Students can learn about banking from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs and continuing education courses in accounting, business, and finance. Many institutions, including community colleges, four-year universities and private online schools, offer distance learning courses.
|Online Availability||Offered fully online|
|Majors with Banking and Finance Courses||Accounting, banking, and finance|
|Degree Levels Available||Associate's, bachelor's, master's, certificate|
Online banking courses are usually instructor-led or self-paced. The latter typically take two to four hours to complete. Subjects include retail, small business and commercial banking fundamentals, Microsoft Office use and basic business skills. The course choices also include a large selection on regulatory compliance, wealth management and other current topics.
Instructor-led classes require a textbook and start and end on specific dates. Coursework includes consumer, agricultural and mortgage lending, financial planning, accounting, financial analysis and other banking topics; it also prepares students for various certification exams. These types of courses can be found in online formal education programs, such as those described below.
Usually four or five courses in an online banking certificate program survey banking systems, money and financial markets and business law. Elective courses cover banking-related material, including accounting, economics, commercial and consumer lending, the selling of bank products and services, management, international banking and other subjects. One may take similar courses in a certificate or associate's degree program in finance or financial services.
Accounting and Business Administration Degrees
Students can earn a two-year associate's or four-year bachelor's degree in accounting or business administration with a specialization in banking through an online program.
Course subjects include the following:
- Banking fundamentals
- Consumer and mortgage lending
- Banking laws and regulations
- Marketing bank financial services
- Banker career development
Candidates for these programs are usually expected to have already completed basic coursework in accounting, economics, calculus and statistics; however, some online programs offer classes in these subjects. Distance learners must also complete general education courses to meet degree requirements.
Master's in Banking and Financial Services
Students who want to pursue graduate-level education in this field must have a bachelor's degree and possibly some level of relevant work experience. Online master's degree programs in banking typically require about 32-36 credits post-baccalaureate, equaling ten to thirteen courses, to graduate. More may be required if certain courses were not taken as part of an undergraduate course of study.
Banking and financial services online master's programs take around two years to finish and typically include study in the following areas:
- Corporate finance
- International economics and finance
- Financial markets and institutions
- Investments and portfolio management
- Mergers and acquisitions
Banking manager, financial services advisor, finance analyst, investment officer - these are just some of the job options available to those with the right academic background focused on financial markets, economics, global business and banking institutions.