What Careers Does an MBA in Finance Prepare Graduates For?

Career options with an MBA include investment banker, chief financial officer, financial manager and financial analyst. Read on to learn more about these career options and the employment outlook for each. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Program Description

Finance MBA programs usually take two years to complete and require you to possess a bachelor's degree. In some cases, you might be able to participate in a joint, 5-year bachelor's and MBA program, allowing you to earn the degrees in less time.

Finance is an MBA major that may be further divided into corporate finance, investment management, financial and banking institutions and international finance. You may complete classes that include:

  • Bankruptcy and reorganization
  • Private equity finance
  • Investment banking
  • Behavioral finance
  • Equity instruments
  • Debt markets

Important Facts About Careers for Finance MBA Graduates

Investment Banker Chief Financial Officer Financial Manager Financial Analyst
Professional Certification Voluntary; Certified Investment Banking Associate (CIBA) designation available from the Investment Bankers Group (IBG) Not available, but experience is acquired through managerial roles Voluntary; certifications available from the CFA Institute and the Association for Financial Professionals Voluntary, but recommended; Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) certification available from the CFA Institute
Key Skills Analytical thinking; customer focused; good judgment and decision making; attention to detail Clear communication; leadership; management ability; time management Organization; analytical thinking; solid mathematical foundation; attention to detail Computer competency; good judgment and decision making; clear communication; analytical thinking
Work Environment Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage; depository credit intermediation; other financial investment activities Large and small businesses in all industries Finance and insurance companies; management of companies and enterprises; professional, scientific, and technical services Security, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities; management of companies and enterprises; credit intermediation and related activities
Similar Occupations Insurance sales agents; personal financial advisors; real estate brokers and sales agents Administrative service managers; computer and information systems managers; human resources managers Budget analysts; insurance underwriters; loan officers Budget analysts; personal financial advisors; securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Investment Banker

As an investment banker, you focus on advising clients about managing bonds and executing investment strategies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS, www.bls.gov). Your job may focus on mergers or takeovers of other companies. You help with buying and selling company stock to the public. You may travel a lot to meet with clients across the United States and, in some cases, other countries.

According to the BLS, demand for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents as a whole is expected to be about average, with 10% growth projected over the 2014-2024 decade. Economic growth will be responsible for investment banker employment growth. PayScale.com reported in September 2015 that investment bankers had a median salary of $82,459.

Chief Financial Officer

As a chief financial officer, you are placed in charge of financial reporting. The BLS reports that these professionals are responsible for directing the financial policies and goals of the organization. Other duties include looking after the investment of the firm's funds and putting in place strategies to raise capital.

The BLS expects employment growth for chief executives to decline at rate of 1% over the 2014-2024 decade. In addition, there will be a lot of competition, though having managerial experience, along with your MBA, might help improve your prospects. In September 2015, PayScale.com reported that chief financial officers earned a median wage of $121,200.

Financial Manager

There are several career titles for this role, including controller, finance officer, treasurer and cash manager, according to the BLS. The duties vary a little, but you mainly prepare and review reports and financial statements, implement strategies, supervise other employees and oversee investments. You need to be knowledgeable about the industry in which you work since you will help with financial decision-making. For example, a healthcare financial manager must be familiar with healthcare financial issues.

Financial manager employment growth is expected to be about average, with 7% growth expected over the 2014-2024 decade, according to the BLS. Your master's degree can help improve your job prospects, although competition is expected for jobs. In May 2014, the BLS reported a median wage of $115,320 for all financial managers.

Financial Analyst

In this role, you may help a person or a business make decisions regarding investments, according to the BLS. Sometimes you may be asked for a recommendation. You spend a lot of time reading and analyzing a company's financial statements and, along with other factors, estimate the company's worth. There are various types of financial analysts, including portfolio managers, risk analysts, fund managers and ratings analysts.

Faster-than-average job growth of 12% is expected for financial analysts from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Like other financial careers, you can expect competition, though your MBA may help. As of May 2014, the BLS reported a median wage of $78,620 for all financial analysts.

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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