Finance Careers

Finance professionals work in nearly every industry, helping clients find new and exciting career options.
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Updated on May 18, 2023
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Finance careers include many different positions within the financial services sector. The field requires strong interpersonal, analytical, and mathematical skills. Professionals can earn jobs in this field with an associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree.

This page includes information about the many different jobs for a finance major. It also discusses ways to advance within your career and details some useful academic and professional resources.

Why Pursue a Career in Finance?

Careers in finance suit professionals with strong communication, math, interpersonal, and analytical skills. The curricula of top finance degrees teach these abilities through coursework and fieldwork. Students can also gain valuable experience by completing internships.

Finance careers include positions like finance officer, financial analyst, finance manager, and finance director. You can learn more about these careers in the following sections.

Finance Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), typical median salaries for careers with a finance degree range from $50,000-$90,000. Additionally, the BLS projects that the business and financial operations field will grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028.

The table below highlights the median annual salaries for four popular careers in finance. The table also shows how a worker's salary potential tends to rise as they gain experience.

Median Annual Salary for Finance Careers
Job Title Entry-Level (0-12 months) Early Career (1-4 Years) Midcareer (5-9 Years) Experienced (10-19 Years)
Finance Officer N/A $54,670 $60,370 $64,780
Financial Analyst $54,620 $60,210 $68,370 $71,670
Finance Manager $58,550 $75,290 $95,710 $97,970
Finance Director $71,680 $80,280 $106,240 $122,970
Source: PayScale

Skills Gained With a Finance Degree

Finance students learn skills in school, during training, and while earning certification. Many skills contribute to a successful finance career, including strong communication skills, sharp analytical abilities, and a deep understanding of technology.

When pursuing a career in finance, five key skills can help you succeed as a top financial professional:

Personal Ethics

Personal ethics make up the values and principles that help you distinguish between right and wrong. Financial professionals must follow regulations and earn the trust of clients and coworkers.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills can enhance healthy working relationships. Professionals should be able to demonstrate a friendly and approachable demeanor and interact well with others.


Financial professionals face different financial dilemmas every day. Problem-solving skills help them tackle those challenges and deal with other tough situations. These skills prove vital when working in stressful financial fields, such as portfolio management and stock trading.

Technological Expertise

Financial professionals need a thorough understanding of the rapidly changing technology field. They must understand how advancements in technology can streamline processes and improve productivity. Financial professionals should have a working knowledge of various modern tools, platforms, and software, especially if they work in accounting and investment management.


Financial professionals must think logically and critically. Earning a finance degree helps you develop strong analytical skills that can help in identifying patterns in data. Strong data analysis skills enable you to forecast market activities, interpret and explain data results, and draw accurate conclusions.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Finance Career Paths

College students majoring in finance have many career paths from which to choose. In some programs, students can prepare for a target job by completing a specialization. Degree-seekers who are unsure which path best matches their interests, skills, and career goals should speak with a college career advisor.

Commercial Banking

Commercial banks offer customers savings accounts, checking accounts, and personal loans to cover major expenses like a home or car. Commercial bankers answer clients' questions and provide essential information. They often work with the same community members for many years and help ensure that clients meet their financial goals.

Investment Banking

Investment bankers work for large institutions that invest clients' money in the stock market. Like commercial bankers, they also work with clients directly. Job responsibilities include trading stock and securities, providing advice to clients, and following all federal regulations established by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists work for firms that invest in small and startup companies. Day-to-day tasks may include reading business portfolios, hearing pitches, and making contracts. Venture capitalists also keep track of firm investments; if a company does not perform as expected, they may pull funding.

Tax Preparation

Many finance professionals help their clients prepare and file taxes. Tax preparers may work for a nationwide tax preparation company or have their own business. They meet with clients one-on-one, review financial documents, and work with Internal Revenue Service officials.

Financial Advising

Personal financial advisors help clients make informed investment decisions and create long-term financial goals. They find new clients by hosting networking events and performing in-depth research into the best investment opportunities.

