Best 21 Master’s in Finance Programs in 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Best Masters in Finance Programs

Earning a Master in Finance degree allows professionals to enhance their current skills and knowledge to expand their career opportunities, and to venture along a path to increasing their wages. Attending a school that offers one of the best Masters in Finance programs provides the tools for the graduate to become a leader that excels in the field of finance.

Reasons to Earn a Master’s in Finance Degree

One reason for earning a master’s degree in finance is the fact that the skillset is easily translated across a variety of different fields in the finance sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists financial managers, financial examiners, budget analysts, compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists as some fields with faster than average or much faster than average job growth through at least the year 2029. The anticipated job growth rate for financial managers is 15 percent, which is much faster than average, while the expected job growth for financial examiners is faster than average, compared to other occupations.

Top 5 Master’s in Finance Programs

Rank School Location
1Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, Colorado
2University of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln, Nebraska
3University of ArkansasFayetteville, Arkansas
4Ohio State UniversityColumbus, Ohio
5University of Massachusetts BostonBoston, Massachusetts

Although some career positions in finance may require only a bachelor’s degree, there is strong documentation demonstrating that workers with a master’s degree often earn wage premiums over the earnings of a person with a bachelor’s degree. Northeastern University lists a master’s degree in finance on its list of the top eight highest paying master’s degrees for 2021. The university referred to a recent survey that indicated that professionals with a master’s degree earn an average of 28 percent higher wages than individuals that do not hold a master’s degree.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported similar information, indicating that financial managers with a master’s degree earned as much as a 41 percent wage premium over financial managers that held only a bachelor’s degree. In fact, workers in the finance industry enjoy ‘some of the highest wage premiums’ for workers that have a master’s degree.

The tuition rate for these best master’s in finance programs covers the cost of one credit hour of instruction. It does not include costs associated with required fees, books, supplies, or other costs unless stated otherwise in the description of a particular school. The stated tuition rate is based on resident tuition. Some colleges and universities charge different tuition rates for non-resident students.

Here are the Best Master’s in Finance Programs


Colorado State University

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

The Master of Finance (M.Fin.) program at Colorado State University is a comprehensive, highly quantitative program. The curriculum focuses on the principles, processes and practices of investment analysis, corporate finance, risk management, and portfolio management.

Some courses in the curriculum include Quantitative Methods in Finance, International Finance, Real Estate Finance and Investments, and Financial Institutions Management.

School Overview

Tuition: $584.80 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a Master of Science in Finance program that prepares graduates for career advancement and to earn credentials that likely help students in their quest for improved career and earnings opportunities. The accelerated format program features leading-edge learning technology for students in the online program. The classes are optimized for mobile platforms.

A few of the courses that students complete include managerial finance, managerial economics, multinational financial analysis, fixed income analysis and cases in financial management.

School Overview

Tuition: $650 per credit hour
Program length: est. 12 months
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University of Arkansas

  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

The University of Arkansas offers the Master of Science in Finance degree for students that want to build upon their current knowledge and professional skills. Gain the knowledge of business intelligence and advanced programming, and an understanding of diverse perspectives and analytics that are required for success in the digital world related to finance.

There are four specialization options for students to choose from, including energy finance and risk management, finance and business analytics, finance and digital technology, and finance and supply chain management.

School Overview

Tuition: $658.38 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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Ohio State University

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

The Ohio State University Specialized Master in Finance program is a rigorous and intensive program that provides students with real-world learning opportunities and the knowledge and tools required to master the skills required in the rapidly changing world of finance.

Some topics covered in the program include data analytics, applied economics, financial software, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy, and fixed income analysis. Other topics include investment philosophies, derivatives valuation, and real estate finance.

Students choose either the corporate finance track, the investment management track, the risk management, or the real estate track.

School Overview

Tuition: $722.50 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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University of Massachusetts Boston

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Students enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Boston Master of Finance program choose either the General Finance track or the Investment Management and Quantitative Finance track. The program consists of finance course requirements, elective courses, and a capstone project. Students gain problem identification and problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills and analytical skills, along with leadership and communications skills.

Admission to the program is highly competitive based on factors such as prior academic record, professional experience, recommendations, and other factors.

School Overview

Tuition: $768 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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Texas A&M University

  • College Station, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Science in Finance degree that prepares non-finance undergraduate to launch a career in finance upon completing this program. The school explains that students that have a quantitative undergraduate degree in areas such as economics or STEM are ‘highly sought after’ by employers

Students gain a new understanding of finance concepts and theories through the research and creativity of the program. Students choose the thesis or the non-thesis option.

School Overview

Tuition: $781.20 per credit hour
Program length: 12-18 months
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University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

The Master of Science in Finance program offered by the University of South Florida places an emphasis on finance and economics. Students gain the education and skills necessary to compete in careers in corporate finance, financial services, investments, risk management, and other areas related to careers in finance.

The curriculum provides students with the foundation for completing several professional certifications. Some courses include Accounting Concepts for Managers, Financial Modeling and Analytics, Managerial Decision Analysis, and Investments.

School Overview

Tuition: $347.91 per credit hour
Program length: 18 months
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University of Scranton

  • Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

The University of Scranton offers an online Master of Science in Finance degree with a focus on responsible financial management. The school also offers the program in the traditional classroom environment.

Program topics include gaining knowledge in management theory and practice, managerial economics, financial markets, financial securities, capital budgeting techniques and other critical areas of knowledge. Students also gain advanced knowledge in corporate finance, quantitative methods, derivative securities and responsibility, sustainability, and justice.

Students receive a generous discount on the Wiley CFA Finance Review. They also have the option to become certified in Bloomberg Terminals, and receive the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certification at no additional cost.

