The four-year bachelor's degree program in finance is designed to provide students with the quantitative, analytical and conceptual skills necessary to manage financial departments for insurance firms, corporations, banks and other organizations. Typical prerequisites include the completion of 2-year business and mathematics courses, as well as basic competency with computer software and technology.
While enrolled in a bachelor's degree program related to financial planning, students learn the basics of planning and managing an investment portfolio, and are also expected to gain an understanding of tax laws and regulations, insurance and risk management. Students can specialize in financial analysis or financial planning and investments and internships or hands-on experience may also be required.
Bachelors in Financial Planning
Core courses in a bachelor's degree in finance cover basic principles of the field, while additional courses in financial planning might consist of more in-depth issues related to risk management and portfolio building. A financial planning concentration offers the training necessary to plan the fiscal strategies and investments for large corporations or individual clients. Many bachelor's degree programs in finance require that students complete an internship or hands-on learning experience that requires them to actually manage a financial portfolio or investment fund. Some examples of courses found in such a program include:
- Principles of finance and taxation
- Fundamentals of investments
- Financial markets and financial statement analysis
- Finance and decision-making
- Estate and retirement planning
- Risk management and insurance
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the job growth rate for personal financial advisors is expected to be about 30% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than average. In May 2015, the BLS stated that these workers made a median annual wage of $89,160.
Continuing Education Options
Financial planning professionals don't need graduate degrees and licensure, but they can earn advanced degrees in finance, accounting and economics. Additionally, financial planners can obtain certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential requires a bachelor's degree, completion of three years of professional experience, and passing a written examination.
For prospective financial students, a bachelor's level degree program in financial planning is available for study. Graduates can then go on to become financial planners or personal financial advisors, or continue their education.