Real Estate

The real estate sector employs financial experts to research investment opportunities and make a cost-benefit analysis for each potential purchase or sale. These professionals work for appraisal firms, developers, and mutual funds.

How to Start Your Career in Finance

Aspiring finance professionals should research different programs to determine which course of study will help them meet their career goals. Finance programs teach in-demand skills and offer opportunities like research projects and internships that allow learners to stand out to employers.

Although some finance careers only require an associate degree, career advancement may require a bachelor's or master's. As such, prospective and current college students should research education requirements for their desired careers.

Associate Degree in Finance

Most jobs in finance require at least a bachelor's degree, but some positions only require an associate in finance. For example, you can start working as a bookkeeper, accounting clerk, auditing clerk, bill and account collector, financial clerk, or junior accountant with only an associate degree.

Earning an associate degree also helps students gain foundational knowledge of finance and accounting, and many associate in finance students continue on to pursue bachelor's and master's degrees.

What Can You Do With an Associate in Finance?

Senior Loan Processor

Loan processors manage administrative tasks, such as background and credit checks, loan application verification, and data entry. Loan processors communicate with applicants and ensure that documentation is completed properly. Most loan processors work in the car or real estate industries. Loan processors need at least a high school diploma, but some employers prefer to hire workers with an associate or bachelor's degree in a finance-related major.

Salary: $53,910

Property Manager

Property managers oversee residential and commercial property operations, including accounting and sales. They interview, hire, train, and supervise the groundskeeping department and relevant contractors. Property managers complete periodic inspections of their properties and manage budgets to help keep costs low and increase sales. They often deal with customer complaints. Property managers typically hold an associate or bachelor's degree.

Salary: $50,070

Bookkeeping, Accounting, or Auditing Clerk

These professionals work with financial documents, ensuring that records are kept straight for small businesses and large corporations. They check for accuracy and must have strong organizational skills. Many of these clerks earn an associate degree to develop important skills related to mathematics and bookkeeping software.

Salary: $41,230

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Bachelor's Degree in Finance

Earning a bachelor's degree in finance can help advance your career, opening doors to job advancement and higher pay. Most careers in the financial industry -- including budget analyst, cost estimator, financial analyst, management analyst, and personal financial advisor -- require a bachelor's degree in a finance-related major.

Pursuing a bachelor's degree can help you develop a solid understanding of investments, accounting, risk management, and financial planning. While earning your undergraduate degree, you can also refine your problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Finance?

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts study marketplace trends and microeconomic factors. They consider short-term and long-term growth expectations and assess current and future stocks, bonds, and other methods of investment. They make recommendations to their clients based on their findings and provide information and advice on financial positioning and mitigating risks. Financial analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field.

Salary: $60,920

Finance Manager

Financial managers conduct financial planning, research, and analysis to help their clients identify weaknesses and mitigate financial risks. Financial managers make decisions and recommendations about how to lower costs, increase profits, and set short- and long-term financial goals. They also perform audits to ensure compliance. Financial managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field, plus professional experience.

Salary: $91,420

Senior Investment Analyst

Investment analysts review investment products; provide advice; and make recommendations to fund managers, stock market traders, and stockbrokers. They conduct research, collect data, and write reports. Investment analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in a finance-related field.

Salary: $84,520

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors assess clients' financial needs and help them determine short-term and long-term financial goals and make financial decisions. They conduct research on money markets, stocks, bonds, and real estate investments. They explain relevant tax, insurance, and retirement rules and regulations to their clients. Financial advisors typically hold a bachelor's degree in a finance-related field.

Salary: $59,230

Credit Analyst

Credit analysts evaluate and assess their clients' credit worthiness. They examine financial statements, prior credit history, credit purchases, and current cash flows to determine the likelihood that an individual will repay their financial obligations. This helps determine whether someone qualifies to receive a new loan. Credit analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in a finance-related major.

