A bachelor’s degree in finance could be one of the best career decisions students choose to make. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that more than 7 million Americans work in business and financial operations occupations. The BLS also estimates that the median hourly wage for at least 50% of this group is $32.55. Workers in this group make around $67,000 per year, and students seeking a profitable career gravitate toward the high earning potential of finance occupations.
Finance careers can be very demanding, and students pursue higher education to gain the knowledge and skill set they need to perform a vast array of duties. With technology, more students pursue their degrees online, and finance majors can apply for reputable online bachelor’s degrees in finance programs. In our guide, we break down the curriculum for bachelor’s programs in finance, plus scholarships, job outlook, and salary. We also cover school and program accreditation to help you find the most qualified schools.
Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factorsData Sources:
Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.
1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.
2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.Notes:
A good bachelor’s in finance program offers experienced and helpful faculty members, a broad curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities. The following ranked schools feature stand out from other programs in these respects. We looked at graduation rates, tuition costs, degree requirements, and other factors to rank the schools with the best online bachelor’s programs in finance. Our data comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education System and other sources that specialize in higher education statistics.
|Rank||School Logo||School Name||Location||Tuition||Financial Aid||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate||# of Online Programs||Credit for Experience||Placement Services||Counseling Services||University Information|
|1||Florida International University||Miami, Florida||$4,721||44%||50%||60%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Florida International University's online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance focuses on the most up-to-date technology and skills needed to thrive in finance. The program emphasizes both theory and practice that could be applied to careers in corporate finance, investments, financial risk management, banking and portfolio management. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Half of those credit hours are lower division coursework, including pre-core business courses such as accounting, statistics and calculus courses. The other 60 hours include upper division core courses in business and finance, such as Legal Environment of Business, Introduction to Marketing, Commercial Bank Management, International Financial Management/Banking and Securities Analysis, as well as several major-related elective options. The university's online program offers an array of support services for distance students to ensure they're able to utilize the online education tools to thrive in the program.School website
|2||University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham, Alabama||$8,040||77%||58%||59%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Collat School of Business offers an academically rigorous, 100% online bachelor's in finance degree designed to prepare graduates for the high-speed environment and ever-evolving skills needed in the field. For students who wish to hone their specific interests, the program offers 3 concentrations: financial management, investments and institutions, and real estate. Of the 120 credit hours required for graduation, 27 are upper-level finance courses. Of those credits, 15 are part of the finance core, including Financial Accounting Survey, Financial Research Methods and Equity Portfolio Management. If students choose a concentration, they must also take courses specific to that track. The UAB program boasts that many of their finance graduates go on to work with multinational banking and financial services corporations, insurance companies and almost every industry in the finance field.School website
|3||Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide||University Park, Pennsylvania||$16,952||35%||56%||87%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Penn State's Smeal College of Business offers a bachelor's degree in finance for students wanting to enter a career in finance or investment banking. Because the field is broad, the coursework is designed to span the spectrum of elements within finance that can apply to careers in investment management, retail and commercial banking, insurance and retail investment brokerage. Required coursework includes Basic Management Concepts, Financial and Managerial Accounting, Business Writing, Business Information Systems and Analyzing Business and Industry. Most courses must be taken on the University Park campus, but some online courses are available. The Penn State Finance program has a couple of unique elements that give students hands-on experiences in an academic environment focused on finance, including The Nittany Lion Fund, which is a $7 million hedge fund run exclusively by undergraduate student managers, and the Rogers Family Trading Room, which is a learning laboratory with real-world trading elements for students to gain quality experience.School website
|4||University of Massachusetts-Amherst||Amherst, Massachusetts||$14,590||65%||60%||77%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of Massachusetts Amherst's Isenberg School of Management offers an academically rigorous online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance program for students wishing to advance in their current career or make a career change. The program focuses on financial decision-making, financial investment, capital management and financial risk assessment. The courses are designed to combine technical skill and knowledge with real-world case studies to provide students with a strong foundation in practical application of finance skills. Students with transfer credits must have a minimum of 27 credits and can transfer up to 75. The major requires 12 business core courses in topics such as corporate finance, operations management and management communications; 5 finance major courses in areas such as international finance and investments; 5 upper-level business electives with options including marketing, sport management, and hospitality and tourism management; and 21 credits of non-business electives. Among the financial careers available, graduates can gain positions as loan officers, bank examiners or financial planners.School website
