Students interested in applying for an associate degree in financial services must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Placement exams may be required, and some programs may have additional mathematics or English prerequisites. Many programs require an internship, allowing students to gain real-world experience. Graduates should be qualified for entry-level financial positions in banking, finance, insurance and other financial industries and can go on to earn a bachelor's degree in finance or additional certification.
Associate Degree in Financial Services
Financial services programs offer a comprehensive overview of financial and economic concepts. Courses include financial planning, selling and an introduction to real estate, as well as commercial and consumer lending. Other courses cover economics and business, along with general education studies. Students learn about financial processes, economic and societal principles, accounting, business operations and general finance. Other typical courses include:
- Accounting fundamentals
- Legal aspects of finance
- Financial statistics and research
- Managing financial risks
- Investments and banking
Popular Career Options
With an associate degree in financial services, students can seek entry-level financial positions with commercial and private banks, mortgage banking firms, insurance companies and other financial organizations. Financial service jobs include:
- Bank teller
- Financial sales representative
- Insurance agent
- Real estate broker
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
To give examples of the career outlook for two potential jobs, the number of opportunities for bank tellers was expected to decrease from 2014-2024, with an 8% decline projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2015, the median annual salary for tellers was $26,410. The top-paying industry for tellers in that year was state governments. Meanwhile, the employment of real estate brokers was projected to grow by 2% between 2014 and 2024, per the BLS, and the median salary for real estate brokers was $56,860 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Students pursuing careers as financial analysts or personal financial advisors can consider a bachelor's degree in financial services. These positions require at least a 4-year degree and, in many cases, a master's degree in business or finance. Financial analysts and advisors can also receive licensure through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Graduates hoping for advanced job prospects can also consider pursuing a degree in accounting or business.
Students in a financial services degree program at the associate level explore finance, economics, and business. After completion of the program, graduates might pursue a career in financial services as a teller, insurance agent, or other entry-level financial position.