What Can You Do With a Bachelors in Finance?
A bachelor’s degree program in finance prepares graduates for many entry-level jobs, including financial planner, portfolio manager and financial analyst. Find out what other paths finance students can consider with a bachelor’s degree
Opportunities for Graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
A bachelor’s degree in finance can open many doors for graduates, including access to entry-level positions in finance and business, certification as a finance professional and preparation for graduate programs. Undergraduate finance majors learn about various subjects, such as long-term financial planning, cost control and sound investing. Typical college courses include accounting, statistics, financial markets, international finance and financial statement analysis.
Entry-Level Finance Positions
While students have the option of pursuing either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in finance, both degree programs lead to the same entry-level positions. A Bachelor of Arts in Finance offers students a more broad, liberal arts approach to studying finance than a Bachelor of Science degree.
Finance majors often find employment opportunities in such areas as banking, investments and financial services. Typical employers include securities and commodities brokers, banks, insurance carriers, government agencies and real estate companies. Some entry-level positions in finance include:
- Bank branch manager
- Commercial lender
- Financial analyst
- Financial manager
- Financial planner
- Portfolio manager
- Security analyst
- Trust manager
Although it may not necessarily be a requirement, many positions encourage applicants to seek certification. Working as a financial analyst, for example, may require a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. A bachelor’s degree in finance is required for most certifications, and several years of work experience may be needed prior to becoming certified. Certification programs include, but aren’t limited to, Certified Public Finance Officers, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Healthcare Financial Professional.
Laying the foundation for graduate school is especially important, since many corporate employers prefer, or even require, applicants to hold a master’s degree in finance. Students continuing their studies at the graduate level qualify for advanced job opportunities. A finance background lends itself to other graduate studies, including public administration, law and business. Upper-level career options exist in:
- Corporate finance
- Corporate treasury
- Credit analysis
- Equity research
- Risk management