Investment degree programs combine mathematics with economic and financial theories to help students understand banking and finance. Undergraduate studies give students a strong foundation in investment, while graduate programs provide advanced study and research opportunities. Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, Master of Business Administration in Investment Management and Banking, and Ph.D. in Finance are all available for this field.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance
Students interested in investing careers might start their education in a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program with a major in finance. A high school diploma or GED and SAT/ACT scores are required for admission, as well as previous business or economics math courses. They'll learn about personal and commercial banking, capital markets, and investment vehicles. Undergraduate finance students also explore the various roles of financial managers.
In addition to the general education requirements of a 4-year bachelor's degree program, students studying finance might encounter courses like the following:
- Investment analysis
- Business finance
- Markets and institutions
- Capital management
- Portfolio management
Master of Business Administration in Investment Management and Banking
Individuals interested in buying or selling personal or business investments might consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in investment management and banking. A bachelor's degree or professional experience are required to enroll, along with GRE/GMAT scores. Students learn theories, strategies and practices for managing and analyzing investment portfolios, in addition to exploring trends of the marketplace. Students typically are required to complete a research project.
Coursework in a graduate investing degree program generally includes advanced classes related to the financial industry, such as the following:
- Banking and lending
- Options and futures
- Portfolio analysis
- Finance analytic methods
- Corporate finance
- International finance
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Banking Related Services
- Credit Management
- Financial Mgmt Services
- Financial Planning Services
- International Finance
- Investments and Securities
- Public Finance Mgmt
Ph.D. in Finance
Many Ph.D. in Finance programs educate students for continued work in academia. Doctoral students generally explore advanced economic and financial theories and methods that are related to investments, corporate finance and statistics. A doctoral degree program in finance also provides in-depth examination of financial markets.
Students must have a master's degree, statement of purpose, and high GRE or GMAT scores to apply, though some programs may accept students with a bachelor's degree if they take supplemental finance courses.
In addition to completing a research project, doctoral students might be required to enroll in advanced mathematics courses, such as calculus or linear algebra, and gain teaching experience. Finance courses that Ph.D. students might encounter include the following:
- Microeconomic theory
- Corporate finance
- Econometric methods
- Economic statistics
- Time series analysis
Popular Career Options
Graduates of investment degree programs often work in banks, corporations, investment firms, government, or academia.
Graduates of a BBA in Finance program should be prepared for junior or entry-level positions in the finance and banking industries or for continuation to a master's program. Job options might include work as a securities trader, a securities analyst, a financial analyst, or a bank lender.
Individuals with a graduate degree in investment typically find work with investment or commercial banks, private equity firms or other financial corporations. They might work as a financial planner, commodity broker, credit analyst, corporate financier, or junior banker.
Ph.D. holders commonly work in academic settings, although they're also prepared to work with government institutions or high-profile companies. Job options might include working as a university professor, financial analyst, or public policy consultant.
From 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment growth of 12%, faster than average, for all types of financial analysts. The median annual wage for all financial analysts was $80,310 in 2015, as noted by the BLS.
Students interested in investing careers might start their education in a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program and move on to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in investment management and banking and eventually get a Ph.D. in finance. These programs lead to a variety of positions based on your level of education and experience, giving you many options for employment after graduation.