Do you enjoy working with numbers and being a part of the corporate setting? Then consider earning your degree in Finance online! The financial world is a lucrative, fast-paced arena that offers a variety of career opportunities to work your way up the corporate ladder. From working as a financial assistant to lead executive of a financial department, there are a number of exciting ways to utilize your online Finance degree!
Careers in Finance
Careers in the field of finance typically focus around helping a business successfully manage their financial endeavors. With responsibilities that include bookkeeping, financial planning, and strategic team management, these jobs require a variety of mathematical, business, and leadership skills.
The table below gives you a brief description of a few popular financial careers as well as their median annual salary.
|Job Title||Job Summary||
Median Annual Salary
|Vice President (VP), Finance||High-level executive position within a company that is responsible for directing finances and coordinating the budget.||
|Finance Director||Management position that is responsible for leading finance teams in creating strategic plans for a company.||
|Finance Manager||Develops and monitors departmental budgets while making financial forecasts for their company.||
|Business Analyst, Finance/Banking||Analyzes the financial aspects of a company to see if changes can be made to increase the success of the business.||
|Finance Assistant||Works in the financial department of a business and is responsible for recording financial data and performing bookkeeping.||
*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com
While most individuals who graduate from an online Finance program begin in entry-level positions, it is possible to work your way up the ranks to earn well over six figures a year! As with any position, you may make more or less than the numbers shown above based upon your skills and experience level.
Types of Online Finance Degrees
From associate’s degrees to top graduate programs, there are several options available to earn an online degree in Finance! Fortunately, many top accredited universities in the U.S. are now offering online courses that allow you to earn your degree on a schedule that suits your needs.
Online Associate’s Degrees in Finance
An associate’s degree in Finance typically takes two years to complete, but by working in an online setting you may have the option to work at an accelerated pace. This online degree program gives you a solid foundation for entry level work in a variety of financial careers, including work as a bank teller, broker, or financial analyst.
During the course of your program, you can expect to cover a variety of financial topics that include:
- Business statistics
- Management and leadership
- Accounting and investment
- Corporate finances
While an online associate’s degree can get you started in the finance world, it is also a great first step towards earning an online bachelor’s degree in Finance!
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance
By combining business theory with in-depth courses in the principles of finance, an online bachelor’s degree in Finance is designed to get you started in a fast-paced corporate career! This degree program is well suited for those interested in working in contract management, corporate financial management, financial planning and investments.
Throughout the course of your education, you will learn essential skills for the business workplace, including:
- Preparing and analyzing financial information
- Evaluating and managing security portfolios
- Strategies for forecasting corporate financial decisions
- In-depth research and data interpreting skills for strategic decision making
Completion of a bachelor’s in Finance degree program can also prepare you to sit for professional certification exams, including the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Online Master’s Degrees in Finance
When enrolling in a quality online master’s degree in Finance program, you can graduate with a well-rounded understanding of financial business applications and advanced financial theory. Graduates from this program will have the expertise to pursue careers in mutual fund and private equity management, as a financial risk manager, or as a corporate finance officer.
Examples of advanced courses you can expect to encounter in an online master’s degree in Finance program include:
- Analysis of Financial Markets
- Multinational Managerial Finance
- Financial Accounting Theory
- Mergers and Acquisitions
After successful completing a master’s in Finance program, you will be prepared for various professional certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.
Finance Career Outlook and Salary Information
With an increasingly regulated business environment, companies are on the lookout for professional financial auditors and analysts to help them navigate the changing market. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in business and financial operations are expected to experience an 5% increase between 2019 and 2029.
When it comes to salary, financial occupations can be very well-paying and are typically above the national average median wage across all occupations. For example, business and financial operations careers have a median annual wage of $69,820 as of May 2019, while financial analysts enjoy an average annual salary of $81,590.
View a list of the top 40 Finance careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Is an Online Degree in Finance Right for me?
Due to the increased interest in flexible online learning and a changing student population, top universities are now offering highly-reputable finance courses online! Earning degrees online isn’t for everyone, but they can be an excellent choice for adult students that are juggling the demands of career and family obligations while attending school.
There are several advantages to earning your Finance degree online, including:
- State of the art technology to connect you with financial experts around the country
- Ability to schedule classes around business hours
- Virtual tutoring and mentorship programs for advanced Finance classes
Finance vs. Accounting
It can be easy to confuse the fields of finance and accounting, and many universities offer degrees in both courses of study. While both fields are related to the financial situation of a company, they typically deal with different aspects of the business’s financial department.
Essentially, the field of accounting deals with the past, while finance is concerned with the future. Those in accounting handle financial information and statements, and professionals in this field help businesses ensure that financial events are accurately recorded. Finance, on the other hand, deals more with taking a company’s financial data and analyzing it to help the business make long-term financial decisions and projections.
Interested in Accounting? Check out our in-depth discussion of accounting degrees and programs.
Comparing Top Finance Degree Programs
Finance is a competitive field, and it is essential that you choose a degree program from a reputable university. Consider the following factors while you are researching the various options available for schools that offer online Finance degree options:
Accreditation is the voluntary review process that a college goes through to ensure that their educational offerings meet high-quality standards. When earning an online degree in Finance, it is imperative that you research the accreditation of your program to ensure that your degree is considered reputable once you enter the workforce.
In addition to the regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, there are several other agency names you may come across when considering a degree in Finance, including:
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
For more information, the website of the U.S. Department of Education is an excellent starting point to find out more about recognized accrediting agencies across the country.
Student to Faculty Ratio
Small class sizes are just as important in online learning as they are in the classroom setting. Top universities often strive to keep student to faculty ratio low in order to provide their distance learning students with a personalized educational experience that gives them the greatest chance at success in their online Finance degree program.
In addition to researching the student to faculty ratio of your prospective school, it is also helpful to look at the credentials of the Finance faculty that will be teaching your courses. As with any degree program, it can provide peace of mind knowing that your classes are taught by leading experts within the field. For information on a number of factors that are important to choosing the right school for your needs, it is helpful to take the time to thoroughly look through each college’s website!
Academic Advising and Student Services
Most reputable universities offer academic advising and student services that can help their online students reach their goals. These support services are especially helpful when you are enrolled a challenging online Finance degree program, and they may include the following:
- Academic and career advisement to help you reach your business career goals
- Virtual workshops and seminars that provide finance skill-building opportunity
- Mentorship programs with leading finance professionals
- Flexible scheduling options to work around a professional career
For a rewarding, lucrative career in the ever-evolving business world, earning a degree in Finance is an excellent starting point to reach your long-term goals. From helping small businesses get their feet off the ground to working with multi-million dollar corporations, there is room for exponential growth when pursuing a career in the world of business finance!