Stock Broker Schools: How to Choose

Aspiring stock brokers typically earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant financial or business field. Post-graduate licensure is usually required as well.

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School Selection Criteria

A college degree might not be necessary to land a position as a stock broker; however, graduates of bachelor's degree programs will typically have more job opportunities available to them. Across the U.S., colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in economics, finance and similar fields that can prepare students for stock broker positions.

The following are a list of schools in the United States where you can earn a bachelor's degree in economics:

Nine Business Schools

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $49,536
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $46,704
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,431 (in-state), $38,139 (out-of-state)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $47,750
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $15,192 (in-state), $44,365 (out-of-state)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $50,665
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,591 (in-state), $33,673 (out-of-state)
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,806 (in-state), $34,676 (out-of-state)
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $49,116

Source: National Center for Education Statistics*

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in stock broker programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Licensure exam preparation programs, some of which may be available online, are found at for-profit institutions, some community colleges and the continuing education departments of select 4-year colleges and universities.
  • Prospective stock brokers who are more interested in social science might prefer to enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics program, while those who want to study the science behind lending and saving money might pursue a B.S. in Finance.
  • Because networking is important for a career as a stock broker, some colleges and universities have professional development clubs or offer opportunities to attend conferences and other events.
  • Some schools offer specialized facilities, such as stock exchange laboratories, where students can simulate real life investment scenarios or participate in research studies to help deepen their understanding of market trends.

Bachelor of Science in Finance

With a major in finance, prospective stock brokers generally are introduced to the fundamentals of accounting, financial modeling and risk management. They'll likely learn to make decisions regarding investments and financing, manage portfolios and analyze investments.

Bachelor of Science in Economics

Common topics of study for economics majors include macro- and microeconomics, fundamentals of financial markets and the role of politics in the market process. These programs often examine economics from a historical perspective to understand how American businesses, and thus the American economy, have evolved.

Series 7 Exam Preparation Program

Whether they've earned a degree or not, all aspiring stock brokers must earn their Series 7 licensure from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Through a preparation program for the General Securities Registered Representative Examination, also known as the Series 7 Exam, students can gain knowledge of market rules and regulations.

Although a career as a stock broker does not necessarily require a degree, it is advised to complete an undergraduate degree program in finance or economics to secure better opportunities for jobs in the field. Whether obtaining a degree or not, licensing is required in order to practice. The Series 7 licensure can be obtained online and through various private and public colleges and universities.

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