By DeVry University
Have you ever wondered what career paths might be available to you if you earned a finance degree? Finance degree jobs exist in virtually every corner of private-sector business and industry, as well as government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Finance professionals help individuals plan their financial futures and enable businesses and nonprofits to run smoothly, ethically and within regulatory boundaries.
What are some finance degree jobs you might pursue in 2023? First, we’ll outline some of the different types of finance degree programs, then run down a list of careers you may be interested in after earning a finance degree.
Types of Finance Degree Programs
Earning a finance degree helps you acquire skills in finance, accounting and economics that you can apply to various roles across the industry, but it’s up to you to determine what finance career path best suits your interests, passions and long-term goals. According to the employment website Indeed, finance degree programs typically include:
Associate Degree in Finance
An associate degree in finance teaches you basic financial concepts and familiarizes you with financial markets, investments and financial accounting. Associate degree holders might join the financial workforce in entry-level positions in an administrative or sales capacity, or transfer earned credits into a bachelor’s degree program.
Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
In a bachelor’s degree program, you can improve your critical thinking and analytical skills, and learn communication and leadership skills that are likely to be useful in your career. Graduates with this degree may work as financial analysts, examiners, advisors or budget analysts.
Master’s Degree in Finance
With classes in strategic management, organizational behavior, business management and more, a master’s degree program prepares you for careers in investment, trading or risk management. Typically, experience is gained through internships or practical projects. In the job market, a master’s degree may help to differentiate you from candidates with a lower level of education.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
With an emphasis on analytics, problem solving and leadership, MBA programs can help you develop many of the necessary skills needed to pursue management positions. You can further hone your industry skills by layering on a specialization in accounting or finance.
Finance Career Required Skills
Professionals across the financial services industry and in corporate finance jobs share certain skills that help them perform their basic duties. According to Indeed, 5 skills that may help give you an advantage as you prepare to pursue your finance career and will serve you well throughout your professional life include:
- Verbal communication: You might think this skill is totally unrelated to numbers, but having the ability to communicate clearly and concisely to clients, team members and others is important when analyzing financial data, identifying risks and creating budget plans.
- Attention to detail: The ability to identify discrepancies in company data or find mistakes in accounting calculations is a skill that finance professionals use every day. Maintaining accuracy in financial procedures and record-keeping allows organizations to make well-informed financial decisions, stay within regulatory guidelines and avoid penalties.
- Analytical thinking: Going hand-in-hand with attention to detail, analytical thinking gives you the ability to look at numbers in a more complex way, scrutinizing financial data to identify patterns or discrepancies within an organization’s finances.
- Cash flow management: You could say that anyone who is responsible for balancing their household budget already possesses this skill to some extent. It’s the ability to monitor the amount of cash that a company has at a given time, and project the amount of cash the company will have available in the future – say for next quarter or the next few quarters. This skill is useful to professionals in accounting, credit analysis and loan companies.
- Decision-making: Budget cuts, expansions or downsizing are examples of decisions that finance professionals make based on the financial performance of retail locations, divisions, product lines or even their entire company. The ability to make level-headed decisions based on available data may be among the most important skills you can develop.
7 Finance Degree Jobs to Consider in 2023
1. Financial Planning Consultant
Financial planners, also referred to as financial advisors, help clients plan, organize and invest their money with a goal of financial security. This is often focused on saving for a comfortable retirement, but can also involve major financial milestones like funding a college education or purchasing a new home. Using sound decision-making skills, financial planners help clients meet their financial goals by helping them change spending patterns or reinvest funds into better-performing investments.
Individuals who have earned a finance degree typically have the ability to perform several different roles involving the analysis and interpretation of financial data. Among the multiple types of analyst roles that someone with a finance degree may pursue are management analysts, who are sometimes called management consultants, and data analysts.
The employment outlook for professionals in the role of management analysts is strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of management analysts is projected to grow 11% from 2021 to 2031 on a national level, much faster than the average for all occupations1.
Financial analysts perform assessments of an organization’s finances and make recommendations based on available data. Working in a corporate setting, they analyze data and identify trends that enable them, along with other members of their management team, to make informed decisions and predictions about the organization’s finances.
