Online Masters in Financial Management: Program Info

Learn about online master's degree programs in financial management. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

Several types of master's degree programs in financial management are available online. Some of these programs can be competed entirely through distance learning while others may require students to visit the school's campus occasionally or participate in an internship. At some schools, applicants may need not only a bachelor's degree, but also professional experience in business or finance in order to enroll. These programs generally take 1-2 years to complete, depending on whether or not a student attends full-time or part-time.

Master's Degree in Financial Management

An online master's degree program in financial management typically includes courses in business, finances, management and accounting, which teach students to manage cash, make investments and manage the finances of an individual or a company. Students explore the underlying problems of many poor financial decisions and identify concepts designed to turn financial systems around. Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree, and some programs may require that applicants have previous business or financial experience. Online programs in financial management and related programs include accounting, auditing, taxation and business management.

Information and Requirements

An online master's degree in financial management takes about two years to complete, although for full-time students, it could take only a year. The program may be completed online, without any on-campus requirements; however, some universities require that students visit campus once or twice per semester. An internship must be completed in-person. To take classes, students log onto the school's Web-based applications, where they can access courses, use advanced tools, listen to lectures, complete assignments and interact with classmates.

To complete the program, students must have a working computer, reliable Internet access and Microsoft Office. To run the lecture and training programs, they need plug-ins, which include readers for digital textbooks, Flash, video and PDF documents. Some professors may have other specific requirements.

Common Financial Management Master's Courses

The online master's program in financial management may use one of two course types. Asynchronous courses are completed entirely in students' own time, without professor-assigned due dates or class times; synchronous courses require students to log onto the virtual classroom at a specified time and turn in assignments and projects by certain due dates.

Management Decisions and Federal Taxes

Students learn how taxes vary because of certain business transactions, including tax liabilities and certain economic events. They study practical methods for preparing for tax time by making solid management decisions year-round.

International Financial Management

Students look at companies that operate internationally, and study policies and techniques to keep them running and profitable. Students become familiar with the foreign exchange market, direct investments, political risk and capital budgeting.

Corporate Finance

Through this course, students become familiar with accounting, management and financial issues. They learn to read financial statements, balance budgets and determine cash flow.

Financial Institutions

This course introduces students to concepts in risk management and the financial risks facing financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies and loan associations.

Strategy

Through this course, students become familiar with all the key players that keep a company running, including the CEO. They study common business strategies for remaining competitive and assess their likelihood of success.


Career Information

With a master's degree in financial management, students can find careers as financial managers or financial analysts. Both of these careers require at least a bachelor's degree, although more employers are beginning to prefer graduate work in finance or business management, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS stated that employment of financial managers was expected to grow by 7%, which as fast as average for all occupations, between 2014 and 2024. Employment of financial analysts is expected to grow by 12% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for financial managers was $117,990, as of May 2015, and $80,310 for financial analysts.

Continuing Education Information

Both financial managers and financial analysts can pursue certification after fulfilling the job experience requirements. Certification is not legally required for financial managers, but many choose to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential. The certification exams require a bachelor's degree and four years of work experience.

Online master's degree programs in financial management prepare students to manage the finances and investments of a business. Internships are often required to help students gain hands-on experience.

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