Best Graduate Degrees for a Finance Undergrad

Oct 31, 2018

Studying the finance industry can lead to some pretty lucrative job opportunities. A master's degree is required by some careers, but even if not required, it will improve advancement opportunities. Check out what the best graduate degrees for finance undergraduates are.

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When considering what graduate degree programs are the best for finance undergraduates, we must consider what makes it the best. For this article, we've looked at some of the highest paying careers in finance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to see what graduate programs were typically studied. Let's look below at some of these programs now.

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Graduate Programs for Finance Undergraduates

Finance undergraduate programs give you a good basis to advance your degree in the other finance and economics areas. Typically, graduate programs are not required to enter the workforce, but a master's degree will increase your skills and give you more opportunities for advancement. Among the best graduate degrees for finance undergraduates you will find the following.

Master of Science in Finance

Let's start with the most straightforward graduate degree option for a finance undergraduate: a master's in finance. A finance major can be useful for a number of careers, but according to the BLS, financial analysts and personal financial advisers typically have a background in finance. The median salaries provided by the BLS as of 2017 were not bad either: $84,300 and $90,640, respectively. In a Master of Science in Finance program, you can expect to look deeper into finance subjects, such as risk management, financial reporting, business modeling, macroeconomics, quantitative finance, investments, and corporate finance. These programs can typically be completed in under two years of full-time coursework.

Master of Science in Statistics

Graduating with a master's degree in statistics can prepare you for a career as a budget analyst or market research analyst. According to the BLS, budget analysts made a median salary in 2017 of $75,240, while market research analysts made a median salary of $63,230. These programs can be completed in under three years. Some of the common courses you may see include probability, stochastic processes, statistical modeling, Bayesian statistics, and theoretical statistics.

Master of Science in Accounting

Along with some of the other career options mentioned already, like budget analyst and financial analyst, financial examiners require a background in accounting as well. With the median salary for 2017 according to the BLS of $81,690, you can feel confident you'll earn well over the national average as a financial examiner. Some of the courses you'll look at in these 1- or 2-year degree programs to prepare for your future career include business writing, managerial finance, macroeconomics, financial reporting, auditing, fraud examination, capital markets, international accounting, and taxation.

Master of Arts in Economics

Typically a 30-hour program, a Master of Arts in Economics looks at a number of different areas, including statistics, public policy, and political science in addition to economics courses. Some of the economics topics you'll cover might be micro and macroeconomic theories, international monetary economics, financial econometrics, microeconomics tools, financial markets, and the General Equilibrium Theory. Many economists have a master's degree, and the BLS states the median salary for economists in 2017 was $102,490.

Common Admission Requirements

Graduate colleges all look for some of the same key aspects when applying for a graduate program. Some of these typical admission elements include a resume or curriculum vitae, which looks at your previous education courses. Often, you'll be asked to include advanced examination scores. For finance and business, you'll likely be asked to submit a GMAT scores. Along with the application and fee, you'll also need to include letters of recommendation and a personal statement describing your overall objectives.

Financial undergraduate degrees can lead to a number of related graduate programs. In typically less than two years, you can earn a graduate degree in economics, finance, accounting, or statistics. Standard career opportunities for those with a related graduate degree are all above the national average salary of $50,321.

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