Information & Data
Financial managers play an important role in the workplace: institutions large and small depend on financial management to properly value assets, evaluate market trends and maintain ethical and moral standards. Furthermore, financial managers must be able to lead teams and organizations, communicate effectively with coworkers and support clients by providing sound financial advice.
What coursework do all master’s in finance curriculums typically have in common?
Schools structure their curriculum to include managerial components across courses in accounting, economics, investment, capital budgeting and much more. All schools implement practical projects and lectures into courses to help students acclimate to the professional business world. Most programs also include capstone projects and study abroad programs. As with other postsecondary programs, online master’s in finance programs require students to have completed a bachelor’s degree or to have relevant work experience before applying.
What competencies are emphasized most in a master’s in finance? How do those carry over to the working world?
Finance students develop a deep understanding of financial structures, investment strategies, research techniques, cash flows, asset management and financial statement analysis. They learn to incorporate this knowledge into sound financial plans while working in a team environment. By graduation, students are prepared to supervise staff, liaise with corporate managers, produce accurate reports and operate at the highest levels of ethical standards. They will also develop financial forecasting abilities, an essential skill that requires managers to make projections within certain constraints while synthesizing diverse sources of information.
What do earnings look like in the popular professions within the financial sector? What’s the future hold for such positions?
Financial managers typically have at least five years of work experience and earn, on average, $52.76 per hour or a median wage of $109,740 per year. Those entering the field will typically have lower salaries than experienced managers. There were over 500,000 financial manager jobs in 2012 and an average 9% job increase projected through 2022.
Financial managers almost always have previous experience in business and financial occupations, including positions as loan officers, accountants, auditors, securities sales agents or financial analysts. Job seekers should expect to face stiff competition for any position they apply to, as the number of applicants will typically exceed the number of available positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “candidates with a master’s degree or certification should enjoy the best job prospects.” Both the mean annual salaries for financial managers, across disciplines, and the salaries for the bottom 10% of the field are found below (as collected by the BLS in May 2014):
Committed, career-oriented finance students stand to benefit from master’s programs as they find their niche in the business community. A master’s in finance integrates leadership training with subfield exposure, ultimately preparing graduates to work in their field of expertise. Distance learning programs are more robust than ever, and those completing their degree online are just as prepared for the working world as students trained on campus.