Career Information for a Degree in General Finance

Oct 04, 2019

Degrees in general finance typically cover topics such as accounting, statistics, business law, investment management and business strategy. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for general finance graduates.

General finance degrees include courses in statistics, business law, accounting and business strategy. A degree in general finance or a business administration degree with a focus on finance can prepare individuals to pursue a career as a financial manager, a financial service sales agent, or a financial analyst. Bachelor's degrees are required for all of these professions, and a master's degree is usually required for advancement.

Essential Information

Degree programs in general finance prepare students for a wide variety of careers in finance and accounting, such as financial management, financial services sales or financial analysis. Read on for more information about degree programs in general finance and the careers options in this field. Attain either your bachelor in business administration or master of business administration with an emphasis on general finance. This degree is ideal for prospective students who wish to understand the intricacies of financial markets.

Career Financial Manager Financial Services Sales Agent Financial Analyst
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree* Bachelor's degree for entry level, Master's degree recommended for advancement* Bachelor's degree for entry level, Master's degree recommended for advanced positions*
Other Requirements Typically five years of work experience in finance* Financial Industry Regulatory licensing required* Licensure after sponsorship by employer*
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 16% 4% 6%
Median Salary (May 2018)* $127,990 $64,120 $85,660

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Degree in General Finance

Bachelor's degree programs in finance provide students with foundations for entry-level careers in finance. Students typically complete coursework in such subjects as accounting, statistics, business law, investment management and business strategy. Finance programs are often available through schools' business departments and may be offered as concentrations in Bachelor of Business Administration programs. Graduates often go on to become financial managers, financial services sales agents or financial analysts.

Many business professionals continue their education by obtaining Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in finance. MBA degrees are required for advancement to many mid-level and senior-level positions. Coursework in these programs commonly include international finance, futures and options markets, corporate finance and portfolio analysis.

Finance Career Information

Financial Manager

Financial managers are commonly employed at banks, savings and loan groups, corporations and other institutions. They are responsible for managing investments and overseeing cash flow as well as generally managing the use and deployment of financial assets. Financial managers may hold different titles, including controller, finance officer, credit manager or bank manager, with different responsibilities corresponding to their titles. For example, a bank manager oversees the day-to-day operation of a bank branch, while a controller may conduct financial analysis and prepare financial statements for a bank.

Job Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment will increase by 16% for financial managers for the decade 2018-2028 ( The BLS also stated that the median annual salary for these workers was $127,990 in May 2018.

Financial Services Sales Agent

Financial services sales agents sell financial products, such as loans, deposit accounts, insurance policies, home financing plans and credit lines, to clients. An important aspect of their business involves building a client base. These professionals meet with clients to gain an understanding of their financial needs and then match clients with financial services to meet those needs.

In addition to earning a finance degree, financial services sales agents may need to obtain licenses to sell certain financial products. For example, selling insurance products requires a state-issued insurance license, while selling securities typically requires licensing through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Job Outlook and Salary

For the decade from 2018 to 2028, the BLS estimated that employment is expected to increase by 4% for all securities, commodities and financial-services sales agents. In May 2018, the median annual salary for these professionals was $64,120.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts track the fiscal performance of individual companies, financial markets and the economy. They use the data they gather to advise clients or employers on investment decisions that may involve securities and business ventures. Many financial analysts work for investment banks, mutual fund groups or insurance companies, among other employers. In addition to a degree in finance, financial analysts commonly pursue professional certification, such as the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations.

Job Outlook and Salary

The BLS predicted that employment is expected to grow by 6% for financial analysts for the years from 2018 to 2028. The median annual salary for financial analysts was $85,660 in May 2018.

Financial managers typically work for banks, corporations, or other groups that deal with finances and investments; financial service sales agents arrange for loans or sell accounts or insurance policies. Financial analysts monitor the markets or the economy, or track a company's profits to advise clients considering business investments. These professionals can all begin pursuing their career with a degree in general finance, and can expect average to above-average job growth in their fields from 2018 to 2028.

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