There are several business careers involving finances where employers may require or prefer candidates who hold a master's degree in the field. Below, we look at a few of the career opportunities for graduates with a master's degree in finance.
Careers for Those with a Master's Degree in Finance
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$90,530||30%|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||$116,240||6%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Financial analysts help guide businesses and individuals as they evaluate and choose investments that are in their best interest. These analysts help their clients look at stocks and bonds, and they make suggestions to their clients based on financial data and business trends. For businesses, they may look at the strengths of the management team, determine a company's value and present their findings in reports to management. Advanced positions in this field are likely to require a master's degree.
Personal Financial Advisors
A master's degree in finance or a related field, as well as certification, can prepare a personal financial advisor for advancement in their career. These professionals work with clients to help them manage their finances and prepare for their short- and long-term financial goals. This requires them to be highly knowledgeable about savings accounts, mortgages, taxes, insurance and more to help clients choose the best investments for their situation. Additionally, these advisors monitor their client's accounts and make changes or suggestions as necessary.
Candidates for financial manager positions who hold a master's degree in finance or a related field are likely to be preferred over those with only a bachelor's degree. A master's degree greatly adds to the skills of these managers who oversee the finances of an organization, including investment activities. Financial managers help make tough financial decisions, work to maximize profits and find ways to reduce costs. They may specialize in areas such as credit, insurance, cash or risk management.
Similar to financial managers, a master's degree may be preferred or even required by some employers for positions as budget analysts. These analysts help organizations manage their finances by preparing budgets, monitoring budgets and predicting budgetary needs in the future. They also examine budget proposals for accuracy, watch the organization's spending and help make decisions concerning the financial costs of proposed projects and plans. Additionally, budget analysts stay in close contact with managers and top officials to inform them of the status of the organization's budget.
Compensation and Benefits Managers
Some compensation and benefits managers may be required to hold a master's degree as they oversee employee's payment and/or benefits programs. Compensation managers also oversee an organization's pay structure, determine payment incentives and ensure competitive pay rates. Benefits managers work with employee retirement programs, insurance policies and wellness programs. They must ensure that the organization offers legal and competitive programs according to current government regulations.
A master's degree in finance is a degree that can be applied, or may even be required, for several analytical and managerial positions in the business world. Many of these positions offer relatively high median salaries and have positive expected job growth.