Distance learning masters degree programs in finance, with a variety of degrees offered, are in high demand in this era of heightened financial scrutiny and among the most most popular programs at online business schools. MS of finance degrees are particularly valuable in fields such as banking, real estate, credit management, financial services, insurance, retail, purchasing, accounting and information technology.
Regardless of your field of specialty, a finance program prepares you to analyze and execute the financial aspects of your employer’s decisions.
Online programs in finance teach fundamental finance and accounting concepts in order to facilitate sound financial decision making. Courses may focus on topics such as:
- Corporate finance
- Managerial finance
- Business finance
- Health care finance
- Education finance
- Global finance
- Money management
- Stock investment
- Asset valuation
- ROI methodology
- Statistical analysis
- Research methods
Online finance colleges develop the analytical skills needed to identify and solve complex business problems and the mathematical skills to “crunch numbers” and make informed financial recommendations. Additionally, students work on personal skills such as leadership, decision making, ethics, communication and needs assessment.
Upon graduation, online finance program students who earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in finance may choose to take examinations to get professional certifications such as:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA): An accountant that has been certified by a state examining board as having met the state’s legal requirements, focusing primarily on reporting fiscal information to external entities, like tax departments or investors.
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA): Differs from a CPA in that its primary focus is on internal accounting for company use.
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): A professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures the competence of financial analysts.
- Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU): A professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management.
Online finance program graduates may work in a variety of jobs, including:
- Financial analyst: Research your employer’s financial status and make recommendations based on financial goals and the overall business environment.
- Financial consultant: Give advice on the pricing of stocks and bonds, make business valuations and economic forecasts and come up with strategies for increasing shareholder value.
- Financial planner: Help individuals plan for their financial future, including investments, taxes and estate planning.
- Finance manager: Direct financial reporting, investment efforts and cash management strategies.
- Money manager: Manage customer investment portfolios.
- Actuary: Calculate insurance and annuity premiums, reserves and dividends.
- Underwriter: Assess and manage the risk involved with securities and business transactions.
- Investment banker: Issue securities, advise investors on stock trading and manage financial assets.
- Mortgage banker: Use your financial knowledge to aid in making mortgage loans to individuals and businesses seeking to purchase real estate.
This, of course, is only a small sampling of the professions open to finance degree holders.