Public Finance and Funds Management

Public finance positions can be a good choice if you're comfortable working with numbers and you think you'll be able to keep up with the latest investment trends. Read on to learn more about potential earnings, job growth and required education for financial analysts and managers.

Are Public Finance and Funds Management for Me?

Career Overview

The public finance sector employs many different financial workers, such as financial analysts, economists and financial managers. Public finance workers are found in all levels of government, as well as in international organizations. Fund managers oversee investments in hedge and mutual funds and develop speculation strategies. Financial analysts and managers can work in many different industries or be promoted to high-level management with enough experience; they usually work long hours, sometimes as much as 60 hours per week.

Good communication skills are key to working in the industry, especially when interacting with investors or other financial workers. Overnight travel may be required for some positions.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for financial analysts were expected to grow by 16% nationwide, or faster than average, from 2012-2022; employment of financial managers was projected to increase by an average rate of 9% during the same period. In May 2013, finance analysts had a median annual income of $78,380, while financial managers earned $112,700 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Public Finance and Funds Management?

Educational Requirements

Nearly all public finance employers require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree. Public finance economists usually have completed graduate school. Financial managers who have a master's degree are generally preferred over those who just have a bachelor's degree. Depending on your occupation, certifications can increase job opportunities and may be required for some positions.

Undergraduate Programs

A bachelor's degree in finance can be a good option if you're interested in pursuing a career in the field. A specialization in finance management might be a good fit if you want to work in public finance; as an aspiring fund manager, you may want to consider a specialization in investment management. A bachelor's degree program in financial economics is another option that can help you work in public finance. A degree program in financial economics can include courses in portfolio management, venture capital and corporate finance.

Graduate Programs

If you do not want to complete a full master's or doctorate program, you may obtain a graduate certificate in public finance. A graduate certificate can also be useful if you already have a master's degree and are interested in public finance. Some schools may offer a master's degree in public financial administration for students who desire to work in the public finance sector. In a master's degree program in finance, you may study revenue theory, program evaluation and government budget.

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