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Degrees for Aspiring Stock Traders: Program Overviews

Aspiring stock brokers, or traders, might want to consider earning a bachelor's degree in finance or a master's degree in business administration. These programs will teach them skills related to the purchase and sale of securities including stock.

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Essential Information

A four-year bachelor's degree program in finance can provide a solid business foundation through courses in accounting, financial planning, macroeconomics, statistics and mathematics. A two-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offers a number of specializations. Aspiring stock brokers will want to choose a program that includes courses in business management, ethics, market operations and economics.


Bachelor's Degrees in Finance

Undergraduate finance degree programs include classes in financial planning, economic analysis and investment management. Students pursuing bachelor's degrees in finance will have to take mathematics courses, like statistics. A bachelor's degree in finance often involves the study of international investment markets, financial management and retirement planning.

To enroll in an undergraduate finance degree program, students must first possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants seeking admission to programs providing undergraduate finance education will have to demonstrate basic academic ability either through an institutionally administered examination or a standardized test. Undergraduate finance courses involve a range of subjects, like economics, communication and computer science.

  • Employee benefits management
  • Macroeconomics
  • Principles of accounting
  • Business information systems
  • Estate planning

Master's Degrees in Business Administration

Graduate-level business administration degree programs incorporate courses in management, market operations and ethics. An MBA also involves courses in accounting, financial reporting and legal regulations. Business schools typically offer a variety of MBA programs to meet the individual needs of working professionals.

The MBA is a professional degree intended for students with substantial work experience. To gain admission to an MBA program, students will need a bachelor's degree and must take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). A graduate business administration education includes business calculus, statistical analysis and strategic management.

  • Managerial accounting
  • Business decision models
  • Marketing management
  • Financial analysis
  • International trade

Popular Career Options

A master's degree in business administration can prepare individuals for careers associated to stock brokers in corporate finance and insurance.

  • Commodities broker
  • Corporate executive
  • Investment analyst
  • Educator
  • Investment banker

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted faster than average overall growth in the total number of jobs available to securities, commodities and financial services sales agents in general, with expected job growth of 10% from 2014 to 2024. According to the BLS in 2015 securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earned a median salary of $71,550.

Certification and Continuing Education

Official certification from the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA) is necessary for anyone interested in a stock broker career. Aspiring stock brokers must register with FINRA as a financial representative and pass the General Securities Representative Exam.

Individuals interested in the purchase and sale of securities, such as corporate stocks and municipal bonds, may want to consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance or an MBA. These degrees can prepare students for certification and careers as stock traders.

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