Salary: $51,360

Source: PayScale

Popular Online Bachelor's in Finance Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Master's Degree in Finance

Earning a master's in finance, an MBA in finance, or a graduate certificate in finance can open the door to more job opportunities in the financial industry. A master's degree can also improve your chances of advancing within your current company.

While earning your master's in finance degree, you can often specialize in financial planning, economics, accounting, or risk management.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Finance?

Senior Financial Analyst

Senior financial analysts assess marketplace trends and microeconomic factors to determine risk and reward. They conduct research on current and future stocks, bonds, and other investments. Senior financial analysts also manage teams of other analysts, assign tasks, train team members, and present findings to top executives. These professionals hold at least a bachelor's degree, but most employers give preference to those with a master's degree and several years of experience.

Salary: $80,730

Financial Controller

Financial controllers manage financial departments, including accounting, budgeting, and auditing teams. Financial controllers create balance sheets, financial reports, and profit and loss statements. They explain complex financial concepts to executives and help companies predict future financial performance. Financial controllers hold at least a bachelor's degree in a finance-related field, but most employers give preference to those with master's degrees and at least seven years of professional experience.

Salary: $83,610

Corporate Controller

Corporate controllers oversee a corporation's accounting and financial functions. They act as financial managers, making decisions regarding the company's financial and accounting procedures, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll processing, and budgeting. They file quarterly and annual reports and may assume the role of chief financial officer. Controllers typically need the certified public accountant (CPA) credential and a degree in finance.

Salary: $98,720

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio managers help individuals and businesses invest money, manage assets, and handle mutual funds. Portfolio managers work closely with risk and investment researchers to process analyses and seek out new investments. They help their clients develop and meet long-term financial goals, such as mitigating tax burdens and building capital. Portfolio managers often hold a master's degree and chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification.

Salary: $86,570

Valuation Analyst

Valuation analysts use metrics to appraise products, services, properties, and risks. They conduct research to create complex valuation reports and present their findings. They also provide advice about transactions, negotiations, and acquisitions. Earning a master's degree can help aspiring valuation analysts stand out on the job market.

Salary: $62,300

Source: PayScale

Popular Online Master's in Finance Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Doctorate Degree in Finance

Earning a doctoral degree in finance prepares graduates for careers in research and teaching at a postsecondary institution. Academic careers in finance provide intellectual freedom and the chance to work with other researchers. Graduates often perform scholarly research in fields like corporate finance, risk management, and economics. Individuals who are not interested in working in academia can pursue leadership positions at companies.

Doctoral candidates study modern innovations and contemporary theories of savings behavior, portfolio choice, economic systems, and asset pricing techniques.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Finance?

Finance Director

Finance directors manage the finance department of a company. They perform financial analysis to draw conclusions about their company's financial outlook and create strategic plans to increase profits, make new investments, and mitigate risks. Finance directors create financial reports and make presentations to the rest of the upper-management team. They may also perform some human resources duties, such as hiring, training, and scheduling employees. Most finance directors hold a graduate degree in finance or a related major and boast several years of experience.

Salary: $113,720

Vice President of Finance

Vice presidents of finance direct the finance department of a business and make decisions regarding accounting and financial operations. These professionals manage financial reporting, set financial goals, and plan budgets to keep costs low and profits high. They often handle their companies' taxes and make sure their companies comply with regulations. VPs of finance typically hold a graduate degree in finance, business, or accounting and boast several years of professional experience.

Salary: $138,180

Postsecondary Teacher, Business

Individuals who earn a doctorate in finance can serve as teachers at colleges and universities. These professors teach business classes, make lesson plans, advise students, and serve on departmental committees. They may also conduct their own original research and publish findings in peer-reviewed publications.

Salary: $87,200

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Popular Online Doctorate in Finance Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How to Advance Your Career in Finance

Finance professionals can advance their careers in many ways. One pathway involves earning professional certifications, which can lead to a raise and a promotion.

Finance professionals can also pursue other continuing education opportunities. Top universities around the world offer continuing education certificate programs that allow learners to master new skills in a flexible learning format.