|5||University of Minnesota-Crookston||Crookston, Minnesota||$10,180||85%||68%||48%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Minnesota Crookston boasts that its Bachelor of Science in Finance program provides a strong foundation for students to learn how to work effectively within financial institutions, develop strong communications skills and develop the necessary technology skills to thrive in a ever-changing field. Graduates of the program often work as investment bankers, finance managers or money market analysts. The program is offered both online and on campus and requires 120 credit hours to complete, of which 65 are specific to the finance major. Business core requirement courses (22 credits) include Principles of Accounting and Legal Environment in Business, and finance core courses (40 credits) include Corporate Finance, Business Writing, Estate Planning and Business Ethics. A 3-credit technology course, Spreadsheet Applications, is also required. In addition, students must complete an internship as a part of the business core requirements. Outside of the major-specific courses and the general education requirements, students may take any electives to fulfill the total credit graduation requirement.School website
|6||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff, Arizona||$8,698||82%||78%||54%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
For students seeking a career in finance, banking or investment, Northern Arizona University offers a
|7||Northern State University||Aberdeen, South Dakota||$6,984||66%||81%||48%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Northern State University's Online and Continuing Education program has a goal to provide accessible and flexible education to students who wish to advance their careers or launch a career in finance or banking through the online Bachelor of Science in Banking and Financial Services program. To graduate, students must complete 120 credits. The degree requirements include 47 business core credits, including Principles of Accounting, Business Communications and Management Information Systems, and 24 credits of program-specific courses, such as Introduction to Banking, Financial Statement Analysis, and Commercial and Ag Lending. The program also requires an internship, which will be paid, hands-on experience at a bank or financial institution. In addition, NSU offers several scholarships specifically for business students, including the Marvin & Ione Ehley WolfPACT Scholarship, which offers a $5,000 scholarship to 1 student per year, and the Kolker Family Endowment Scholarship, which offers a $2,500 scholarship to 1 student per year.School website
|8||Columbia College||Columbia, Missouri||$7,887||27%||-||40%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Columbia College offers 2 unique online undergraduate degrees for those who want to pursue a career in finance: the Bachelor of Arts in Finance and the Bachelor of Science in Finance. Both degrees are designed to prepare students with the skills needed for a successful career in finance or investments, such as evaluating the financial condition of a company or organization, decision-making skills for financial investments, personal financial planning, understanding the nature of markets and investments, managing financial business operations and growth planning for a company. Both the BS and the BA require a completion of 120 semester hours to graduate, 39 of those credits being 300- and 400-level business courses. The only difference between the 2 degrees is that BA students must complete a maximum of 27 semester hours of major-specific professional core requirements and the BS requires a maximum of 48 semester hours of those requirements; these core courses include Introduction to Business, Personal Financial Planning, Business Law and Strategic Management. Prospective online students will need to submit their transcripts along with their application and go through an authentication process to verify their identity.School website
|9||Dickinson State University||Dickinson, North Dakota||$5,138||54%||92%||34%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Dickinson State University believes its primary role is to develop the intellectual, social, economic and cultural environment in Southwestern North Dakota area and beyond. In order to achieve this, Dickinson offers various online education programs. One such example is its online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance program within the School of Business and Entrepreneurship. All business programs at Dickinson are dedicated to preparing both principled and entrepreneurial graduates with the necessary skills to thrive in their chosen field. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, 28 of which are pre-major courses, such as Elements of Accounting, Intercultural Communication and Applied Calculus; 34 are business core courses, such as Business Law, Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship; and 30 are finance major credits, such as Financial Statement Analysis, Business Valuation and International Finance. DSU Online offers the latest online study tools, including Blackboard Collaborate's online classroom technology, Hoonuit's online training site for over 250 applications and an online and distance student tutoring center so students can take full advantage of their online education.School website
|10||Bellevue University||Bellevue, Nebraska||$6,840||62%||-||32%||1||Yes||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Bellevue University strives to prepare students for a continuously changing work environment within the business and finance fields through its Bachelor of Science in Business program. This accelerated online program requires 127 credit hours to complete, 40 of which are major-specific credits in courses such as Foundations of Business, Marketing, Finance and Accounting Principles, Economics Principles and Moving Forward in Business. An element to the curriculum, which Bellevue deems as the "linchpin" of their undergraduate degree program, is the Kirkpatrick Signature Series courses focused on traditions of Western civilizations and the dynamic and changing world as it relates to American values and Western traditions. Those courses include American Vision and Values, Tradition and Change, and Freedom and Responsibility, totaling 9 credits. At the completion of the program, students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they gained from the program through a project in their culminating capstone course. Regardless of the finance or business field the student chooses, Bellevue promises to prepare students to communicate effectively, employ creative problem-solving skills, take initiative, and interpret complex financial and economic information.School website
