A subfield of economics, finance is the practice of funds management. Making sound financial decisions is essential to the smooth and efficient operation of businesses and organizations. An online finance degree prepares you to work in various fields, including accounting, banking, financial planning, insurance, real estate, and tax preparation. Learn more about why earning a finance or economics degree would make you an asset to any organization.
Overview of Online Finance Degrees
Economics and finance degrees are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Associate’s degrees take two years to complete, bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete, and master’s degrees take one to two years beyond the bachelor’s degree. Doctoral degrees typically require three to five years of study.
Degree Type and Your Career
A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum qualification for entry-level jobs in the finance industry, but most advanced positions require a master’s degree in finance. Associate’s degrees in economics or finance typically serve as a stepping-stone to bachelor’s degree programs, while bachelor’s degrees often serve as a stepping-stone to graduate programs. Doctoral programs in finance are suited to individuals who want to prepare for careers in research and teaching.
Benefits of Earning Your Finance Degree Online
Due to the flexibility of online programs, earning your degree online will allow you to attend classes during times that are convenient for you. Also, depending on the program you select, tuition, transportation, and course material costs can be more affordable for online programs than their campus-based counterparts.
Prerequisites for Finance Degrees
Undergraduate Program Prerequisites
The admissions requirements for undergraduate programs in finance are typically a high school diploma or GED, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required SAT/ACT scores. Pursuing a strong college preparatory high school education including courses in math, speech, communications, and English is recommended.
Graduate Program Prerequisites
The admissions requirements for master’s and doctoral degree programs in finance are generally a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required GRE/GMAT scores. Candidates with a background in finance, accounting, mathematics, engineering, statistics or economics are well-suited for graduate studies in finance.
Curriculum for Online Finance Courses
Earning a finance degree online provides you with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in a wide range of finance-related careers. Specific areas that economics and finance students may specialize in include financial planning, real estate, corporate finance, and insurance. Examples of online finance courses that you may be required to take include the following:
- Fundamentals of marketing
- Principles of business
- Business law
- Human resource management
- Managerial accounting practices
- Introduction to corporate finance
There are also many professional qualifications and licenses in the finance field that you could pursue after graduation. For example, you could become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These designations may boost your resume and give you a competitive edge in the job market.
Economics & Finance Career Opportunities
Types of Jobs
There are many different jobs available to graduates of finance programs. Graduates can work at a corporation, government agency, bank or consulting firm or they may become self-employed as financial planners or consultants. Some of the possible career paths that you can pursue after earning a finance or economics degree online include:
- Finance officer
- Financial manager
- Credit analyst
- Loan officer
- Financial analyst
- Investment banker
- Financial planner
- Loan officer
Jobs in the finance industry can be very lucrative. In 2012, the median annual wages for the below finance positions were as follows:
- Personal financial advisor– $67,520
- Budget analyst– $69,280
- Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent– $71,720
- Financial examiner– $75,800
- Financial analyst– $76,950
- Management analyst– $78,600
- Financial manger– $109,740
Many positions in finance are expected to grow at an average rate from 2010 to 2012. However, personal advisors positions should increase by 27% in the coming decade, as the baby boomer population prepares to retire. Employment for management analysts should also grow at a faster than average rate of 19%, due to the desire for companies to increase efficiency and cut costs.
Financial analysts will also be in demand with an expected growth of 16% due to the increased complexities of the field. Despite these projected growths, as a whole, finance positions tend to be competitive, and those with graduate degrees and professional certification are likely to receive the best opportunities.
Exploring Online Finance Schools
From guiding investment decisions to producing financial reports, finance professionals perform a variety of tasks that support the financial health of organizations and individuals. If you are interested in pursuing an online finance degree, start exploring economics and finance programs on our site today.