Finance professionals can also use networking and professional organizations to meet like-minded peers and learn about new career opportunities.


Some careers for a finance major, such as a stockbroker, require one or more certifications. For example, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority -- a private institution -- offers the Series 7 exam to candidates with a college degree in a finance-related field. Most states require that stockbrokers also pass the Series 63 exam to trade all stocks, securities, and commodities.

Other industry certifications for careers with a finance degree include the CPA and CFA credentials. CPA and CFA requirements include a bachelor's degree, additional postsecondary credits, and passing a rigorous examination.

Continuing Education

To succeed in one of the best careers in finance, individuals must do more than simply earn a college degree; they must also pursue continuing education opportunities to stay abreast of changes in the field.

Professionals can succeed in top careers by earning a graduate certificate in finance. Many universities offer online programs that may appeal to professionals seeking an asynchronous learning environment. Other continuing education options include free online courses.

Career advancement may also require earning an advanced degree, such as an MBA. Like most master's degrees, an MBA takes approximately two years to complete. Many universities offer this degree in an online format that can be tailored to fit the schedule of a busy professional.

Next Steps

You should consider looking into continuing education opportunities that match with your interests and goals. You can also consult with a work supervisor about what types of continuing education might help you develop important skills that can lead to career advancement.

During continuing education courses, be sure to network with other students. These relationships can have long-term positive benefits, such as learning about lucrative job openings before other applicants.

Additionally, consider joining one or more professional organizations geared toward finance careers. Although membership may cost an annual fee, benefits typically include networking opportunities, private job boards, and access to industry publications.

How to Switch Your Career to Finance

Professionals with a degree or experience in a business-related field have the easiest time switching to a finance career. Academic backgrounds that make a switch easier include accounting and business management. It is also important to brush up on soft skills, such as those related to organization and communication; many financial services positions require extensive interaction with clients.

Professionals without an academic or professional background that meets employers' needs can still qualify for a career in finance by earning an MBA. Fortunately, many top MBA programs welcome applications from prospective students without business backgrounds.

Where Can You Work as a Finance Professional?

The multifaceted finance industry presents many career options to professionals with finance degrees. When assessing career options, consider location and industry -- both of these variables can affect salary and job opportunities. For example, industries and locations with greater need for new professionals tend to offer higher pay.


When choosing a finance career, professionals can explore several related industries that make up the financial services field. The following industries represent just a few options that undergraduate and graduate students can consider when planning their future careers.

Management of Companies and Enterprises

This industry refers to financial leadership positions within major companies and organizations. Typical job titles include chief executive, general and operations manager, and advertising and promotion manager.

Average Salary: $81,310

Federal Executive Branch

The executive branch includes all federal agencies that are administered by the president of the United States. Job duties for these professionals are often related to preparing annual budgets.

Average Salary: $86,970

Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services

Professionals in this field assist individuals with budgeting, preparing taxes, and managing a company's payroll. They can work independently or for a national chain, such as H&R Block.

Average Salary: $80,450

Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

Consultants play a vital role in helping businesses meet financial goals. Typical consulting firms specialize in a specific business type, such as retail or medical.

Average Salary: $87,790

Credit Intermediation and Related Activities

Individuals and large companies need credit for major purchases. Professionals in this industry work with clients, review loan applications, and stay current with credit markets.

Average Salary: $80,770

Source: BLS


As of 2020, California, New York, and Florida employed the largest number of financial services professionals. In these states, the biggest metropolitan areas have the most job opportunities. Alaska and Wyoming had the fewest positions in 2020.

Business and finance professionals earn the highest wages in New York and the District of Columbia, where workers take home average salaries above $95,000 per year. States with the lowest wages for these professionals include Mississippi and West Virginia, where the average annual salary for business and finance workers is about $62,000; however, the cost of living in these areas is significantly lower than many other places in the U.S.


Interview With a Professional in Finance

Michael Sury

Professor Sury is the chairman of INDORUS Holdings LP. He works as an investment advisor to families and institutional investors.

