?

In addition to the theoretical concepts in finance, the program will help you make use of advanced quantitative models to provide solutions to different financial problems.

Enrolling in a Masters in Finance will help you:

  • Understand what role financial managers play within organizations
  • Learn how to analyze important financial and economic data
  • Deal with the day to day financial matters of personal, corporate, and not-for-profit companies
  • Evaluate  financial statements and gauge the financial stability of companies
  • Apply financial models to assist in decision making

Required Education

masters in Finance, online Masters in Finance, PhD degree in Finance

Job Requirements

  • Work experience for budget analysts, accountants and auditors
  • License from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and recommended certificate from CFA Institute
  • Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants for budget analysts
  • Certified credential, such as CPA, CIA, CISA, etc., and state licensure from Board of Accountancy for accountants and auditors

Job Growth (2012-2022)

  • 13% for accountants and auditors
  • 16% for financial analyst
  • 6% for budget analyst
  • 11% for securities, commodities, and financial service sales agent

Median Salary (2013)

  • $64,030 for credit analyst
  • $65,080 for accountants and auditors
  • $78,380 for financial analyst
  • $70,110 for budget analyst
  • $72,640 for securities, commodities, and financial service sales agent

What Courses will I take?

There are variations in the names and types of courses offered at different universities. However, you should look through the details of following courses in order to get a general idea of what you’ll study:

  • Financial markets and Institutions
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Management
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Financial Modeling
  • Investments and Portfolio Management
  • Statistical Reasoning
  • Behavioral Finance

You’ll typically be allowed to enroll in a few courses of your choice. This’ll help you tailor the program according to your academic and professional interests.

What Admission Requirements Will I Have To Fulfill?

There will be variations in the requirements across different universities. However, you’ll usually be required to provide the following:

A bachelor’s degree in finance or another subject. You will usually be required to have some level of training in quantitative techniques

  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Official Copies of Transcripts
  • Application Fees

In order to find out about the exact admission requirements, you should visit the admission page of the university that you want to apply to.

Can I Pursue An Online Masters In Finance?

As more and more people are turning to online education, many institutes have started offering finance degrees as distance learning programs. Online education has several benefits as compared to conventional campus based degrees. You may be able to:

  • Complete the program by enrolling in an accelerated coursework option or taking up a self paced program respectively.
  • Save costs by cutting down on travel expenses
  • Study from any location
  • Manage your professional and personal commitments while you study
  • Enjoy an equally rigorous program curriculum
  • Study at your own pace

What Can I Do With A Master In Finance?

Depending on their preferences and the availability of opportunities, finance graduates go on to pursue a wide variety of positions.

Employers that may hire a student with a master in finance include:

  • Banks
  • Financial Services Agency
  • Consultancy Firms
  • Investment and Portfolio management companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Equity Research Companies
  • Non-Profit-Organizations

Some example positions include:

Credit Analyst

Job responsibility: Analysis of financial statements and credit data in order to determine the credit worthiness of clients.
Median Salary (2012): $72,590/year


Job responsibility: Examination of financial data to check for accuracy and potential flaws. Auditors also check if companies are fulfilling their financial obligations.
Annual Median Salary (2012): $63,550/year


Financial Analyst

Job Responsibility: Assisting people and companies in making investment decisions. Analyzing the performance of financial instruments including bonds, stocks, and others
Annual Median Salary (2012): $76,950/year


Budget Analyst

Job Responsibility: They help in preparing budgets for private and public companies and keep a check on expenditure. 
Annual Median Salary (2012): $69,280/year

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Service Sales Agent

Job Responsibility:  They act as middlemen between buyers and sellers in financial markets. They may also help companies identify and evaluate potential investment opportunities.
Annual Median Salary (2012): $71,720/year

Alternatively, if you wish to take up an academic career or a research oriented position, you may go on to pursue a doctoral or a PhD degree in finance, which usually takes around 3 to 5 years to complete.


States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Which courses are taught in the first year of the Master in Finance degree program?

A:The first year of the MBA in Finance degree program may focus on courses like dividend policy, financial risk management, preferred equity, bonds, investments, risk and return, and dividend policy. The key purpose of these courses is to familiarize students with the actual concepts of finance which are crucial to the advanced level learning, which takes place in the second year of the program.

Q:The curriculum of a masters in finance comprises of what important subjects?

A:A master's degree in finance is a graduate level degree offered at a number of business schools. This program usually entails finance related subjects such as the following: financial risk management, quantitative finance, derivatives, accounting, managerial finance, probability and statistics, portfolio management, economics, applied mathematics, linear algebra, bookkeeping, and financial statement analysis.

Q:Will it be possible to undertake an online masters in finance whilst working full-time?

A:Online programs such as the masters in finance have been designed for students like you. The program has been designed so that you can attempt the same whilst working with easy. You will be able to study at your own pace and convenience at times that suit you, whether from the office from home. These course are also much more cost effective as there is no travel involved.

Q:What is the career outlook after taking online accounting masters degree programs?

A:After successfully completing an online accounting master's degree program, graduates can land jobs with the government, nonprofit organizations as well as private corporations in the capacity of financial managers, financial analysts, budget analysts, financial examiners, management analysts, personal financial advisers and as accountants. After obtaining a Master's degree, graduates can also go on to become post secondary teachers in the field of accounting or business studies.

Q:After doing an online master's degree finance, what are the major career options?

A:After successfully completing an online master's degree in finance, graduates can work in banks, investment companies, insurance companies and credit unions. With a Master of finance degree, you can find work in a variety of industries as a financial analyst, asset manager, financial planner or consultant, investment banker, or property management officer.

Q:What is the duration and course requirement of online masters in finance?

A:Master of finance is a two-year long research focused graduate degree that is offered to people who already hold a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field. Many universities offer online degrees nowadays in masters in finance. The core curriculum includes subjects such as financial reporting and analysis, accounting, resource allocation, risk management, investment analysis, management information systems and fraud prevention. A thesis based field research is also carried out under the supervision of professors. It is important to remember that the coursework may vary slightly from college to college.

Q:How to become a financial advisor?

A:Individuals will need at least a bachelor degree to become a financial advisor. There is no specific degree for this job position; however a degree in finance, accounting, law, economics, mathematics, investments, risk management or business will be useful. To advance further in the field, a master's degree and certification can be helpful. Individuals can choose to work as self-employed financial advisors or work with a firm. The salary or income made by these professionals will vary and depend on factors such as specialization, state, and organization.

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