Finance degree is mostly offered in conjunction with a related subject, such as accounting, business or economics. Indeed, finance is part of the interconnected FAME group of subjects (finance, accounting, management and economics), which are some of the most popular courses at both undergraduate and graduate level.
Finance is the specialized study of how an individual or a company manages its funds. Often combined or overlapped with accounting/business, a finance degree gives you a broad understanding of the way that money influences people and places.
Essentially, finance is concerned with the management of money – obviously a subject of significant importance for all areas of society and business! As a result, if you study finance you will be prepared for a broad range of finance careers, within many types of organizations.
If you’re wondering if a finance degree is worth it, chances are you’re doing your homework before you make the commitment. Good idea.
Earning a degree is a big investment — one that takes time, effort, and money. So it’s always best to do some research before taking the plunge.
A finance degree can seem glamorous, with all the Hollywood movies about Wall Street. But majoring in finance is a huge commitment and there are important issues to consider before diving in.
So, is a finance major worth it? Let’s go over everything you need to know before committing to a finance degree.
What do finance degree cover?
Finance degree usually cover a combination of technical and theoretical knowledge, including the basic finance skills you will need to enter finance careers. You will learn how wealth is measured and also how finance influences and shapes the way companies behave. Economics and statistics are also covered, since they are crucial to the understanding of finance. Other important finance topics which will probably be taught include accounting, mathematical methods, macro and microeconomics and information technology.
During the later stages of the program, optional modules will be available. Students will be able to choose a specific direction they want to pursue and take classes in fields such as taxation, audit, business strategy, business and employment law, management accounting, advanced accounting theory and risk management.
Since finance courses offer such wide range of subjects, they prepare students for a similarly wide range of finance careers. These include roles in areas such as commercial banking, financial planning, investment banking, money managing, insurance and real estate.
Entry requirements for finance degree
Entry requirements for finance degrees vary from institution to institution. Although many good universities don’t require students with specific qualifications, you will need a strong academic record (especially in mathematics) and an aptitude in subjects such as English, communications, mathematics and accounting in order to study finance.
Why study finance at university?
If you’re looking to go into the world of business, being able to manage and make money is going to make you a golden candidate. Beyond just getting a good job, being smart with money is going to help you in your own life too – in saving, budgeting, getting a mortgage, and much more. When you consider that 95% of finance graduates are in work or further study after six months, earning around £22,000 straight out of uni, the better question might be why wouldn’t you study finance?
Finance will set you up for a career in one of a hundred different disciplines. You will specialize in certain modules during the second and third year of your degree, which will help you tailor your skills to certain industries. Many universities will also offer sandwich years, meaning your degree will be four years, with the third spent with a company.
Some modules you may study are:
- Business policies
- Management accounting
- Financial management
- IT for business
- Financial reporting
- Business ethics
Accountancy is one of the most popular career choices for a finance graduate. Often seen as a ‘job-for-life’, accountancy is a fantastic option, but one that will likely require further professional training and education. More general careers include those within corporations like financial analysts and finance managers, where you are responsible for overseeing and managing a company’s assets. A finance degree is useful across the entire business spectrum, and in any sector, meaning you can apply for public sector, private sector, government, and international careers.
Other career options might include actuary, banker, procurement, auditor, consultant, trader, insurance, stockbroker, or economist.
Common skills gained during a finance degree include:
- Ability to understand and manipulate numerical and statistical data
- Ability to analyze different types of information
- Ability to communicate findings clearly
- Understanding of range of current business practices
- Understanding of stock markets, trade and investment
How Much Money Can You Earn When You Obtain A Finance Degree?
Let’s get real. The issue of income is a very important one and a huge deciding factor for many people when making a decision about what degree and career to pursue. So let’s see what salaries are like according to the different positions in the finance market.
Average salaries in finance
Did you know that the average salary for a finance major in the US is $60,000? Apparently, it’s one of the top most valuable college degrees with high entry-level wages outside of the tech world. That’s not bad at all! And for those living in the UK, the average salary is £46,735. Reed is a website that has all the finance jobs and their salaries as well as number of jobs in the UK.
Payscale can show you average salaries for all jobs in almost any country. Wherever you live, you can find out what the finance job salaries are like in your country. They include minimum, maximum, and average wages. So it’s a valuable website to check out!
What about finance starting salary?
According to Study.com, the average starting salary for finance majors is very dependent on the position and the employer. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that the average starting salary for finance majors was $55,400 in 2014.
What are common finance jobs and how much can you earn?
Here’s a list of 5 common finance jobs and their respective average salaries (in US dollars), according to Payscale:
- Financial Analyst – $55,170
- Business Consultant – $72,755
- Financial Advisor – $55,500
- Finance Manager – $87, 508
- Product Manager – $64,031
Glassdoor is another great site that lets you not just search for jobs, but also see how much they pay. It’s worth checking them out too.