Sury has taught undergraduate and MBA courses in investments, corporate finance, and applied portfolio management at the University of California, Santa Clara University, DePaul University, and San Diego State University.

Sury received his MBA in finance and statistics from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California.

Why did you choose to pursue a finance degree?

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In college, I actually began on a completely different track: pre-med/computer science. However, in college, it is a common experience to be exposed to different subjects and areas of interest.

Around this time, the 1987 stock market crash was a memory still fresh on the minds of many. The significance of that crash caused me to question how financial crises occur and how investors can best protect themselves from such events.

In the process, I began eagerly reading everything I could find on the subjects of finance and economics and taking more and more classes in the economics department. Ultimately, I changed my major to economics. My own experience included an undergraduate liberal arts degree (BA) in economics, combined with a more specifically focused graduate degree (MBA) in finance and statistics.

What were the strongest skills you developed or built upon throughout your degree program?

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In college, I learned that a successful undergraduate career is rooted in being open to exploring broadly different areas, modes of thinking, and subjects. It is a truly invaluable experience.

Unlike the career path for a more scientific or technical discipline, I have found that the best training for a successful career in business, specifically finance, is a general liberal arts education grounded in economics or finance, and perhaps supplemented by further upper-division elective courses in finance.

The areas of study during my degree that I have found most beneficial to my career include the development of critical thinking and analytical skills; interpersonal and teamwork skills; and a broad education of the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Success in business -- and finance careers in particular -- requires not only a strong command of various techniques, but also robust social skills and the ability to relate to others.

Alternatively, students that have dual passions may consider a technical undergraduate degree supplemented with a later graduate degree in finance. Indeed, it is very common for students with an undergraduate degree in a social or traditional science to continue their training with an MBA after a few years in the workforce.

In my many years recruiting professionals into investment banking and investment management, I have found that our best candidates have had varied undergraduate backgrounds but shared the important skills outlined above.

In fact, the combination of either a scientific or liberal arts degree, paired with an MBA (after a few years of work experience) tends to produce the most successful professionals in the business.

What was the job outlook like after you graduated? How long did it take you to establish your career?

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I graduated from the University of California in 1992. At the time, the U.S. was just beginning to emerge from a recession, and job market prospects were mixed. I ended up doing consulting work for the U.S. government and then used those contacts to secure a position in law enforcement. I was able to combine my interest in law enforcement with my training in finance and economics.

After the police academy, I was recruited to help develop and grow a new task force to combat white collar and economic crimes. It was one of the first of its kind in the nation. The lesson here was that opportunities can be created in unexpected ways.

After a few years, I decided to advance my career prospects by furthering my training and obtaining my MBA at the University of Chicago. Although the job market prospects were again mixed upon graduating, I quickly learned about the "golden rule" of securing a job: network, network, network!

I called upon undergraduate professors that had Wall Street experience, former consulting contacts, and even law enforcement colleagues to find people in common that could connect me with a job opportunity. By doing so, I was able to secure an internship (between my first and second year at the University of Chicago) with Goldman Sachs on Wall Street.

The internship was essentially a three-month interview. Ultimately, I landed a permanent position with Goldman Sachs at the end of the summer. This made my second year at grad school much less stressful.

I treasure my experiences at Goldman Sachs. Given their extensive, eight-month training program, I learned a lot about various facets of the investment management and banking business. I grew to become an important contributor to the firm and was named one of its youngest vice presidents. Where else can you network with prominent CEOs, help companies raise capital, orchestrate a leveraged buyout, and manage hundreds of millions of dollars -- all while making seven figures -- at the tender age of 25?

It also allowed me to create my own firm in 2000, which quickly rose to manage several billion dollars and was ranked the number one wealth management firm by Bloomberg Wealth Manager in 2006 and 2007.

As someone who has worked both in academia and in a firm, what advice would you give students considering different career paths in finance?

