Is a Finance Degree Worth It? (2024)

Finance

Is a Finance Degree Worth It?

Written by: Wilson College • Feb 28, 2023
Is a Finance Degree Worth It? (1)

Employers will have nearly a million job openings available for finance and business professionals each year through 2031, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Students who enjoy numbers, money management, and data analysis may be well-served by pursuing a degree in finance. An accredited finance degree program can help them qualify for one of these positions.

Overall, a finance degree is worth it for many aspiring professionals. According to the BLS, careers in business and finance can pay above-average salaries and are projected to have above-average growth over the next several years.

What You Will Learn in a Finance Degree Program

Because the curriculum of a finance degree program is so wide-ranging, graduates can compete for many different roles in financial, business, and government sectors. Subjects students can expect to study include:

  • Accounting
  • Management
  • International business
  • Economics
  • Corporate finance
  • Investments
  • International finance
  • Statistics
  • Business ethics
  • Public policy

Many programs require students to complete foundational courses in public speaking or communication, composition, and mathematics.

Are the Benefits of Earning a Finance Degree Worth It?

Students who plan to study finance have a lot to gain, suggesting that a finance degree is worth pursuing because it can advance aspiring professionals’ goals. In terms of employers, earnings, and job stability, earning a finance degree has several advantages.

Employer Variety

Because finance is integral to organizations in nearly every industry, a finance degree can help open doors to opportunities with many different employers. Some of the organizations that seek professionals with strong skills in finance include:

  • Banks
  • Private businesses
  • Accounting firms
  • Government agencies
  • Brokerage and investment firms
  • Insurance agencies

Some graduates of finance programs also become private consultants, working for multiple organizations rather than a single employer.

Skill Development

The curriculums of most finance degree programs help students develop highly desirable skills, including data analysis, risk management, and investment strategies. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers list analytical/quantitative skills as among the most important attributes they look for in potential employees.Some programs also serve as strong preparation for professional certifications, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. Earning a certification can help broaden the pool of potential employers and improve career satisfaction, according to the CFP Board.

Job Security

Job security is another factor that makes a finance degree well worth it. Finance professionals enjoy a high level of job security, with hundreds of thousands of positions expected to become available in the coming years. The BLS projects that many areas of employment related to finance will have above-average growth. For instance, financial managers have a projected growth rate of 17%, and personal financial advisors are projected to grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031.

Likewise, businesses are motivated to keep finance professionals on staff for the long term. A 2022 study from Deloitte indicates that the majority of public organizations report that they are struggling to recruit and retain talented finance professionals. This suggests that employers will continue to seek highly qualified candidates, such as those with a finance degree, for the foreseeable future.

Career Advancement

Finance degree holders who join a company in an entry-level position often have ample opportunities to advance their careers. For example, stock brokers may move up from junior to senior brokers, perhaps eventually becoming managers within their organizations. Graduates of these programs may also begin working at smaller firms, credit unions, or banks and move up to larger corporations with time and experience.

What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?

A Bachelor of Arts in Finance offers the knowledge and skills necessary for a number of promising careers. Many of these employment areas show strong salary potential and opportunities for growth.

Personal Finance Advisor

Personal finance advisors offer clients guidance on various aspects of finance, including mortgages, taxes, retirement, and investments. They analyze clients’ current financial circ*mstances, needs, and goals so they can offer sound advice.

As of May 2021, personal finance advisors earned a median annual salary of $94,170, according to the BLS.

Credit Analyst

Many credit analysts work for banks or investment firms and help determine the level of risk associated with making a loan or extending a line of credit. Professionals in these roles conduct extensive data analysis, prepare reports, and make recommendations based on evidence.In 2021, the median salary for a credit analyst was $77,440 per year, according to data from the BLS.

Loan Officer

Loan officers are responsible for an important process known as underwriting, which involves assessing loan applications and deciding whether to loan funds to businesses and individuals. Their day-to-day tasks include reviewing financial documents, interviewing applicants, and reviewing loan agreements.

Loan officers earn a median annual salary of $63,380, according to 2021 data from the BLS.

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Investment bankers and stock brokers fall under the category of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Employees in these areas recruit new clients, buy and sell securities and commodities, and monitor financial markets.

In 2021, the annual median salary for a broker or banker of this kind was $62,910, as reported by the BLS.

Financial Manager

Financial managers help ensure the long-term viability of an organization by monitoring its financial status, creating reports and forecasts, and supervising employees. These managers also seek ways to reduce costs and maximize profits.

Because their roles are integral to business operations, financial managers typically earn salaries that are much higher than the average for all occupations.

As of May 2021, the median salary for a financial manager was $131,710 annually, compared to the median salary for all workers, which was $45,760, according to the BLS.

Explore Exciting New Careers With a Finance Degree

For many professionals, a bachelor’s degree in finance is worth it because it is the starting point for a successful and lifelong career. By analyzing data, studying financial markets, and assessing risks, finance professionals help individuals and organizations stay within their budgets and earn competitive salaries.