|11||Missouri State University||Springfield, Missouri||$6,150||54%||84%||57%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
New and transfer students can earn their degree in finance online from Missouri State University. The online bachelor of science in finance trains students for careers in money management, banking, real estate or financial planning, among other finance-related subfields. This web-based degree program is intensive and students are not required to study a minor in conjunction with finance. To begin studying in the program, students must first gain acceptance into MSU. Upon acceptance, students can declare their intent to study in the College of Business. Before joining the college and studying upper-level finance courses, undergrads need to complete 54 credit hours and 10 prerequisite courses. If students are in good academic standing after meeting these standards, they can continue into the B.S. in finance program. Out-of-state students receive the same affordable tuition rate as in-state students and both can benefit from a number of financial aid programs offered through MSU.School website
|12||Davenport University||Grand Rapids, Michigan||$15,936||93%||78%||41%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Davenport University gives students the opportunity to earn a BBA in finance completely online and primarily through asynchronous learning. Through DU's global campus, undergraduates study finance when it's convenient for them, with occasional real time learning situations depending on individual course requirements. Finance students have the option to broadly study the field or to specialize in financial planning. The financial planning track enables graduates of the program to take the Certified Financial Planner exam to gain certification and the freedom to work independently. The BBA in finance degree requires 120 credits for completion, including a capstone project or experiential learning in an internship. Other available courses in the program include accounting, marketing, taxation and international finance. Online students at DU receive discounted tuition rates compared to on-campus students. Davenport also offers a 33% tuition discount to online students residing outside of Michigan, making out-of-state rates lower than in-state.School website
|13||Northwood University||Midland, Michigan||$23,860||93%||67%||57%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Tailored to meet the needs of working adults, the online bachelor's of business administration in finance degree from Northwood University can be completed totally online or through a blended format at one of 19 locations. Following traditional 15-week college semesters, the program requires 123 credits for graduation. The program can also follow 8-week course cycles through the adult study option. This option is for specified adult students and included a variety of course types, from online to evening and weekend face-to-face classes. In the finance program, all students can expect to study topics such as economics, personal finance, marketing analysis and financial management. Students can also complete 400 hours in a paid internship opportunity. While online undergraduates don't receive a discounted tuition rate, students can still apply for financial aid and scholarships offered through the school. Michigan residents earning their BBA through the adult degree option have special financial aid opportunities.School website
|14||University of Houston-Downtown||Houston, Texas||$4,843||33%||83%||24%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Finance students can finish their degree online from the University of Houston Downtown. The university offers an online bachelor of business administration degree for students who have already completed lower division undergraduate coursework. While the degree can be earned 100% online, the option is available for online students to incorporate hybrid and face-to-face classes. Throughout the program, students take courses such as international finance, financial planning and real estate finance, preparing them for careers as financial analysts and consultants. Post-graduation, students are ready to take examinations, such as the Certified Treasury Professional exam, to gain certification in their field. Online students at UHD can benefit from the same on-campus services and have access to libraries and academic advising, right from home. To help pay for college, students can apply for scholarship opportunities offered through the university's college of business.School website
|15||Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia||$6,330||65%||85%||55%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
For those ready to enter the worlds of business and finance, Old Dominion's BS in business administration degree can serve as the foundation to a number of careers within these fields. The BSBA degree with a finance specialization can be earned either online or on-campus and preps graduates for employment as financial managers or analysts, budget analysts and treasurers. For online students, the entirety of the 120-credit degree can be earned through distance learning, or it can be achieved as a degree-completion option. Online students have a host of resources available to them, including technical support, study groups, library databases and tutoring. Tuition for online BSBA students is affordable, with a slightly higher rate for non-residents of Virginia. Financial aid is available to undergraduate students with special programs for online learners and military students. To start the program, students must gain acceptance to ODU and then apply directly to the university's college of business.School website
