Finance is a subfield of business that deals with money management. If you choose to study finance, you will learn how to manage money in a variety of ways. The primary profession in this field trains you to grow portfolios by investing in the stock market. But a finance degree will prepare you for many positions with corporate businesses or financial institutions like banks, insurance companies and mortgage firms.
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Many students are drawn to this field because finance jobs pay very well. And unlike many areas of business, it is not necessary to earn a graduate degree. However, you can study finance at the graduate level, so you should keep in mind that an MBA will qualify you for more positions and distinguish you from other job applicants.
Check the Guide to Accreditation in Higher Education to learn more about accreditation and how to determine if the program you select meets the necessary standards.
An Associate of Arts (AA) in Finance includes classes in the humanities as well as in finance and business to give you a broad background. The AA is not a common finance degree but you can use it to transfer into a bachelor’s program.
An Associate of Science (AS) in Finance requires more science and mathematics classes to give you a technical education. The AS degree is the best choice if you plan to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.
An Associate of Applied (AAS) in Finance in finance teaches job specific skills that train you to work in the field. The AAS degree is the best option if you want to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
Bachelor’s degrees are the most common level of education in this field. When you are looking for a bachelor’s degree program, you should keep in mind that some schools offer finance degrees that also focus on another subject, like accounting or economics.
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Finance degree has more liberal arts classes, so you will study the humanities along with business and finance. The BA degree is the best choice if you want to continue on to graduate school.
A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance has more science and math classes that are designed to give you a strong technical background. The BS is the best option if you want to enter the workforce as soon as you graduate.
A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance has a strong focus on business classes, so you will learn management skills along with the principles of finance. The BBA is a good choice if you want to become a financial manager.
A Master of Science (MS) in Finance has advanced business, finance and mathematics classes. The MS is a good choice if you want to focus on finance, rather than business management, in your graduate studies.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance has core business classes and offers many finance and investment banking electives. The MBA is the best option if you want a business education that leads to a managerial position.
A Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) offers engineering courses like computer science and mathematics along with finance. The MFE is preferable if you want to work as a financial engineer.
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Finance includes advanced finance classes and focuses on theoretical research. The PhD is the best option if you want to pursue an academic research career at a college or university.
A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) emphasizes applied financial research that can be used to solve business problems. The DBA is the best option if you want to work as a finance professional at a corporation or government agency.
Because finance is a field usually associated with big business, many major corporations offer scholarships listed here, including Verizon, Wal-Mart, MasterCard, and Wells Fargo. The amount of money these scholarships offer varies greatly, with a range of $1,000 – $32,000 represented. But don’t restrict your search to only the biggest donors. As you are searching for scholarships, remember that every bit of financial aid you receive will help to pay for your education and reduce the student debt you will be obligated to pay back post-graduation.