Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in applied economics discuss how macroeconomic and microeconomic theories relate to finance and public policy. Students in MBA programs specializing in quantitative analysis learn to use analytical and statistical methods to understand financial data. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in financial engineering emphasize theoretical and practical skills used to analyze financial data to make predictions and formulate business plans.
A high school diploma with advanced coursework in mathematics is generally required for admission into bachelor's programs, and an undergraduate degree in a related field is required for admission at the graduate level. Programs in quantitative analysis at the bachelor's or doctoral level are generally not available online, but there are quite a few variations of master's degree programs online.
Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics
Programs cover the analytical processes behind natural resource management, labor relations, and wealth distribution. Many programs offer courses in quantitative analysis, preparing graduates for entry-level positions in the field. The classes cover a variety of topics in economic theory, mathematics, statistics, finance, and government. Students learn to apply econometric methods to issues affecting business, healthcare, investment, and the government. The following are usually covered:
- Global finance
- Public policy
- Financial forecasting
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Master of Business Administration
Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs sometimes offer a specialization in quantitative analysis. Students learn about business subjects like human resource supervision, strategic management, and managerial accounting, as well as about mathematical and analytical theories. Many programs also cover business technology and software systems.
Programs sometimes offer students opportunities for hands-on research. Students usually learn about the following:
- Data analysis
- Quantitative analysis for managers
- Financial optimization theory
- Financial software systems
Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Engineering
Programs offer interdisciplinary courses in finance, mathematics, systems engineering, and business management. Students spend much of their time completing original research projects.
Ph.D. classes teach the theoretical foundations and applicable skills needed to work as a quantitative analyst. Students often work closely with faculty members to complete a dissertation project on a subject like risk management or financial forecasting. Courses in the following are offered:
- Corporate finance
- Economic engineering
- Financial theory
- Statistical analysis
- Financial mathematics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of financial analyst positions was expected to increase 12% from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. Analysts who hold a graduate degree should have an advantage in the job market. Median yearly earnings for these professionals came to $80,310 in 2015, reports the BLS.
Quantitative analysis training can often be found at bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels. Studies in global finance, data analysis and financial theory will prepare students for a career within the field.