|16||National University||La Jolla, California||$13,016||4%||-||50%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The business programs at National University (UN) are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Several are available fully online, including the BS in Financial Management program. Students can minor in economics or choose this as an area of concentration. Students are required to complete 180 quarter units for graduation, with at least 45 having been completed through NU. Curriculum incudes major preparation/pre-requisites, core finance, general education and major courses. Admission is a simple process, and applications are reviewed throughout the year, so students can start classes any month of the year. Admission is open to high school graduates and transfer students from approved colleges. First-year students may be required to take an English and Math placement test and must attend the Division of Extended Learning orientation if no transfer credits have been earned. Students are assigned an academic adviser at the time of application and will continue with this adviser throughout the program.School website
|17||East Carolina University||Greenville, North Carolina||$4,365||42%||70%||61%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
East Carolina University's online bachelor's in business degrees are considered degree completion programs, designed for students with previous college credits and 2-year community college degrees. A general business concentration is available online, which covers some financial courses, such as financial accounting and financial management along with a general business overview. Other online concentrations include management, management information systems, marketing and operations and supply chain management. Part way through the program, students will declare their concentration, and must be carrying at least a 2.0 to continue. Admission is competitive and based on students' number of transferable credits and cumulative GPA. Students under 21 with at least 24 transferable credits and those over 21 don't need to submit high school transcripts or test scores but are required to submit official transcripts from all previous colleges attended. Once admitted, students will be assigned an academic adviser to develop a degree plan. Other resources for online students include library services, tutoring, the Writing Center and career services.School website
|18||University of West Alabama||Livingston, Alabama||$7,286||57%||53%||36%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of West Alabama (UWA) students who are interested in pursuing a finance-related degree can earn a Bachelor's in Business Administration (BBA) degree 100% online, with concentrations in accounting, business administration, management, marketing and computer information systems. This program is geared towards those planning a career in finance, but it can also work for those considering a role in human resources, marketing, sales or public relations. Program completion takes 3-4 years, with 123-125 credits needed for graduation, depending on the concentration chosen. Applying to this program requires a completed application along with high school or college transcripts. Through UWA's transfer policy, students from a 2-year college can transfer up to 60 approved credits, and those from a 4-year college can transfer up to 90. Once accepted, students will be assigned a personal success coach for the entire program. Business students may qualify for tuition discounts or special scholarships, based on qualifying factors such as military service, employment at a partnership business or associate degree completion at a partnership community college.School website
|19||State University of New York at Canton||Canton, New York||$6,470||85%||83%||33%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The Finance-Bachelor's in Business Administration (BBA) degree at the State University of New York at Canton is offered 100% online. However, students have the option to take on-campus classes during the fall and spring semesters. The 124-credit curriculum combines business, finance, accounting and liberal arts, and includes a 1-semester internship in the financial industry. This degree can lead to careers in areas such as banking, insurance, financial planning and financial analysis while also preparing students for graduate school. While taking finance courses, students can participate in the SUNY Canton Investment Club, which has an operation and trading account used to fund yearly scholarships for future business students. Resources for online finance students include academic advisement and first year programs designed to assist students with transition to online learning, tutoring, library services including virtual chat and virtual career fairs. Business students can also find support and resources through the Business and Accounting lab, which is located on campus.School website
|20||Granite State College||Concord, New Hampshire||$7,200||6%||-||21%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Most courses for undergraduate business degrees are offered online at Granite State College, with some blended and hybrid options that include required live video sessions with instructors. Students interested in a finance-related career can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance, or can major in Business Management, which can be completed in an accelerated, 100% online format and paired with a Minor in Finance. All bachelor's degrees at Granite require a completed capstone project prior to graduation, which can be in the form of a project, internship or research work. Adult students are encouraged to take a prior learning assessment, as experiences such as work training, career credentials, volunteer work and military training may be turned into college credits. Transfer students can transfer in up to 90 credits, and military students automatically get 4 credits towards their degree for basic training. Granite also has several tuition discount and waiver options for qualifying students.School website
|21||Baker College||Flint, Michigan||$9,000||80%||-||18%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Students planning to major in finance can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance through the College of Business at Baker College. Interested students can take advantage of the college's open enrollment policy, which requires an application, fee and transcripts to apply. The program typically takes 4 years to complete, with 120 credits required for graduation. The curriculum is made up of general education and elective courses, with most credits being business and finance courses. Built into the finance portion of the curriculum is the financial seminar which is considered the capstone, and 2, 120-hour work experience courses worth 3 credits each, that place the student in a real working environment relevant to the finance major. Graduates of this program often go into banking, financial planning, insurance, financial markets and services and analyst positions. Career services are available to online finance students, along with learning support, tutoring, academic advisement, library services and research assistance.School website
