MBA in Finance: Online Degree

Find tips on choosing a school to complete an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. Discover what you'll learn and career possibilities. Schools offering Accounting & Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do I Really Need an MBA in Finance?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business administration or economics may be enough to qualify for a position in the financial industry. However, the BLS also states that many individuals who pursue work as financial analysts, advisors and managers hold a master's degree. In some cases, employers require job candidates to hold an MBA or a master's degree in finance.

AccreditationCheck for programs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Common CoursesManagerial accounting, public finance policies, organizational statistics; final project and some in-person sessions may be required
Licensure and CertificationBecoming a Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst may help MBA graduates find employment
Possible Career PathsFinancial analysts, advisors, managers

How Can I Find a Reputable Online Program?

One of the best sources you can use to locate a reliable program is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is recognized as an approved accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The AACSB offers separate online directories of schools with accredited undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting. By contacting an individual school, you can determine whether or not that school offers an online program.

What Will I Study?

You might learn how to manage financial institutions, analyze investment decisions or create a business turnaround plan. Additional topics could include managerial accounting, public finance policies, valuation techniques and organizational statistics. An MBA program may consist of 36-51 credits; some programs culminate in a research-based final project. A few schools expect distance learning students to attend 1-2 on-campus learning sessions. It will probably take 20-24 months of study for you to earn an MBA.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

You could pursue a career as a financial analyst, advisor or manager. Financial analysts recommend investments in stocks and bonds to individuals and organizations. Financial advisors help clients plan and manage their finances, which may include investment portfolios or retirement funds. Managers in this field oversee an organization's financial operations; they may supervise the preparation of financial data or implement cash management strategies.

You may need one or more state licenses or a license issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority if your occupation involves buying or selling stocks, bonds and securities. Financial managers who work in accounting departments may need to earn the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Voluntary certifications are also available that may lead to an increase in job opportunities. For example, a financial analyst or financial manager may earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential through the CFA Institute.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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