In general, all master's programs in finance cover topics like investment banking, financial modeling and econometrics. Programs usually last 1-2 academic years and may offer some courses online. In order to apply, prospective students must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in finance or a related subject. Some schools also require applicants to have previous work experience in the field.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
Master of Finance
Students in these programs learn about new trends, technologies and theories so that they remain up-to-date with this evolving industry. They take courses relevant to financial accounting, analysis, economics and management, while also learning quantitative methods. Common classes include:
- Financial investments
- Managerial accounting
- Portfolio management
- Financial reporting
- Mergers and acquisitions
Popular Career Options
Students with a master's degree in finance have many career choices available in a variety of work settings, including real estate, insurance, investment banking, financial planning and commercial banking. Federal, state and local government agencies also have job opportunities for financial experts. Some career choices include:
- Financial analyst
- Portfolio manager
- Chief financial officer
Salary and Career Outlook
Financial analysts made a mean annual salary of $95,320 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS further reports that portfolio managers, also known as personal financial advisors, earned a mean annual wage of $118,050 that year.
The BLS reports that job growth for financial analysts is likely to occur at a rate of 12% between 2014 and 2024, while opportunities for personal financial advisors are expected to increase by 30%. Both figures represent above-average employment growth.
Students can pursue their education further by enrolling in a Ph.D. in Finance program. Students learn more about research methods while preparing for careers at research institutions or teaching positions at the university-level.
Individuals interested in certification can look into such credentials as Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Financial Consultant. Applicants must pass exams to demonstrate that they meet professional standards.
Students who choose to study finance at the master's degree level gain the financial expertise they need to work in a wide range of industries. After graduating, they can further demonstrate their skills by earning certifications, or they can pursue advanced research in the field by enrolling in a Ph.D. program.