The 2-year associate's program in finance normally takes two years of full-time study to complete and is commonly offered at community colleges. Graduates normally receive an AS or AAS in Finance and are prepared to find entry-level positions or to continue on to a bachelor's program in finance. Applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent for admission to these programs.
Associate's Degree in Finance
To earn an AS or AAS, students commonly need to take liberal arts core courses such as English and history. Many colleges offer these classes online or in a traditional classroom setting. Classes that build a foundation of financial knowledge might include:
- Financial accounting and management
- Credit analysis
- Investment principles
- Corporate finance
- Business law and ethics
Popular Career Options
Upon graduation, some popular career options open to graduates with an associate's degree include:
- Loan processor
- Financial planner
- Credit analyst
- Insurance analyst
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analysts should see an employment increase of 12% between 2014-2024, as projected by the BLS. Personal financial advisors could see growth around 30%. In May 2015, the BLS estimated the median income of financial analysts was $80,310 a year. Personal financial advisors received median salaries of $89,160 (www.bls.gov).
Because of the competitive nature of this industry, finance professionals often pursue higher levels of education. It's possible to earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree in finance. More advanced undergraduate and graduate finance programs may be available as concentration options through broader business administration programs, or as programs that strictly focus on finance. Continuing education coursework for those who do not progress beyond the associate level can allow working professionals to specialize in specific areas of finance.
Associate's degree programs in finance provide fundamental financial knowledge in areas like accounting, investments, credit analysis and business law. Graduates may pursue entry level positions in fields such as financial analysis or personal financial advising, or they may continue their education through a bachelor's or graduate degree program.