Wilson College Online’s Bachelor of Arts in Finance program gives students the chance to develop the skills and knowledge to advance in the field. Take the first step on your path toward a finance career by exploring how you can earn your B.A. in Finance.

Sources:

Certified Financial Planner Board, Why Get Certified: For Students

Deloitte’s Center for Controllership, “A New Working Relationship: Aligning Organizations with the Workforce of the Future”

National Association of Colleges and Employers, “Problem-Solving Skills Top Attributes Employers Seek on Resumes”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business and Financial Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Credit Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Loan Officers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Personal Financial Advisors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Is a Finance Degree Worth It? (2024)

FAQs

Is a Finance Degree Worth It? ›

Develop valuable skills: A finance degree can help you develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and financial analysis, which can be applied to a wide range of careers. Job security: Finance is a stable and growing field, meaning there are always opportunities for skilled professionals.

How useful is a finance degree? ›

Choosing a major in finance can lead to a wide range of career opportunities in various industries. It equips you with the knowledge of financial management, investment strategies, and risk assessment, which are crucial skills in today's business world.

What are the cons of a finance degree? ›

They can include high stress, big responsibility, long working hours, continuing education requirements, and, in some cases, a lack of job security—the finance industry is generally quite cyclical.

Is a degree in finance hard? ›

Finance requires a wide range of knowledge and skills that seem difficult to master, especially for someone without any finance experience. Finance professionals have a high level of responsibility, to the teams of people that they direct, their supervisors, and upper management, which may be scary at first thought.

Do finance degrees make a lot of money? ›

High Earning Potential: Finance careers typically offer higher-than-average salaries, with some roles being especially lucrative. Finance majors on average earn $101,038. High Pay and Stability: Finance jobs frequently come with competitive salaries, stability, and consistent demand.

Is finance major oversaturated? ›

At number one we have finance. Given that this is one of the majors with the highest upside. while also being incredibly easy academic wise and extremely popular, you betcha this one is oversaturated and super competitive.

Is finance a lot of math? ›

Some of the main math-related skills that the financial industry requires are: mental arithmetic (“fast math”), algebra, trigonometry, and statistics and probability. A basic understanding of these skills should be good enough and can qualify you for most finance jobs.

What is the highest paying finance job? ›

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance
  • Chief financial officer (CFO)
  • Investment banking.
  • Hedge fund manager.
  • Private equity associate.
  • Actuary.
Feb 6, 2024

Is finance a stable career? ›

Finance degree jobs can provide relatively high pay, stability, opportunities for advancement and consistent demand projections. Careers in finance may also offer flexibility for employees by allowing them to work remotely or in hybrid environments.

What is the hardest job in finance? ›

One of the most difficult jobs in Finance is to be the CFO of a PE firm or a PE-backed company. According to a Big 4 firm's survey, turnover of CFOs in PE and PE-backed companies is notoriously high, reaching 80% in less than five years; half of whom are gone within three years.

Is finance harder than accounting? ›

Is finance harder than accounting? Accounting relies on precise arithmetic principles, making it more complex, whereas finance requires a grasp of economics and accounting without as much mathematical detail.

Does finance pay more than accounting? ›

Both finance and accounting degrees offer a range of well-paying job prospects. That said, the average starting salary is slightly higher for finance vs accounting degrees.

What's the easiest business major? ›

5 Easiest Business Degrees
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) ...
  • Bachelor of Arts in Marketing. ...
  • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship. ...
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management. ...
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.

Can you make 6 figures with a finance degree? ›

Yes, sure you can make around six figures at some of these fortune 500 corporate finance role or be an investment banking analyst making close to $200K a year just a year out of undergrad, but that's not where the real money is made in finance. It's not even close to how much the big players in finance make.

What is the most respected degree in finance? ›

What are the Top Finance Certifications?
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.
  • Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification.
  • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

Which major is best for finance? ›

A: In most cases, a bachelor's degree in finance or a closely related field such as accounting or economics is sufficient for a top-earning job in the financial sector. Your chances of becoming employed or advancing in the field may increase with an advanced or specialty degree, however.

Is a career in finance worth it? ›

Finance degree jobs can provide relatively high pay, stability, opportunities for advancement and consistent demand projections. Careers in finance may also offer flexibility for employees by allowing them to work remotely or in hybrid environments.

Is a finance degree in demand? ›

Yes, both accounting and finance are highly-sought after careers. Many companies need experts in these fields to help better manage money and make smart financial decisions. This high demand means there are plenty of job opportunities for people with education and skills in accounting and finance.

Is finance a well paying career? ›

While the financial industry is traditionally associated with high wage earners, making it into the top three paying industries of 2024, there are 10 specific finance careers or jobs that hold significant salary potential and are showing promising signs of growth and industry demand.

Is a finance degree worth it in 2024? ›

Finance degrees are in much demand worldwide, with many different career path options and great monetary benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts finance-related jobs to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, with an expected increase of about 715,100 new jobs and about 980,200 openings from growth and replacement needs.

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