Earning a Master’s in Finance Online
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Should I Pursue a Master's in Finance Online?
Students earning an online master's in finance gain skills relevant to personal and corporate finance. Graduates may help individuals prepare for retirement or assist businesses with acquisitions. Careers in finance require knowledge of current trends and the ability to structure financial plans.
Candidates with an online finance master's degree can work as financial advisers, managers, and analysts. Graduates may also hold positions as accountants and financial services sales agents in finance or other fields. Students earning their master's in finance may complete specific coursework to learn to apply their skills to other fields. For example, an aspiring real estate appraiser may take a real estate finance and investment course.
Successful master's in finance students need strong communication and math skills. These programs require students to manage deadlines and pay attention to details. Finance professionals also need computer literacy to build spreadsheets. Distance learners may have an advantage over on-campus learners, as students earning an accredited online master's degree in finance gain computer skills as part of their learning experience.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Finance Graduates
Master's in Finance Salary
Earning an accredited master's degree in finance online qualifies graduates for positions as financial managers. On average, finance managers in the U.S. earn more than $140,000 per year, and professionals in some states earn significantly more. For example, the average salary for financial managers in New York is more than $200,000 per year.
Job seekers should also consider the availability of positions. For example, Delaware boasts fewer than 2,000 financial managers, while New York is home to more than 40,000 financial managers. Students pursuing a master's in finance online should consider job prospects in the state in which they plan to live.
Top Paying States for Financial managers
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||7,470||$160,550|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Pay by Experience Level for Financial Managers
- Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
- Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
- Experienced (10-20 Years):
- Late-Career (20+ Years):
Master's in Finance Careers
Graduates of online master's in finance programs assist individuals and companies in areas such as investments, stocks, and risk management. Graduates may help parents build college funds, advise companies on mergers, or provide financial insights for schools. Students should choose a program with coursework and concentration options that complement their professional goals. Candidates aspiring to any financial career need strong math, communication, analytical, and time-management skills.
Annual Median Salary: $125,080
Projected Growth Rate: 19%
Financial managers create economic plans for companies and oversee workers to ensure efficiency. These professionals build financial reports and determine strategies for increasing revenue, such as lowering costs and identifying areas for growth. Employers may require managers to hold a relevant master's degree, such as an online master's in finance.
Personal Financial Advisers
Annual Median Salary: $90,640
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
These professionals advise individuals on decisions regarding investments and savings, such as retirement plans and college funds. They outline the client's objectives, find the best investment strategies, and determine when financial strategies need modification. While these advisers need only a bachelor's degree, earning a master's in finance online can qualify candidates for advancement.
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
Annual Median Salary: $63,780
Projected Growth Rate: 6%
These workers help individuals and companies make financial decisions. For example, they may advise individuals on stocks or suggest acquisitions for organizations. Related careers include roles as brokers and investment bankers. Advanced positions in this area may require a master's degree, such as an online master of science in finance.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Finance Program?
Requirements for online master's in finance programs vary by institution. Programs may require a capstone project or certification preparation. Finance programs may offer concentrations in areas such as investment finance. Coursework varies based on each program's objectives, but the classes below are common to most online master's in finance programs.
Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Finance
This course explores theories and technologies for identifying investments that match business objectives and deliver financial benefits. Students learn about stocks, assets, equity, pricing, bonds, and risk management. After earning their online master's in finance, graduates often apply these skills as financial managers and analysts.
Students learn to project and outline the financial futures of companies based on their investments and business choices. They practice analyzing income and expenses, often using spreadsheets. This course prepares learners for careers as financial managers and advisers.
Learners in this course explore statistics and theories and apply this information to financial analysis and research. Coursework covers relevant policies, along with statistical inference, and prepares students for careers as budget analysts and economists.
Financial Risk Management
Students learn to identify, assess, and manage situations with high financial risks. Coursework may focus on credit or market risk, and students explore policies that prevent and manage these issues. Graduates often apply these skills as certified financial and professional risk managers.
Students explore aspects of corporate management, such as liability, financial risk, dividend policies, pricing, and capital structure. Students learn to make solid financial decisions for investments and company expenses. Coursework prepares learners for positions as financial managers and advisers.
Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Finance Prepares For
- Certified Financial Planner: Candidates interested in financial planning positions can pursue the Certified Financial Planner certification. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree and must complete a relevant college program or a recognized educational substitute. Candidates must pass an examination; complete 4,000-6,000 field hours; and comply with professional conduct standards.
- Personal Financial Specialist: Applicants for the Personal Financial Specialist certification must be members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and must hold prior certification as a certified public accountant. Candidates need at least 75 credits of relevant education and two years of business or teaching experience. After passing the examination and earning certification, professionals often become finance specialists or advisers.
- Chartered Financial Consultant: Candidates pursuing the Chartered Financial Consultant credential need three years of relevant business experience and 27 core and elective credits; each class must have included a final, closed-book exam. Certified professionals often work as financial consultants and advisers, and they must complete 30 credits of continuing education biannually to maintain the credential.
- Chartered Financial Analyst: The Chartered Financial Analyst program includes three assessments, with each exam requiring more than 300 study hours. Candidates must have four years of professional experience and must submit three reference letters. This program is ideal for portfolio managers, risk managers, consultants, and research analysts.
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