What Can I Do with a Finance Degree?

Exploring the possibilities of careers with a finance degree opens up a variety of exciting and highly rewarding opportunities. A finance degree offers deep insights into financial markets, investment strategies, and economic principles, allowing access to various roles across different areas.

Whether you’re drawn to the high-stakes world of investment banking, strategic corporate finance, or positions within government and nonprofit entities, a finance degree equips you with the essential skills needed to excel. It’s not just about the job opportunities but also about the personal growth and development that comes with a career in finance. Let’s explore the wide variety of career paths a finance degree can open up for you and show how it sets you up for a successful and fulfilling career.

What is a Finance Degree?

Earning a finance degree offers a deep dive into money management, covering everything from handling personal savings and budgeting to making corporate investments and conducting financial analyses. This program will prepare you with the essential knowledge and skills to work effectively within various financial systems. Finance also plays a key role in the global economy. It helps drive economic growth, supports business expansion, and assists people in achieving their financial goals.

Studying finance is about more than just theoretical knowledge. It’s about understanding how money flows through organizations, how financial decisions impact a company’s performance, and how these decisions can influence the broader economy. Finance graduates are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of the financial world, making strategic decisions that align with business objectives and adapting to evolving market conditions. In today’s economic landscape, a solid foundation in finance is invaluable. It equips you with the skills you need to tackle financial challenges and seize opportunities as they arise.

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Career Paths with a Finance Degree

Ultimately, a finance degree can provide you with multiple career opportunities in different industries with their own unique challenges and rewards. It’s not just about the specific job titles but also about the versatility of the skills and knowledge you’ll gain. Whether it’s the corporate profile, personal finance, or the technological future of fintech that appeals to you, your finance education equips you with the knowledge and tools to compete in any of these fields.

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance professionals oversee a company’s funding and maintain liquidity to help the business grow. They are responsible for enhancing the value of shareholders’ money, managing corporate funding, investments, and financial risk, and maintaining the corporation’s financial health.

  • Financial Analyst: Analyzes financial data to aid decision-making.
  • Investment Banker: Helps organizations raise capital.
  • Corporate Treasurer: Manages the organization’s investments and liquidity.
  • Business Analyst (Financial): Improves financial processes and systems.
  • Risk Manager: Identifies and manages financial risks to the company.
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO): Oversees all financial operations and strategy.

Personal Finance

Personal finance professionals help people manage their finances and make independent financial decisions. Their responsibilities include understanding clients’ financial positions, offering customized advice, and explaining their choices.

  • Financial Planner: Creates strategies and plans to help clients achieve financial goals.
  • Wealth Advisor: Manages clients’ investment portfolios.
  • Mortgage Broker: Assists clients with finding and applying for mortgages.
  • Personal Banker: Provides financial services tailored to individual needs.
  • Insurance Advisor: Helps clients choose the best insurance policies.
  • Retirement Planner: Specializes in planning for clients’ retirement needs.


The fintech industry combines technology with financial services. These professionals work in dynamic environments, contributing to developing cutting-edge financial technology solutions that enhance the efficiency, security, and accessibility of financial operations.

  • Fintech Business Analyst: Analyzes market trends to develop tech solutions.
  • Blockchain Analyst: Specializes in blockchain technology.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst (Financial Services): Protects financial data from cyber threats.
  • Mobile Payment Systems Developer: Creates solutions for mobile payments.
  • Algorithmic Trader: Uses algorithms to trade securities at high speeds.
  • Regulatory Compliance Analyst: Ensures fintech products comply with laws and regulations.
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Top 8 Entry-Level Jobs in Finance

As we’ve discussed earlier, a career in finance is full of promising opportunities, especially at entry level. These positions can lay the groundwork for a promising career, whether your interest lies in the strategic operations of corporate finance, the fast-paced world of investment banking, or the cutting-edge advancements of fintech. Below, we explore the top 8 entry-level jobs in finance.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts evaluate the performance of investments, stocks, and bonds to guide businesses and individuals in making investment decisions. They analyze financial data, forecast trends, and prepare reports.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $99,890.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 8%, about as fast as average.
Budget Analyst