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There are a number of paths available to students who choose a career in finance. Among these are investment/money management, investment banking/corporate finance, financial operations, and internal finance. Students can also pursue commercial banking, real estate, teaching/research/academia, and working for a governmental agency.

Finance is a tremendously exciting career path, as it permeates nearly every facet of business and is an essential personal, corporate, and governmental function. Moreover, the financial capital markets are ever-changing, allowing for dynamic and diverse experiences as professionals progress through their career.

It is very difficult to generalize or quickly summarize the difference between the various finance subsectors. The best way to learn about them is to interview professionals, build a network, and try to secure internships during your summer years.

During these internships, you get a visceral feel for whether you want to work in high pressure/high energy trading environments where second-to-second decisions can mean the difference between success or failure. You also learn whether you would rather spend hours poring over accounting statements and running valuation analyses to determine how best to merge two companies. There are few substitutes for genuine work experience.

It is also important to note that you should view your undergraduate -- or, to some extent, your MBA -- training as simply preparatory training for your career. Very likely, you will learn much more specific techniques and strategies on the job.

For example, as a finance professor today, I teach the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) as part of the introductory finance course for undergraduates. The reality is that CAPM is not used in this "textbook" way at most institutions. However, the general idea and economic themes that underlie the model do carry forward to the workplace.

I strongly encourage students to view their undergraduate education in finance as developing their analytical framework and "modes of thinking," as opposed to simply memorizing or collecting highly specific techniques that will be used verbatim once they are in business. That said, please study the course material so that you can get a good grade. Finance careers are highly competitive, and grades matter.

What type of person excels in this field?

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Once again, it is difficult to generalize as to what specific type of person excels in finance. During my term at Goldman Sachs, and again when I ran my own investment management firm, I interviewed, recruited, and hired many, many different types of candidates. Some of our most successful candidates were music majors, U.S. Navy SEALs, philosophy professors, ex-CIA officers responsible for "disrupting hostile foreign regimes," and finance majors and finance MBAs.

As opposed to a specific degree or experience, these successful professionals cultivated the following personal characteristics: a highly analytical mind, a love of numbers, creativity and innovation, a competitive streak while also maintaining an attitude of teamwork, constant curiosity, a "never give up" mentality, "thick skin," and the ability to work long hours and still maintain discipline.

What additional advice would you give to prospective finance students?

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A career in finance is absolutely exciting, dynamic, and constantly challenging. Your adrenaline will run high; you will meet interesting and fascinating people; and you will be at the nexus of economic, political, and social events. In many areas of the industry, it is also a true "meritocracy," where your upside in terms of job mobility, compensation, and exposure can be potentially unlimited.

I have never regretted my choice to enter the wonderful world of finance.

Resources for Finance Majors

Resources for finance majors include professional organizations, open courseware, and publications geared toward finance professions. This section highlights some of the best examples of each. Use the embedded links to learn more about these resources and how they can help you attain a fulfilling career with a finance degree.

Professional Organizations

Association for Financial Professionals: AFP is a professional society committed to advancing finance and treasury. Members of this organization benefit from networking conferences and seminars; an online community of finance and treasury professionals; and professional tools, including a global career center and market data. Members can also access exclusive research and publications. The association administers the certified treasury professional and certified corporate FP&A professional credentials.

The American Finance Association: Founded in 1939, the AFA is an academic organization committed to financial economics. The AFA promotes public understanding of financial problems and enhancing the study of finance in higher education institutions. The association publishes the Journal of Finance and sponsors workshops, summits, meetings, and conferences for finance professionals around the world each year.

International Federation of Accountants: IFAC is a global organization that was founded in 1977 in Germany. It represents more than 130 countries and focuses on promoting the accounting and economics fields. The federation treats accounting as a critical component of a strong economy and financial market.

Entrepreneurs' Organization: EO is an influential global network of entrepreneurs from 54 countries. The organization educates professionals through leadership development programs, peer-to-peer learning experiences, and online forums. It also offers executive education and mentorship opportunities, plus the Global Entrepreneur Indicator -- a global economic outlook that projects profit and job growth.

