Online MBA in Finance Programs 2021

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Finance entails various money-related activities such as investing, borrowing, risk management, and forecasting. To ensure positive financial outcomes for their organizations, financial professionals apply finance principles and knowledge of markets and systems in the field.

Working professionals often pursue online MBA degrees to learn new skills, secure leadership roles, and make higher salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that financial managers earn a median annual salary of $134,180. BLS data also projects jobs for these professionals to grow 15% during 2019-2029.

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This guide ranks the best online MBA finance degrees. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and scholarship opportunities for finance students.

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  • Is an MBA in finance worth it?

    PayScale salary data from March 2021 suggests that MBA in finance degree-holders make an average salary of $99,770 annually, making the degree a worthwhile investment for many students.

  • What can I do with an MBA in finance?

    An MBA in finance can support high-level careers such as financial analyst, financial director, and financial manager.

  • How long does it take to get an MBA in finance?

    Traditional MBA in finance programs take 2-3 years to finish. Some accelerated programs may offer year-round, intensive coursework that takes only 12-15 months to complete.

  • What is the difference between an MBA and a master's in finance?

    MBA in finance programs feature a more interdisciplinary business curriculum. MS in finance programs often focus more on specialized finance topics.

Why Get a Degree in Finance?

MBA in finance degrees offer many potential benefits, including career advancement, transferable skills, and specialization. Graduates can pursue high-paying jobs, such as financial manager or top executive. These professionals make median annual salaries between $107,000-$134,000.

MBA programs build advanced skills in business, management, communication, and leadership. These versatile skills can benefit professionals in many roles, organizations, industries, and sectors. Additionally, online finance degrees often cost less than on-campus programs, and they give students the flexibility to continue working while earning their degree.

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How Much Does a Finance Degree Cost?

MBA programs typically cost more than other master’s programs. According to the U.S. News & World Report, prestigious MBA programs typically cost between $100,000-$200,000. However, online finance degrees often cost significantly less than on-campus equivalents.

For example, many public schools allow out-of-state distance learners to pay in-state tuition rates. The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2020 report suggests that annual in-state tuition costs less than half of out-of-state tuition rates at the same schools.

Additionally, many online programs feature flexible attendance options that accommodate working professionals, so MBA students can maintain an income while going to school. Plus, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Affordable Colleges Online provides an affordability calculator to help prospective students estimate degree costs. Users can enter their income, living expenses, anticipated fees, and expected financial aid to determine how much they can afford to pay for a degree.

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How Much Do Finance Majors Make?

MBA in finance graduates often work in lucrative business and finance occupations. According to the BLS, these occupations garner a median annual wage of $72,250. However, MBA in finance graduates can pursue specialized finance roles that offer higher salaries, like financial analyst, financial examiner, and personal financial advisor. Median annual salaries for these professions fall into the $80,000-$90,000 range. Financial managers also earn a very high median annual salary of $134,180.

MBA in finance graduates may also seek positions such as financial controllers or directors. April 2021 PayScale data indicates that financial controllers earn average salaries of $85,110 annually and that financial directors make an average of $114,360 per year.

Courses in Finance

Online MBA in finance curricula usually include core coursework in financial management, leadership, and communication. Students learn how to analyze financial data, draw conclusions, make projections, and present findings to executives. Finance graduate programs typically include capstone research projects and internships that cultivate advanced skills in finance research, analysis, and management.

Courses vary by program, but the following three sample courses appear in many finance MBA programs.

Often a core course, corporate finance courses build investing and financing skills. Participants also cultivate skills in data analysis, financial valuation, and risk management. The course proves essential for aspiring corporate financial analysts and managers.

The class familiarizes enrollees with contemporary financial regulations, laws, and professional ethics. Core topics include policies, activities, and laws regarding financial reporting and compliance. The course also covers investment regulations, agency relationships, and fiduciary responsibility.

The course focuses on using financial analysis and planning to guide organizational decisions. Learners build skills in variance analysis, which helps finance professionals compare actual and budgeted expenses.

Certifications and Licensure for Finance

Online MBA in finance degrees meet or exceed educational requirements for many finance-related jobs. However, some employers prefer or require additional training and expertise. The following list outlines several common professional credentials for graduates with an online MBA in finance degree.

Certified Management Accountant

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) grants this certification to aspiring corporate financial managers and accountants. Candidates need a bachelor’s degree or certification in accounting, IMA membership, and two years of relevant professional experience. They must also pass a two-part exam.

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Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA credential serves aspiring investment professionals. Candidates need a related bachelor’s degree or 4,000 hours of combined professional experience and higher education.

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General Securities Representative

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority awards this certification to candidates who pass the Series 7 exam. United States stockbrokers and general securities representatives must pass this exam to practice their trade. The exam covers topics such as equity, securities, taxation, and investments.

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Scholarships and Fellowships for Finance

Online MBA in finance students can pursue scholarship and fellowship opportunities to lower the cost of their degree. Unlike loans, these awards do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship and fellowship opportunities for finance MBA students.

  • Rising Farmworker Dream Fund MBA Fellowship

    Who Can Apply: This RFDF MBA fellowship considers applicants planning to apply to MBA programs in the next three years. Awards may cover the costs of tuition, GMAT/GRE test preparation, MBA application fees, and school and career planning.

    Amount: $250-$10,000

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  • Forte Foundation MBA Fellowships

    Who Can Apply: This fellowship program supports women MBA students who receive nomination from a participating school. Applicants with diverse backgrounds and career goals may receive preference. Candidates must demonstrate leadership potential and commitment to women’s advancement in the business world.

    Amount: Varies

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