|22||University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi, Maryland||$6,816||11%||-||10%||1||Yes||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of Maryland-University College's Bachelor of Science in Finance program uses intensive case studies to help students understand and apply finance theories to real-world situations. This method of instruction combines a foundation in the principles of accounting, business and economics with the day-to-day details of financial management. For students interested in Certified Financial Planner Certification, UMUC offers a CFP board-approved course of study to prepare for exam certification and can also help prepare students for the Certified Management Accountant exam. Of the 120 credit hours required to complete the online program, 90 credits may be transferred from previous studies. The major requirements consist of 36 credit hours of courses such as Business Finance, Risk Management and Security Analysis and Valuation and 43 elective credit hours.School website
|23||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, Utah||$5,780||1%||-||19%||1||No||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Western Governors University seeks to make education accessible through online learning, and for those interested in finance it offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Both programs require the completion of 39 courses and, on average, students transfer between 33-38 credits over from prior education. Over 70% of students in both programs complete the degree in 10 to 40 months, depending on the pace of coursework. Students are expected to complete 12 competency units (equivalent to the traditional credit hour) during each 6-month term. Each of the programs covers leadership and management, quantitative analysis for business and business law and ethics. In the business administration program, students will take business-specific coursework such as Organizational Behavior, Business Strategy, Business Communication and Business Ethics. Within the accounting major, courses include Managerial Accounting, Taxation, Cost and Managerial Accounting and Accounting Information Systems.School website
|24||University of Northwestern Ohio||Lima, Ohio||$9,622||28%||-||31%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of Northwestern Ohio's bachelor's degree programs in accounting and business administration provide students with the opportunity to prepare for a finance-related career and graduate in as little as 3.5 years. Because of the 100% online format, students have the flexibility to complete the program at their own pace. The UNOH College of Business prides itself on its small class sizes for both on-campus and online courses, with a 25-to-1 student to faculty ratio. The programs seeks to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in the students. Each of the programs has a 180-credit-hour requirement with technical and basic business requirements consisting of 84-107 credit hours depending on the degree. The Accounting program dives into a range of topics relevant to the major including Cost Accounting, Business Taxes and Auditing for Fraud for the Accounting major. The Business Administration major provides an overview of economics and management to give well-rounded foundation to students through courses such Economics in Today's Society, Principles of Management and Global Management Issues.School website
|25||University of Houston-Clear Lake||Houston, Texas||$4,992||34%||65%||-||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers business training to students interested in a career in finance through the online B.S. in Finance program. The program provides an opportunity for students to gain real-world knowledge from leaders in a variety of business industries including accounting, statistics, international finance, financial markets and financial statement analysis. Students must complete 120 credit hours (which includes 42 hours of university core courses) in order to graduate. Students could graduate in as little as 2 years if they took 10 online courses per year (during fall, spring and summer semesters). The business core courses (total of 48 credit hours) include Business Principles, Business Computer Applications, Quantitative Methods of Management and Management Theory and Practice. The finance core coursework (total of 24 credit hours) includes Structure of Financial Statements, Investments, International Financial Operations and Treasury Management plus 6 hours of general elective credits. UHCL finance students graduate with the skills to enter fields such as corporate finance, investment banking, real estate investment and financial planning.School website
|26||Franklin University||Columbus, Ohio||$11,856||-||-||16%||2||Yes||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|27||University of Houston-Victoria||Victoria, Texas||$4,576||85%||48%||-||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|28||Thomas Edison State University||Trenton, New Jersey||$6,350||-||-||-||1||Yes||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|29||Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration||Troy, Michigan||$13,200||-||-||-||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|30||Webber International University||Babson Park, Florida||$22,770||97%||50%||28%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|31||Golden Gate University||San Francisco, California||$15,120||-||-||-||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
|32||Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul, Minnesota||$6,563||-||10%||33%||1||Yes||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||School website|
The below list provides a detailed description of five different occupations within the finance field. Students can use this information to become familiar with different career options and get an idea of the path they want to take after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance. A degree does not guarantee a career or salary, but it does help workers get their foot in the door in the professional world. Colleges encourage internships, and students use their schools' career services departments to network and secure job and internship placements.
