Free Online Lectures and Courses for Finance

Despite the bad rap the financial industry has received in recent years, planning for a career in finance still remains a smart proposition. In fact, issues plaguing the industry today only emphasize the current need for highly educated financial professionals to keep things on track. As a result, choosing to earn a degree in finance could lead to a rather lucrative career upon graduation.

Like marketing, finance is typically considered to be a specialized area of business administration. It is also a field that can be specialized in or studied independently via online finance courses. An academic career in finance will provide you with skills and knowledge to effectively manage money.

Finance specialists are tasked with understanding and forecasting the value of money at a given moment in time. We use this skill in our daily lives when we budget our spending or, say, fund a retirement plan. The profession is also key for businesses and corporations that have far more complex financial needs than the average individual or family.

Sample Courses

In addition to a student's core curriculum in finance, there are several general subject areas that could benefit budding financial specialists, like psychology and communication. There are also many courses designed specifically for finance majors. Below are some of these courses that you can find at colleges and universities throughout the country:

  • Business Finance
  • Accounting
  • Banking and the Financial System
  • Financial Theory and Analysis
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Managerial Economics
  • Capital Markets and Investments
  • Management of Financial Risk

Possible Specializations

Depending on your interests, there are several key areas to specialize in within the field of finance. Finance should never be considered a "one size fits all" field. Each individual or entity deals with money in very different ways. Three of the more general specializations are corporate finance, personal finance and public finance.

A corporate financial specialist will typically work with businesses and corporations to manage their overall financial picture, or even just a small aspect of it, depending on the size of the institution. Personal financial specialists will work with consumers and individual clients to advise them on how to optimally structure their finances. A public financial specialist is an expert on financial management for government institutions.

Degree Types

Finance, like other business-related fields, tends to be a specialization within a larger degree pathway, such as business economics and business administration. There are opportunities, however, to study finance as an independent field at many colleges and universities, as well as through online courses. Certificates in finance are also available.

At the bachelor's degree level, students can choose to major in finance directly. The resulting degree would be a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Because the field is largely analytical and numbers-oriented, the field is considered to be a science and not an art.

Graduate degrees in the field are typically represented as a specialization within a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) program. Doctoral candidates will receive a Doctor of Philosophy in Finance upon successful completion of a Ph.D. program in the field. Earning a Ph.D. in the field is generally suitable only for those who wish to take on a research or educational role.

Ideal Candidates for Finance

Candidates best suited for a career in finance are those with strong analytical and decision-making skills. Being able to advise third parties on the best way to manage their money can take a lot of courage and preparation. It also requires expert communication skills, since finance can often be a touchy subject. In the end, one wrong move or slip of the tongue could mean significant financial losses for your client or employer, or worse, the end of your career in the field.

Career Pathways

Today, the demand for financial specialists remains particularly high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for financial analysts over the course of this decade is projected at 23 percent, or faster than average. Employment opportunities for personal financial advisors is expected to grow by 32 percent between 2010-2020. Median salaries for both career pathways was calculated at roughly $65,000 – $75,000 per year.

Finance remains an essential component of the national and global economy. Career candidates in the field of finance must possess several distinct skills as they relate to the management and analysis of money and its value at a particular time. If your long-term career goals involve working with money and contributing to the financial success of both yourself and those you work for, earning a degree in finance is a sure way to start.

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Get More Out of Your Online Finance Courses

Finance Journals & Trade Magazines

  • Journals

  • Trade Magazines

    • ABA Banking Journal

      Free to professionals to help managers and executives at commercial and savings banking institutions succeed in the competitive financial services market.

    • CFO offers daily stories geared towards finance executives, covering accounting and tax, banking, risk and compliance, strategy, tech, and more.

    • Forbes

      Forbes is a leading, reliable source for business, financial, economic, and political news.

Finance Grants & Scholarships

  • Scholarships

    • Buick Achievers

      Deadline: February 28

      Award Amount: $2,000 - $25,000

      100 first-time freshman or existing college students in a number of fields, including finance, are eligible for this renewable scholarship.

    • Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship

      Deadline: February

      Award Amount: $10,000

      Available to full-time graduate students who are pursuing an advanced degree preparing for a career in state or local government finance.

    • Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship

      Deadline: February

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Awarded to two undergraduate and/or graduate students enrolled in full-time study preparing for careers in state and local government finance.

    • HSF/Citi Fellows Program

      Deadline: varies

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Students of Hispanic heritage majoring in business administration, economics or finance.

    • MillerCoors National Scholarship

      Deadline: June

      Award Amount: $3,000

      A scholarship for junior and senior business, accounting, communications, economics, marketing, or public relations majors of Hispanic descent.

    • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

      Deadline: February

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Awarded to an upper-division undergraduate or graduate student of finance or other business majors intending to pursue a career in government finance.

    • Orbis Investment Management MBA Fellowship

      Deadline: June 14

      Award Amount: $10,000

      A fellowship for incoming MBA students enrolled in an accredited program and an interest in investing.

    • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarships

      Deadline: February

      Award Amount: $1,000 - $10,000

      Open to students majoring in accounting, business administration, finance or criminal justice and interested in careers in fraud investigation.

    • Streamline Refinance: Scholarship for Finance & Economics

      Deadline: December 15

      Award Amount: $1,000

      Streamline Refinance offers scholarships for students currently enrolled in finance, economics, or investment related fields.

    • Tau Kappa Epsilon: W. Allan Herzog Scholarship

      Deadline: March 15

      Award Amount: $3,000

      A scholarship for fraternity members pursuing a degree in accounting, finance, or economics.

    • UBS/PaineWebber Scholarship

      Deadline: March

      Award Amount: $8,000

      A scholarship for minority students attending UNCF Member Colleges and Universities majoring in a business discipline such as economics.

    • Women in Public Finance

      Deadline: August 31

      Award Amount: $1,000 - $2,000

      For college-bound females who have exhibited scholastic achievement, preferably with an aptitude in mathematics, and demonstrated leadership skills.

Finance Internships

  • 3M Finance Internships

    Deadline: varies

    From undergraduates to MBAs, 3M offers internship opportunities to finance students at every stage in their academic career.

  • Bank of America / Merrill Lynch

    Deadline: varies

    Bank of America and Merrill Lynch offer a number of internship opportunities for students pursuing degrees in business and finance.

  • ING Finance Internship Program

    Deadline: varies

    Consistently ranked as a top employer, ING offers a number of internship opportunities for finance students.

  • J.P. Morgan

    Deadline: varies

    J.P. Morgan offers a number of internship opportunities for students at all stages of their academic career, from undergraduates to Ph.Ds.

  • John Hancock Funds and Finance Internships

    Deadline: February

    Financial services company, John Hancock, offers summer internships to finance students looking to gain valuable real-world experience.

  • Lockheed Martin

    Deadline: varies

    Aerospace, defense, security, and technology company, Lockheed Martin, offers internships and co-ops for finance students in 11 states and D.C.

  • Nestle Financing and Accounting Internships

    Deadline: Fall

    Nestle offers a number of internship opportunities for finance undergraduates in their Finance and Control department.

  • Northwestern Mutual

    Deadline: year-round

    Ranked one of America's top ten internships, Northwestern Mutual offers a number of opportunities to undergraduates studying business and finance.

  • United Technologies Financial Leadership Program

    Deadline: year-round

    UT makes available several internship development opportunities for business and finance students during one of four six-month rotations.

Finance Student & Professional Organizations