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What Can You Do with a Degree in Finance?

Philip D. Adams
By Philip D. Adams

If you enjoy working with numbers, possess strong analytical and problem solving-skills, and like the idea of virtually unlimited earning potential, then a career in finance might be a good choice for you. Industries need trained, talented finance professionals with strong attention to detail for everything from balancing the books and valuating potential acquisitions to actually running the organization.

The financial industry offers a wide range of rewarding, high-demand positions for those with the right education and/or certifications. Earning a bachelor's degree in finance is a great place to start.

"Finance teaches you in-demand skills in specialized areas such as data analytics, risk management, capital allocation, and investment strategy," says Kathleen Sindell, program director for the finance and economics department at UMGC.

What Kind of Jobs Can You Get with a Bachelor of Science in Finance?

A BS in finance can help prepare you for positions in personal finance, such as financial planners, who work with individuals to create short- and long-term investment strategies. Finance majors can also prepare you for jobs in corporate finance, such as credit analyst, who assesses the creditworthiness of individuals, companies, and securities, or a full-charge bookkeeper, who maintains financial records and creates financial statements and tax returns for an organization.

Here are some occupations that a BS in finance can help prepare you for:

  • General and Operations Manager

  • Financial Manager

  • Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent

  • Real Estate Sales Agent

  • Financial and Investment Analyst

  • Personal Financial Advisor

  • Loan Officer

  • Claims Adjuster, Examiner, and Investigator

What Kind of Jobs Can You Get with a Master of Science in Finance?

For those looking beyond entry-level jobs who really want to get an edge on the competition in the finance job market, a master's in finance can provide a decided advantage over those with a bachelor's degree alone. A master's degree can prepare you for more specialized roles within the finance field that involve making high-level decisions about an organization's financial planning and activities. 

Here are some occupations that an MS in finance can prepare you for:

  • Accountant and Auditor

  • Financial Analyst

  • Financial and Investment Analyst

  • Personal Financial Advisor

  • Bookkeeper, Accounting, and Auditing Clerk

  • Financial Specialist

  • Budget Analyst

  • Financial Risk Specialist

  • Financial Examiner

  • Tax Preparer

  • Chief Financial Officer

Average compensation for 26 finance occupation titles in the United States is $82,574, with a growth rate of 10.5 percent from 2019 to 2021 (from chief executives to new account clerks).1

"Finance careers provide a range of opportunities available in few other career fields," says Sindell. "Successful financial professionals offer valuable services to their clients and employers. In return, they get a highly lucrative career, a flexible work schedule, and their choice of professional specializations."

What to Look for in a Finance Degree Program

Before you select a program, put in the time to learn about the degree and the university, the requirements for completion, and how the program fits your schedule and lifestyle. You'll want to consider retention and graduation rates, tuition and fees, faculty-to-student ratios, and class size, among other factors.

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has several online finance degree programs that may be a good fit for your needs. The Bachelor of Science in Finance degree at UMGC is an online program that can prepare you with a foundation in the principles of business, economics, and accounting. Beyond these basic skills, you'll also learn leadership and communication skills to round out your abilities and enhance your professional value.

UMGC’s Master of Science in Management with a specialization in financial management is a two-year online program where you can gain specialized skills that are essential to the core functions of every organization and learn to make high-level strategic decisions that can impact an organization's current operations and financial future.

The Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Management at UMGC focuses on executive-level procedures, including tax compliance, auditing, and emerging trends in the fields of financial management and accounting, as well as decision-making skills that can help put you on a career path toward leadership positions.

"After I graduated from UMGC, my employer decided to hire me permanently, so I’m now a financial management analyst," said UMGC alumna Jaliyah Royston. "Now my employer is helping me pay for my UMGC master’s degree because it is giving me the knowledge and tools to better do my job."

Whether you're seeking a career in investment banking, insurance, financial planning, or one of the many other careers in the world of finance, pursuing your degree is the key to unlocking your career potential.

Our admissions advisors can help you get started. Once you enroll, your dedicated UMGC success coach will support you throughout your academic journey in mapping out your education and career goals, choosing a major, and assisting with class selection. 

To contact an advisor, visit the UMGC Help Center or call 800-888-8682.

1 Source: Lightcast


Previously published on September 6, 2022.

Reference on this webpage to any third-party entity or product does not constitute or imply endorsement by UMGC nor does it constitute or imply endorsement of UMGC by the third party.