Personal finance advisers assist clients looking for ways to invest money, save, buy real estate, or make other financial decisions. Advisers educate clients on the financial systems that dictate investing, retirement, and other business activities. Personal advisers tend to work with individual clients instead of large corporations. As an adviser, they look at clients' bank accounts to determine their financial situations and suggest changes. Clients also use advisers to file taxes and find insurance products.
Financial analysts perform some of the same duties as personal financial advisers, but the professions differ in a few ways. Financial advisers work primarily with businesses and companies to help them invest money and assess their financial health. These advisers assist companies ranging from startups to large-scale corporations. Analysts study the economy, paying specific attention to economic trends. They use this information to suggest investments to build the company’s investment portfolio.
Financial managers examine data to write financial reports. They work on teams with other financial advisers to help senior executives brainstorm ideas to maximize profit. There are a few different types of financial managers. Controllers prepare income statements, balance sheets, and other special reports for companies. Treasurers take charge of companies' financial budgets, suggesting strategies to help them meet their goals. Risk managers devise strategies to prevent or correct financial loss.
Securities and commodities sales agents include brokers, investment bankers, investment banking sales agents, and traders. Brokers sell securities, better known as stocks and bonds, to clients, while advising them about their financial options. Investment bankers act as liaisons between businesses and investors. They help businesses find funding through investors. Investment bankers coordinate initial public offerings, mergers, and acquisitions. On the other hand, investment banking sales agents and traders handle orders for stocks, bonds, and commodities. They work for investment banks, commercial banks, private equity groups, and hedge funds.
Institutions use budget analysts when they need assistance managing their finances. Analysts review each department’s budget, consolidating them into one organizational budget. They also monitor and assess funding requests. Budget analysts project the cost-benefit of various financial activities. They also evaluate companies' programs to decide if they need to adjust funding levels and monitor spending accounts to let company officials know how much cash or credit is on hand.
Many students want to know if the degrees they pursue will benefit them in the long run. Salary and job growth data provides pertinent information regarding employment trends in the industry. The Bureau of Labor statistics tracks this data to provide a comprehensive look into business and financial operations occupations. On average, workers in this industry make $36.70 per hour. The District of Columbia boasts the highest concentration of business and finance jobs, with over 100,000 employees working in the industry.
A bachelor’s degree in finance curriculum incorporates principles from marketing and accounting into students' course loads. Financial occupations require professionals to buy and sell products, so students must understand how business and the economy works. Course names and assignments differ by school, but learning outcomes remain the same between most programs. The following guide lists the types of courses finance students take. For specific course requirements, refer to the school’s website or academic departments.
This course covers advanced accounting techniques, such as working with complex financial statements. Students review introductory concepts concerning the accounting cycle and adjusting journal entries.
Students use managerial decision-making techniques to make capital budgeting and structure choices. Students learn about firm valuation, dividend policies, and quantitative risk assessment.
Students analyze different types of investments, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and mutual funds. By the end of the course, learners understand how and where financial advisers invest client funds.
