Finance is an area of business focused on managing money. Traditional and online finance bachelor's programs will give you an overall understanding of money management for small businesses and corporations, financial analysis, financial security, portfolio management, personal financing, financial planning, and investing.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Financial degrees are offered at every level of higher education. While a graduate degree may lead to a management or executive position, the majority of careers in finance require no more than a bachelor’s, meaning you won’t have to spend the extra time and money on graduate school to ensure you are well qualified. Furthermore, if you choose from one of the many online finance bachelor’s programs, you will be able to earn your degree at your own pace and from the comfort of home.
Inside a Finance Bachelor’s Degree Program
In most cases, a bachelor’s in finance can be earned in four years. However, the amount of time it takes you to complete the program depends on several factors: whether you attend full or part time, your ability to successfully complete each course, whether or not you have to take remedial courses, and the specific requirements of your program. Many schools offer accelerated online bachelor’s degree programs in finance that require you to work at a faster pace, but they allow you to earn your degree in two to three years rather than in four.
Your online bachelor’s degree in finance will require you to complete a certain number of general education courses, such as history, government, and biology. However, the majority of your study will consist of courses focusing on topics like the principles of investments, decision making in finance, taxation, corporate finance, financial markets, short- and long-term financial management, risk management, financial statement analysis, and financial planning. Assignments can include writing essays and reports, developing financial portfolios, analyzing mock financial statements, and problem solving based on various scenarios. Some programs may require you to complete an internship prior to graduation, allowing you to gain hands-on training in the field.
What’s Next for Finance Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Earning a bachelor’s in business finance can lead to a number of careers, including a personal financial advisor, financial analyst, and financial examiner. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal financial advisors are expected to have a 30% increase in total employment from 2014 to 2024 and earn an average salary of $108,090, as reported in May 2014. Financial analysts earn an average of $92,250 a year and are expected to have a 12% employment increase. Financial examiners have a projected employment growth of 10% and an average salary of $86,460. Job availability and income are not guaranteed, and they depend on many factors, such as your location, industry, and amount of experience.
Should you choose to continue your education beyond the bachelor’s, many institutions offer a master’s and doctoral programs in finance as well. In most cases, you will be required to hold a bachelor’s in finance from an accredited institution and meet other requirements before being accepted into a program. These degrees can lead to management and executive positions, financial research and development, and academic careers, teaching finance at a college or university.