Professional Accounting Society of America: The PASA benefits entry-level and mid-level finance professionals who work in American public accounting firms. The society offers useful information about the CPA exam, plus a job board and a CPA exam achievement award. The organization also provides useful tips for new professionals, including advice on navigating a new job. Membership is free.

American Bankers Association: ABA supports the banking industry by being a collective voice for America's banks. The association advocates for the banking industry's role in job creation and economic growth. ABA offers many free resources, including research and economic tools; information on liquidity, fair lending, and data breaches; and resources for professionals in accounting and auditing, compliance, insurance, and risk management.

Open Courseware

Principles of Microeconomics: An Economist Way of Thinking - The University of Queensland: This class covers economic methodologies, supply and demand theory, and making rational choices. This six-week course may appeal to experienced business professionals and individuals interested in a finance career.

Introduction to Corporate Finance - Columbia University: Corporate finance involves valuing assets, calculating returns, and evaluating stocks. Over four weeks, students master these topics by analyzing net present value and the valuation of bonds and stocks. Academic requirements include 3-4 hours of coursework each week, making this course an excellent choice for professionals who work full time.

Accounting and Finance - Indian Institute of Management Bangalore: Serving aspiring financial professionals, this course emphasizes the factors that influence a company's profitability, such as asset and tax management. The course lasts 11 weeks, and graduates can receive an official certificate if they pay a fee.

Monetary Policy Analysis and Forecasting - International Monetary Fund: In this course, learners study New Keynesian economics and how to create a key canonical quarterly projection model. Successful students leave the course with the ability to make output reports and interpret key model equations. The course lasts six weeks and requires 8-10 hours per week.


The Economist: A weekly magazine, The Economist dates back to 1843. Articles cover current affairs concerning technology, politics, and international business developments. The magazine takes a centrist tone on most issues but favors neoliberalist ideas.

Barron's: A top resource for stock traders and other finance professionals, Barron's features the latest market news. Other magazine sections offer advice from top traders and profiles of the best-performing brokerage firms.

The Wall Street Journal: A leading newspaper for financial news, The Wall Street Journal was first published in 1889. Each day, the paper reports on corporate news and political developments. The Wall Street Journal also publishes special sections throughout the week that cover international financial trends, real estate, and personal investing strategies.

Forbes: Forbes publishes biweekly reports about science, politics, and law from a business perspective. Each year, the magazine highlights the richest people in the world and top companies. Its website also features articles about innovation, leadership, and small businesses.

Financial Times: Each day, Financial Times brings the latest economic and business news to readers living all over the world. The newspaper covers U.S. and international companies, market trends, and investment tips. Online subscribers can create a custom news feed by selecting topics from more than 20 options.

Bloomberg Businessweek: A weekly magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek offers special reports on the business of equality, trends and predictions, and rising markets. The publication's website also hosts videos that cover economic trends in different countries. Additionally, Bloomberg Businessweek puts out podcasts, in which contributors discuss business and travel best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is finance a good career?

Finance is a lucrative field. Professionals with strong interpersonal and analytical skills can thrive in a finance career. However, these careers often involve tight deadlines and stress. Finance professionals may have trouble maintaining a good work-life balance.

How do I start a finance career?

Starting a finance career involves earning a postsecondary degree in economics, finance, or a related field. Students can also improve their career prospects by completing one or more internships.

What can I do with a finance degree?

A finance degree prepares you for many careers in the field. With so many options, you should consider your interests and career goals long before graduation day. Your college or university should also offer career resources like one-on-one counseling sessions, interest inventories, and job guides.

Is there a demand for finance professionals?

This depends on the specific financial services career. However, most finance careers have a solid job outlook. For example, the BLS projects that the need for financial analysts will grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028.

Do finance professionals get paid well?

The median annual salary for most finance professionals ranges from $50,600-$87,850 per year. However, a worker's education level, experience, and location can dramatically impact their earning potential.

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