What Can You Do with a Business Finance Degree?

All the money in the world can be at your fingertips, figuratively speaking, with a degree in business finance. Options seem almost limitless with this degree, but to help narrow your options, keep reading for information on some business finance careers. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Business Finance Degrees Defined

Business finance degree programs can be found at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Careers in business finance typically require that you have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in an area such as business administration in finance. In many bachelor's programs, in addition to your coursework in financial markets, accounting and investments, you may have the opportunity to work with real financial portfolios, which can help prepare you for working in finance.

In a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance, you'll be able to participate in MBA finance clubs and take advanced courses in corporate finance and investment banking. A Ph.D. program will prepare you for teaching finance courses at a college level.

Important Facts About What You Can Do With a Business Finance Degree

Accountant Financial Analyst
Licensure/Certifications Besides CPA certification, voluntary certifications include Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) Licensure with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) required; Chartered Financial Analyst certification highly recommended
Key Skills Communication skills, analytical skills, math skills, detail-oriented Decision-making skills, computer skills, math and communication skills
Work Environment Accountant's offices, private organizations, or from home; Busier workload during tax season Securities and credit agencies
Similar Occupations Budget analyst, cost estimator Financial manager, insurance underwriter, personal finance advisor

Types of Jobs

Business finance degree programs can lead you toward work in accounting, business administration, economics, financial management, investment banking, consulting, brokering and teaching. If you have a bachelor's degree, you'll likely begin your career in an entry-level position, but if you complete an MBA, you may have more advanced opportunities. Typical job titles associated with business finance degrees include financial analyst, financial manager and accountant. Professional certification in business finance can help you demonstrate your proficiency in career field, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certifications.


If financial accounting is your career choice, you can choose to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Accountants help their clients with tax and accounting statements that often need to be filed with a government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service or the Securities and Exchange Commission. To work in public accounting, you'll likely need to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which means that you'll have to pass an exam and meet your state's CPA requirements.

You may also want to consider going into management accounting, which includes keeping track of income and spending, and helping your organization plan for its financial future. With a bachelor's degree and two years of experience in management accounting, you'll qualify to take the Institute of Management Accountants' (IMA) CMA exam. To maintain your CMA credential, you'll need to complete continuing education requirements on an annual basis.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job opportunities for accountants and auditors will increase by 13% between 2012 and 2022, which is as fast as the national average for all jobs. Accountants with CPA certifications will have an easier time finding employment, as well as applicants with master's degrees. The BLS also reports that, as of May 2014, the median annual salary for accountants was $65,940.

Financial Analyst

To become a financial analyst, you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, but you might find more opportunities if you have an MBA. As a financial analyst, you'll review financial statements of companies where you or your client may want to make investments. You'll keep an eye on the markets and look for any trends in trading and investment. You'll need good analytical and computer skills to pursue this career.

You may decide to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) by applying to the CFA Institute. To earn the CFA designation, you'll need a bachelor's degree (or be in your final year of a bachelor's degree program), four years of related professional work experience and you'll have to pass an exam.

Employment Prospects and Salary Information

Job prospects for financial analysts are expected to increase by 16% between 2012 and 2022 according to the BLS, which is faster than the national average. Certification and graduate degrees will improve the likelihood of gaining employment. As of May 2014, the BLS reports that financial analysts made a median annual salary of $78,620.

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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