Budget analysts organize finances for public and private institutions by preparing budget reports and monitoring spending, developing plans, offering financial advice, and reviewing budget proposals.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $84,940.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 3%, slower than average.
Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors assist people manage their personal finances across investments, insurance, and estate planning by assessing financial needs and providing tailored advice on various financial matters.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $99,580
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 13%, much faster than average.
Loan Officer

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, and recommend loan applications for individuals and businesses, manage credit files, and clarify different types of loans available.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $69,990.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 1%, little to no change.
Insurance Agent

Insurance agents match clients with suitable life, health, property, and other insurance policies by evaluating needs, customizing policies, and maintaining up-to-date client records.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $59,080.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 8%, faster than average.
Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents assist clients in buying, selling, and renting properties by showing properties, mediating negotiations, and preparing relevant contracts and documents.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $56,620.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 3%, slower than average.
Tax Associate

Tax associates handle tax preparation and filing for individuals and companies, advise on tax strategies, prepare tax returns, and assist with audits.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $79,880.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Expected to grow 4%, as fast as average.
Management Analyst

Management analysts aim to improve organizational efficiency by advising managers on strategies to enhance profitability through cost reduction and increased revenues.

  • Salary (BLS May 2023): Median annual wage of $99,410.
  • Job Outlook (2022-2032): Projected to grow 10%, faster than average.
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Essential Skills for Finance Careers

While technical knowledge sets the stage for a finance career, developing a well-rounded set of soft skills is just as valuable to your success in finance. Beyond crunching numbers and understanding market trends, effective communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are indispensable. These skills enable finance professionals to present complex information clearly, make informed decisions under pressure, and innovate solutions to challenging financial issues.

Certifications also play a significant role in advancing your finance career. Credentials like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) not only enhance your resume but also deepen your expertise and credibility in specialized areas of finance. Earning top financial certifications clearly shows a professional commitment and essential skills. The journey to obtain one of these certifications is highly respected in the industry.

Additionally, a finance degree provides you with a set of transferable skills that are useful in other fields as well. For example, data analysis, financial modeling, and strategic planning are highly sought after, not only in traditional finance jobs but also in new and expanding industries that demand a strong financial foundation and innovative solutions. These skills make finance professionals versatile in any field they choose to focus their careers on.

Benefits of a Career in Finance

A career in finance is not only prestigious and financially rewarding but also offers a variety of personal and professional advantages. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to shift careers, the financial industry provides strong opportunities for growth, learning, and global exposure. Here are six major benefits of pursuing a career in finance:

  • High Earning Potential: Finance careers are known for their lucrative salary packages, especially as you gain experience and credentials in the field.
  • Diverse Career Opportunities: The finance industry opens the door to a wealth of professional opportunities across various industries, including investment banking, corporate finance, personal financial advising, and fintech.
  • Intellectual Challenge: Finance is a dynamic field that requires continuous learning and adaptation, perfect for those who thrive on solving complex problems and making strategic decisions.
  • Global Perspectives: Working in finance often involves understanding global markets and may offer opportunities to work internationally, providing a broader perspective on economics and business.
  • Skill Development: Careers in finance foster the development of strong analytical skills, detailed financial knowledge, and the ability to work effectively under pressure. All of which are valuable in any professional setting.
  • Professional Growth: The finance industry offers clear pathways for advancement, supported by various certification programs like the CFA and CFP, which can help accelerate career progression and professional development.
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Earn Your Finance Degree with National University

A career in finance offers a wealth of opportunities, combining high earning potential, diverse job roles, and the chance to develop a broad set of valuable skills. The financial industry presents a pathway filled with intellectual challenges and professional growth from entry-level positions to high-level analytical roles. Whether you aim to excel in corporate finance, personal financial advising, or the burgeoning field of fintech, a finance degree equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a rewarding career in finance, explore the programs that can set you on the right path. Check out the Bachelor of Science in Financial Management and the Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at National University. Both programs are designed to provide you with a solid foundation in finance, preparing you for a dynamic career in various industries. Learn more and begin your journey into a thriving professional career with National University.

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