A 4-year bachelor's degree program in finance gives students a foundational knowledge of the economic and mathematical skills needed to understand banking topics such as investments and risk assessment. Course topics in bachelor's degree programs may include financial management and mortgage banking. To gain admission into a bachelor's program, candidates may need prior math and economics coursework.
Many banking executives and managers also possess Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. These programs require core courses in management and business leadership, as well as courses in financial and investment management. Some programs can be completed entirely or partially online. Banking concentrations are also offered, and students can choose elective courses covering topics such as hedge funds and managerial incentives. Applicants should have some professional work experience.
Bachelor's Degrees in Finance
A bachelor's degree in finance can lead to a career with banking institutions, investment firms or regulatory agencies. Undergraduate finance education teaches students about managerial economics, financial investment and estate planning. Courses also cover topics in personal investment planning, portfolio management and risk assessment.
Bachelor's degrees in finance focus on topics involving mathematics and business. Examples of courses in a bachelor's degree program include:
- Real property law
- Financial risk
- Security analysis
- Portfolio management
- Derivatives and financial products
Master's Degrees in Business Administration
The MBA degree allows students the opportunity to learn about issuing mortgages and securities, managing financial institutions and analyzing market conditions. Students earning MBA degrees take courses in financial decision-making, management information systems and accounting. Many MBA programs allow students to choose an area of concentration, like mortgage banking, investment analysis, regulatory tools, and finance.
Master's degrees in business administration focus on the leadership and management aspects within business and educate students in:
- Corporate responsibility
- Executive leadership
- Group psychology
- High performance management
Popular Career Options
Anyone with a master's degree in business administration and professional banking experience might find employment with mortgage lenders and government bureaucracies. Careers are available as:
- Financial analysts
- Customer service representatives
- Financial managers
- Loan officers
- Account auditors
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Salaries and wages vary significantly for individuals employed in banking depending on position and level of experience. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated an 12% decline in job growth for bank tellers in the years 2018 through 2028. However, in the same 2018-2028 decade, financial analysts will have a predicted job growth of 6%, which is as fast as the average. The BLS reported in 2018 that tellers and financial analysts earned average annual salaries of $30,140 and $100,990, respectively.
If an individual is interested in working in the day-to-day operations at a bank as a teller, a bachelor's degree in finance is a great place to start. Those seeking bank management positions or a career as a financial analyst may benefit from an MBA degree.