Financial analysts may also work for banking institutions or investment companies, or in a small business setting.
These analysts evaluate the feasibility of existing and proposed investments based on their interpretation of available financial data. They conduct budget analysis of projects from a financial performance standpoint in government, business, education and not-for-profit industry sectors. They might also be tasked with training staff to keep projects within their allocated budgets.
3. Loan Officer
Loan officers typically work for financial services institutions like banks or credit unions, helping clients in the often-complex process of obtaining a loan. Clients can be individuals or businesses.
The loan officer’s responsibility is to help the client understand the type of loan that best suits their needs and how much they can borrow based on their income, annual revenue of their business and other criteria.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, this job often requires great people skills such as interpersonal communication, empathy and – because loan officers often have sales goals they must meet – persuasiveness. †, ††
†Employment in this occupation may require years of relevant experience.
††Applicants for jobs in this field may be subject to pre-employment screenings such as, but not limited to, criminal background checks, and drug and/or alcohol testing.
4. Bank Branch Manager
Branch managers in the banking sector are responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations and engaging with the various communities served by the branch. Managers implement strategies to improve the branch’s overall performance, which may include benchmarks in customer service, productivity and sales. Branch managers prepare financial statements, recruit and interview new employees, assist customers and develop plans and forecasts based on market conditions and goals set by senior-level management.
5. Credit Manager
Credit managers oversee a business organization’s credit-granting process. They are responsible for maintaining the company’s credit policy with the primary goal of optimizing sales while reducing losses from bad debts. Credit managers monitor loan payments, assess the creditworthiness of potential customers and periodically review existing customers. Based on available data, they will approve or reject loan applications and negotiate the terms of loans with new customers. Another responsibility is to ensure that all loans and procedures comply with industry regulations.
6. Security and Commodities Sales Agent
Typically working in investment and trading firms, securities and commodities sales agents develop and implement financial plans for individuals and organizations. They interview clients to assess the clients’ assets, liabilities, cash flow and other conditions, and determine their financial planning objectives. To fulfill this job responsibility, Security and Commodities Sales Agents require excellent communication skills. They process client-requested transactions and keep accurate records, in compliance with federal regulations. Entry-level positions in this career require a bachelor’s degree, but positions at a higher level often require a master’s degree.
Associate Degree in Finance
7. CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the senior financial officer of an organization. † The CFO oversees the financial operations of an organization and makes decisions based on the organization’s financial stability.
Daily duties of the CFO include monitoring cash flow, developing plans to improve the company’s overall financial health and meeting with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to discuss the company’s finances.
More specifically, the CFO’s duties might include:
- Executing the organization’s financial strategy
- Developing plans to increase the company’s profitability
- Identifying investment opportunities
- Managing mergers and acquisitions
- Managing accounting procedures
To attain this executive position, candidates typically need years of experience in a finance-related role and may require a higher-level degree, such as an MBA, according to the BLS.
†Employment in this occupation may require years of relevant experience.
Because finance is such an essential aspect of any public or private-sector organization, finance career opportunities exist in a broad variety of roles across the spectrum of commerce, and up and down the corporate ladder.
Earning a finance degree at the associate, bachelor’s or master’s level can help equip you with an understanding of accounting, statistics and economics and might assist you in pursuing career opportunities in banking, insurance, corporate finance, tax preparation and business or financial consulting.
Prepare for Your Future in Business Administration and Finance
Take your place in today’s dynamic global economy by pursuing a career in finance with DeVry. Our Bachelor’s Degree Specialization in Finance will help you prepare to pursue a career in banking, financial planning, consulting and other exciting fields.
Have you already earned a bachelor’s degree? An MBA with a Specialization in Finance from our Keller Graduate School of Management can help you sharpen practical managerial skills while gaining hands-on experience in topics like mergers and acquisitions, and advanced financial statement analysis. This MBA specialization will also teach you to apply analytical tools and technology applications to analyze and solve organizational and stakeholder needs, and prepare you to pursue more senior-level career opportunities.
Classes start every 8 weeks.
1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-1