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7 Finance Degree Jobs to Pursue

By DeVry University

December 13, 2022

9 min read

 

Finance degree jobs exist in virtually every corner of private-sector business and industry, as well as government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Finance professionals in these fields help individuals plan their financial futures and enable businesses and nonprofits alike to run smoothly, ethically and within regulatory boundaries. 

 

What are some jobs you might consider pursuing with a finance degree? First, we’ll outline some of the different types of 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

By pursuing a bachelor’s degree in or specializing in finance, 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 earning an MBA with a Specialization in Finance.

Certifications for Finance Professionals

As in many other industries, certifications can help verify the skills and specialized knowledge of financial analysts, consultants, planners and managers. Professional certifications have unique education, examination and ethical requirements, and often require continuing professional education to sustain the credential.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the CFP® Professional certification recognizes advanced knowledge in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning and saving for retirement.

The designation enables finance professionals to help their clients build a roadmap of their personal finances and achieve their investing and financial goals. Professionals with this certification commit to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, demonstrating a strong commitment to personal financial planning and a dedication to providing advice that fits each client’s unique situation.

All CFPs are held to the standard of fiduciary duty, meaning they must put the client’s interests ahead of their own, even if that means recommending a financial product that is less profitable for them.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, is a designation given to finance professionals who’ve completed the CFA Institute’s CFA Program, which includes a 3-part exam testing candidates in the areas of fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management and wealth planning. CFA charter holders are equipped to work in a wide range of investment decision-making roles, such as senior and executive positions in financial management, investment management, risk management and asset management. 

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Awarded  by the American College of Financial Services, the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation represents the completion of extensive coursework in financial education, examinations and practical experience. Covering insurance planning, taxation, retirement planning, personal financial planning and other topics, the program’s 8 courses are focused on case studies and real-life situations. 

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

Awarded by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) credential is intended for candidates working at banks and asset management or consulting firms in the risk management profession. FRM certification is awarded after a candidate has passed two multiple-choice exams and demonstrated 2 years of relevant work experience. Holders of the credential are encouraged to complete 40 hours of continuing professional development every 2 years to keep up with the latest trends and best practices in risk management. 

Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)

A Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) is a banker, broker, money manager or other financial industry professional who provides mutual funds assistance. The requirements for this credential, awarded by the Institute of Business & Finance, include passing the certified fund specialist exam, which is one of the oldest certification designations in the mutual fund industry. CFS candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree or have 2,000 hours of work in the financial services industry before taking the certification exam.

In addition to holding the certification, certified fund specialists are required to fulfill 30 hours of continuing professional education every 2 years.

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

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2022 and 2032, careers across the business and finance fields are expected to grow faster than average when compared to all other occupations, adding approximately 911,400 new jobs each year over the decade.1 It should be noted, however, that this growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. This projection is not specific to DeVry University graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers.

So, where can you put your education, skills and certifications to work once you graduate? Here is a short list of some of the careers you might consider after earning a finance degree:

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.

2. Analysts

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. 

Financial Analyst

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 financial institutions or investment companies, or in a small business setting.

Budget Analyst

These analysts evaluate the feasibility of existing and proposed investments based on their interpretation of available financial data. They conduct budget analyses 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.†, ††

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. Securities 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, securities and commodities sales agents must have 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.

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.

Prepare To Pursue a Future in Business Administration and Finance

Take your place in today’s dynamic global economy by considering a career in finance. Our Bachelor’s Degree Specialization in Finance can help you prepare to pursue a career in corporate finance, banking, financial planning, consulting and other exciting fields. 

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. 

Study on your terms with DeVry. Our 6 academic sessions per year allow you to start when you’re ready and learn at your own pace, finishing on a regular or accelerated schedule that meets your personal and professional goals. Classes start soon!

1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level.
†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.

 

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