When the time comes for you to make a career choice, keep in mind that one of the most popular options, offered by most colleges and universities, is a degree in finance. A finance degree will open the door for you to enter the world of
banking, investment, finance, and money management; and because all these fields are connected, your skills will allow you to apply to a wide variety of positions.
Types of Finance Degrees
There are four main types of finance degrees: associate degree, bachelor degree, master's degree, and doctorate degree. The focus of this article will be the first two, which are considered to be the stepping stone to the world of finance.
An associate degree in finance can be obtained in two years, although in some cases it can be achieved before, depending on the specific business school and the course load the student takes on. The tuition for an associate degree is usually lower than that of a bachelor degree, and because it is obtained in less time, it will allow the student to enter the financial field sooner, or request a better salary or position within a company. A bachelor degree is usually attained in three or four years, and while tuition may be higher it opens the door to better paying positions than those offered to a person with an Associate degree.
There are two main benefits to choosing an associate degree. The first, and most important, is that it is the perfect choice for those who aspire to more than a high school education, but are not in a position to afford it. Many employers prefer to hire those with associate degrees over potential employees who only have a high school diploma. The second benefit is that most of the credits earned during the course of receiving an associate degree are transferable to a bachelor degree program, which makes it a good choice for those who do not have adequate financing for a four year college program.
The most important requirement to enter any finance degree program is a strong high school background, with special focus on subjects such as English, communications, math, accounting, and computer technology. A good background in community service, and leadership skills are also a pre-requisite for admission to a finance program. Each school will have its own specific requirements, so it is important for you to explore several options before settling on a specific one.
Career Opportunities and Salary
The range of career opportunities available to a person with a degree in finance is extremely wide, since most companies require some sort of financial expert. Depending on the specific degree, you can become a financial analyst, credit officer, loan officer, banker, stock market trader, financial planner, and much more.
Just as the number of job opportunities for people with financial degrees is variable, so is the salary. A person with a bachelor degree in finance made an average of $53,400 in 2012, but this amount can vary greatly depending on experience and specific area of expertise. In the end, getting a degree in finance, regardless of what type, will guarantee better positions, a higher income, and more possibilities for promotion than not having one at all.