In this course, learners examine different aspects of marketing, such as customer behavior and product pricing. Students also explore the science behind marketing to culturally diverse groups.
Course instructors teach students how to financially plan for international corporations. Students research ways to source corporate funds for foreign investments. They also discuss foreign exchange rates.
Committing to a higher education institution is a big step for students. They must account for factors including cost, accreditation, degree requirements, and faculty before making a final decision. Students should research schools as thoroughly as possible and talk to the admissions department, faculty members, and students before selecting a school. This section features some questions students ask while researching bachelor’s in finance programs.
In traditional on-campus bachelor's programs, students attend classes on-site at scheduled time periods. For online courses, schools offer fully online or hybrid courses. Fully online classes require students to submit their work digitally and interact with others through email and discussion boards. Hybrid courses take place primarily online, with occasional in-class meetings.
To graduate with a bachelor’s in finance, you need at least 120 credits. Schools may add more or fewer depending on their degree requirements, but most programs require at least 120 credits.The credit requirement spans four years of study, and each course is worth one to four credits. Students with transfer credits must apply to have their credits approved. Students without previous credits start receiving college credits as first-year students.
Many working professionals opt for online courses, which offer schedule flexibility. Online students can access their assignments and course materials through an online learning management system, like Blackboard. Students get round-the-clock access to the learning system, enabling them to complete coursework on their own time. Depending on your schedule, you can work full- or part-time, and pursue a bachelor’s in finance.
Yes, certain financial careers require certification. Students who want to work as accountants apply for their certified public accountant credentials. Learners who want to become analysts may apply for the chartered financial analyst certification. Other certifications include financial risk manager and certified credit potential. To receive certification, candidates must submit an application and take an exam. Certain professions, such as accounting and insurance sales, require certification and licensing.
According to Payscale.com, entry-level financial analysts make $57,000 per year, more than the average national salary of $50,620. By mid-career, financial analysts make around $67,000 per year. These numbers fluctuate based on geographical location — in cities like New York and San Francisco, for example, analysts make significantly higher salaries over the course of their career. Starting salaries in other finance-related careers vary, but employees generally enjoy decent incomes.
Students entering a bachelor’s in finance program may explore different financial aid options while searching for the right school. Many students prefer gift aid, such as scholarships and grants, over loans, because gift aid does not require repayment. Both private and public institutions award scholarships to students based largely on their academic merit. Banks and other lending institutions distribute loans to people who meet certain income and credit thresholds. The organizations on our list give scholarships exclusively to students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in finance or finance-related subjects.
The Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals supports the insurance compliance community by providing opportunities and education to its members. One of its scholarships, the Rich Guggolz scholarship, awards three students with $1,500 for their college tuition and fees. Eligible candidates must be full-time undergraduate students attending an accredited school. They must declare a major in finance or a finance-related field, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The Wells Fargo banking institution awards this scholarship to American Indian and Alaska Native college students pursuing careers in finance, accounting, information technology, human resources, management, and administration. Applicants must submit documentation certifying their American Indian ancestry. They must be college undergraduate students in their junior or senior year at an accredited U.S. institution. Candidates also submit forms showing financial need.
The Government Finance Association began in 1906 to help public finance officials. The association seeks to advance public understanding and interest in government financial management. To help with these efforts, they provide various scholarships for student members interested in government finance and budgeting careers. The Goldberg-Miller Public Finance scholarship honors Daniel B. Goldberg. The scholarship gives a full-time graduate student $15,000 to support their education.
The Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance created this scholarship to motivate women in their journey as leaders in the accounting and finance fields. These scholarships provide financial aid to women pursuing their degrees. The Paula Zanni scholarship offers an additional award to a student who already received an award from the alliance. The alliance provides several undergraduate and graduate scholarships to women pursuing accounting or finance degrees. Another scholarship, the diversity undergraduate scholarship, helps women of color secure funding.
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation presents scholarships to students in various disciplines who plan to work in the fashion industry after graduation. The foundation gives four students $30,000 to major in finance, merchandising, marketing, or another finance-related field. Four runner-up finalists receive $10,000 for their financial needs. The foundation works closely with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to create endowments and other funds for students and fashion industry professionals.