Online Finance Bachelor’s Degree
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Graduates of a finance degree online program can pursue lucrative careers as accountants, auditors, financial managers, or budget analysts. Students earning this degree obtain the technical and soft skills needed for employment in a variety of industries, including finance, insurance, professional services, and government.
Completing a bachelor's degree in finance online ensures that students meet the minimum education requirement for most jobs in finance, turning an eye for detail and dexterity with numbers into a rewarding career. Many candidates can further improve their job prospects by becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), certified management accountant, or certified internal auditor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% increase in job growth for accountants and auditors by 2026, with an annual median salary well above the national median of $69,350.
Why Earn an Online Degree in Finance?
Students seeking maximum scheduling flexibility often choose to earn a finance degree online, as this option enables students to log in anytime and from any location. Online finance bachelor's degrees also serve diverse learning styles, enabling students to choose between a full- or part-time workload, an accelerated schedule, and synchronous or asynchronous coursework. The best online finance degrees also tend to offer lower tuition rates, while helping students save money on commuting and housing costs.
What Can I Do with an Online Finance Bachelor's Degree?
With broad applications spanning multiple business fields, an online degree in finance prepares graduates for their choice of careers. Professions like accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping suit finance students with a mastery of math and analytical skills, while others who prefer business and management may pursue positions like budget analyst or financial manager.
Students can expand their job prospects by considering professional licensure in their area of expertise. After completing a bachelor's degree in finance online, students may go on to complete a graduate degree in finance or explore advanced credentials in a similar field, such as business or accounting.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
An online finance degree curriculum provides students with the knowledge employers seek. Students can expect to hone analytical, math, and computer skills while strengthening their communication, decision-making, and management abilities. Whichever field a student pursues, the best online finance programs can help develop the following core areas.
Finance professionals need a strong foundation in financial management. Online finance degrees may include a broad course that covers multiple field concepts or incorporates separate courses in corporate finance, investment and portfolio analysis, and international finance management.
Financial and Managerial Accounting
Crucial to a career in finance, students can expect to study acute methods of financial and managerial accounting. Courses in this discipline emphasize the importance of precision and accuracy in the process of bookkeeping and decision-making for professionals.
Business Information Systems
Students must learn how to navigate the latest data systems to prepare for the workforce after graduation. Coursework in business information systems helps to familiarize students with programs, apps, and services unique to accounting, auditing, and portfolio and investment management
While some employers hire those with an associate degree in finance, the majority of jobs in the field require a bachelor's degree. As the minimum education requirement, a bachelor's degree expands on concepts merely touched upon in an associate degree, preparing graduates for opportunities not otherwise available to them with fewer credentials.
Careers & Salary Potential
Graduates of an online finance degree at the bachelor level enjoy the broadest array of career possibilities. Hiring managers tend to look for candidates with a mastery of math, analytical, and technical skills, along with soft skills that include problem-solving, communication, and detail orientation. Students aspiring to make use of a unique combination of business and finance skills may pursue management jobs, while those looking to blend sales and financial management may prefer a career in the insurance industry. A testament to the diversity of an online finance degree, the following list includes some leading industries for finance professionals, according to the BLS.
- Finance and Insurance: A natural choice for graduates of an online finance degree, the finance and insurance industry employs the largest number of professionals with financial management skills. Jobs in this industry generally require a bachelor's degree and a minimum of five years of field experience.
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: Skilled finance managers often provide professional, scientific, and technical services to businesses and organizations, such as nonprofits, tax preparation firms, and IT companies. Though diverse in career applications, these fields typically require at least a bachelor's degree at the entry level.
- Management of Companies and Enterprises: A critical element of management at the highest level, financial managers help maintain efficient operations at small businesses and global corporations. Financial managers and even CFOs can often get their start in an entry-level position with a bachelor's degree in finance online.
- Government: The government offers many positions that require advanced financial management skills, including positions in the IRS, budget secretaries, and state comptrollers. While some employers hire candidates with a bachelor's degree in finance for entry-level jobs, others prefer a master's degree and/or specialized experience in the field.
- Manufacturing: Often acting as a CFO or financial manager for manufacturing operations of a company or corporation, finance employees may need specialized skills in tax law, compensation and benefits, and international finance. Manufacturing financial managers need at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions.
Accountants and Auditors
Annual Median Salary: $69,350
Accountants and auditors provide a professional assessment of a client's financial records, primarily for tax purposes. Many public accountants earn the CPA credential to meet Securities and Exchange Commission standards for accuracy and ethics. While most employers require a bachelor's degree for entry-level jobs, some prefer a master's degree in business or finance and/or CPA licensure.
Annual Median Salary: $75,240
Budget analysts regularly assess client budgets to streamline operations and maximize funds. These professionals typically monitor spending, reconcile expenditures and income, and prepare reports on a client's financial health. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in finance and specialized skills, including economics and statistics.
Annual Median Salary: $84,300
Financial analysts specialize in guiding clients toward lucrative financial decision-making, specifically involving stocks, bonds, and other investments. While all financial analysts should show mastery over economics and analytics, many choose to further hone their skills as a funds manager or risk analyst. Employers require a bachelor's degree to enter the field.
Annual Median Salary: $125,080
A common career choice for students completing an online finance degree, financial managers earn one of the highest salaries in the field. These professionals may perform a wide range of duties for an organization or corporation, preparing budgets, monitoring financial statements, and analyzing market trends. Candidates should possess a bachelor's degree and five years of experience as an accountant, financial analyst, or securities sales agent.
Annual Median Salary: $64,660
Loan officers focus on assessing and approving loans for individuals and companies. Through a process known as underwriting, loan officers collect and evaluate information about a candidate's income and finances to determine both whether they should receive a loan and whether they can pay back the loan according to repayment terms. Employers prefer loan officers with a bachelor's degree, and many undergo training for their specific position.
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