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Associate of Finance: Online Degree

Get information about online associate's degree programs in finance. Research courses, career outlook and continuing education options to make an informed choice about your distance education.

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Essential Information

Fully online associate's degree programs in finance are fairly common. This degree can be earned on either a part-time or full-time basis, and the curriculum includes general education courses in addition to core coursework in banking, introductory financial analysis and bookkeeping. Students may need to install interactive message board software prior to taking classes. An associate's degree program provides sufficient educational preparation for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, although a degree is not necessarily required for these careers.

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Associate's Degree in Finance

An associate's degree program in finance can prepare students for a wide range of careers in banking, government and business. In such a program, students learn the principles and strategies behind financial analysis and management as well as the decision-making skills necessary to successfully work in the financial industry. Students interested in online finance programs might also consider programs in accounting or business administration.

Requirements

Students can usually complete an online associate's degree program in finance in one or two years. Many schools provide part-time study options for working students.

Most online associate's degree programs in finance utilize interactive software to deliver course content. Students use a message board-style environment to communicate with professors and use a Web-based system for uploading assignments. Professors post grades and feedback and sometimes have virtual office hours to take questions from students in real time.

Course Topics

General education courses are usually required in associate's degree programs. Students should expect to take courses in composition, business mathematics and economics. Finance-specific coursework may involve banking, investments and risk management.

Banking

This course examines the role of depository institutions and central banks in determining the supply of money and credit. Students also learn about the effects monetary policy can have on interest rates and overall economic activity.

Investments

Securities markets, portfolio theory and common stock valuation are areas of focus in this course. Students learn how to analyze and evaluate the performance of investments.

Risk Management

Students learn about the methods used by organizations and individuals to manage activities with uncertain outcomes. This course examines measures taken to reduce risk of damage to assets or exposure to legal liability.


Career Information

Career areas include bookkeeping, accounting and auditing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects average job growth for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in the coming years, with overall employment expected to decline by 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $37,250 for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

For students who want to advance their education, bachelor's and master's degree programs in accounting and finance are widely available in online formats. Graduates of associate's degree programs in finance who work as bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks may find certification helpful for career advancement. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers awards the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, which requires two years of experience along with an exam and adherence to a code of ethics.

Online associate's degrees in finance prepare students for entry-level careers in bookkeeping, accounting and auditing. These programs may help prepare students for certification through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Graduates of these programs may also consider online bachelor's degrees.

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