Students can find financial services management degrees at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Entrance into an undergraduate program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. A master's program requires a bachelor's degree, a satisfactory Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score and work experience.
Financial services managers develop strategies to help reach long-term financial goals, oversee investments and provide regular reporting to personnel within the organization. Undergraduate programs in this field of study prepare individuals for entry- to mid-level positions in business analysis and administration. Meanwhile, a graduate degree equips individuals for higher-level executive roles within an organization. The curriculum at every level helps students develop expertise in subjects such as economics, investment principles, finance theory and risk management.
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Finance
Upon completion of the associate's degree program, graduates have the knowledge necessary to begin a finance career at an entry-level position. They are able to understand and interpret foundational financial theories and principles, analyze stocks and bonds and use financial software.
The curriculum includes basic general education courses, including basic math and business classes. Upon completing this degree, credits earned are generally able to apply toward a bachelor's degree. Typical courses include:
- Introduction to microeconomics
- Introduction to macroeconomics
- Corporate or personal finance
- Financial mathematics and statistics
- Investment management
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Finance Concentration
The bachelor's degree program in business administration with a finance concentration prepares students for entry-level careers in financial industries. They are trained in financial management, market analysis and assessment planning. The study of monetary policies, portfolio investments and financial policies are also included. Programs are available for associate's degree holders, as well as first-time students. Assistantships or internships may be available.
The curriculum trains individuals in basic theories and principles of investing, banking and business. There are several courses in finance, but these programs also touch on other areas of business. Common finance courses may include:
- Investment principles
- Finance policies and strategies
- Finance law
- Corporate and international finance
- Monetary economics
Master's Degrees in Finance
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance or the Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance will prepare individuals to reach executive and premier job positions. Both programs focus on finance, but the M.S. program focuses more on finance theory and practice, while the MBA program is broader. Furthermore, while most admissions departments prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in a similar field, those with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated program can enroll if they complete prerequisite business courses.
Through these programs, students learn about the causes and effects of all decisions made in the finance industry. Classes focus on how to analyze potential moves and their impact. Typical master's courses may include:
- Finance theory and policy
- Issues and risks in finance
- Investment portfolios
- Corporate and personal banking
- Capital markets
This program prepares graduates for many career avenues in the business field. Associate's degree holders can find positions in the following industries:
- Loan companies
- Mortgage companies
- Insurance companies
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for financial managers is expected to rise by 16% from 2018 to 2028 (www.bls.gov). Financial managers earned a median annual wage of $127,990 in May 2018, according to the BLS. Financial analysts earned an annual median wage of $85,660 during that time, and employment of analysts was expected to increase by 6% from 2018 to 2028.
The BLS rates highly the earning potential of a top executive in finance, but the positions underneath the top executives vary in salary. In 2018, chief executives made a median annual wage of $189,600 . In 2018, there were over 2.6 million jobs for top executives in the United States.
Financial services management degree programs can provide training for graduates to pursue and excel in high-paying jobs in the finance industry. Successful graduates may land jobs at banks, insurance firms or mortgage companies.