School Overview

Tuition: $965 per credit hour
Program length: 12-18 months
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University of Illinois Chicago

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

The University of Illinois Chicago, located just steps away from the city’s financial district, offers a Master of Science in Finance. The program is STEM-designated, and allows students to graduate with a solid foundation in the principles and practice of finance, along with the understanding of today’s concepts and issues related to finance.

Students choose their preferred specialization track from four options, which includes corporate finance, asset management, banking and capital markets or commodities, derivatives, and financial exchanges. There is also a virtual trading center for the benefit of students.

School Overview

Tuition: $972 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

Achieve your educational and career goals when you graduate from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Finance degree. Complete the fast-track program at a faster rate than the time it takes to complete a master’s in finance program at some other schools, and start enjoying the increased opportunities available to finance experts.

Gain a solid foundation in finance with a curriculum that allows students to tailor some classes based on their career goals and interests. Some courses include Finance Reporting, Econometrics, Financial Modeling and Corporate Valuation.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $1,840.90 per credit hour
Program length: 10 months
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University of California at San Diego

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

The University of California at San Diego offers its Master of Finance (M.Fin.) degree through the Rady School of Management. The program features a rigorous curriculum with hands-on learning training opportunities with an emphasis on quantitative models and methods that trains students to develop innovative solutions to the complex problems of the finance industry.

Students receive rigorous instruction and training empirical finance, financial econometrics, data analysis, risk management and other in-demand skills and knowledge.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,320 per credit hour
Program length: 12-15 months
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Tulane University

  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

Tulane University invites prospective Master of Finance students to ‘go further in finance’ as they complete this degree program. The STEM-designated program prepares students to meet the challenges of today’s finance industry, and to gain greater agility in the profession.

Students take courses in financial reporting, corporate finance, investments, valuations, and courses in other finance areas.

The fast-paced program challenges students to develop greater critical thinking skills, and to enhance their other skills and knowledge to fulfill their professional goals.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,850 per credit hour
Program length: 10 months
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Johnson & Wales

  • Providence, Rhode Island

The Johnson & Wales University Master of Science – Finance degree program is offered in an online format for students that either cannot make the commitment to attend traditional classes in an on-campus setting, or that prefer the flexibility offers in an online program. Students receive the same high-quality instruction offered to students that complete programs in the traditional learning environment.

Students learn to make the most of complex financial software and theory that helps finance professionals find value for their clients. The school recognizes that modern analysts need more extensive training than in the past, and features a curriculum that supports the training, knowledge and skills required for success in today’s ever-changing financial careers.

A few required courses include Corporate Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Personal Financial Planning, and Financial Reporting and Control. Students choose five elective courses from options such as Estate Planning, Principles of Risk and Insurance, Applied Behavioral Finance, and Equity Analysis.

School Overview

Tuition: $763 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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Pennsylvania State University World Campus

  • Centre County, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

The online Master of Finance degree program offered by the Pennsylvania State University World Campus allows busy finance professionals to continue working or taking care of other responsibilities without the constraints of a set schedule of class times.

Gain a well-rounded understanding of finance through topics covered such as advanced financial theory, risk management, commodity fluctuation, global diversification of financial portfolios, strategic financial decision-making, and other topics.

The school stresses its commitment to providing students in its online programs the same high-quality education delivered to students in on-campus learning environments.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,046 per credit hour
Program length: est. 15 months
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Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The Master of Science in Finance degree offered at Michigan State University is ideal for recent college graduates and for seasoned professionals that want to advance in their career. Students gain quantitative-focused, comprehensive finance training that helps guide graduates towards their career goals.

Courses in the accelerated program focus on financial modeling, financial management, financial data analytics and machine learning in artificial intelligence, among other areas. The flexible curriculum allows students to choose some courses that align with their specific interests or career focus.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $1,430 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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University of La Verne

  • La Verne, California
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

The Master of Science in Finance program at the University of La Verne provides students with a broad understanding of financial economics, and the ability to develop strategies that guide the financial health of companies and organizations.

Students gain the knowledge required to analyze and develop complex financial models, solve problems in a dynamic environment with complex financial issues, and to understand international financial management practices. Some additional knowledge and skills that students gain while in the program includes the ability to manage short-term working capital, develop and manage capital expenditure budgets for large projects or for the purchase or improvement of fixed assets, and to demonstrate responsible behavior in financial markets.

School Overview

Tuition: $910 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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Northeastern University

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance program at Northeastern University is a program that features a rigorous quantitative finance curriculum that integrates economics, mathematics, and computer sciences with financial theories and applications. The school recognizes the importance that students in the program stay sharp and up-to-date with knowledge and skills in technology that helps them excel in their finance career.

The program provides instruction in human skills as they relate to finance, helping students to develop excellence in communications and interpersonal skills, rather than focusing strictly on the quantitative and technical skills typically associated with a master’s in finance program. Students also receive exceptional personal career support and instruction from world-class faculty members.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,640 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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Indiana University

  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

Indiana University offers an online Master of Science in Finance program for busy professionals that need flexibility in learning, yet the opportunity to receive the same high-quality education provided to students that earn their degree in the on-campus setting.

Gain the expertise to become a leader in your chosen career field after completing courses that focus on financial management, economics, quantitative analysis, value creation, risk management and other topics.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,380 per credit hour
Program length: 15 months
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University of Texas at Dallas

  • Richardson, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

The Master of Science in Finance program at the University of Texas at Dallas is a focused program that prepares students to start or enhance their career in finance. The program does not require an undergraduate degree in finance for students to apply to this program. It is offered full-time or part-time, and although students have the opportunity to complete some courses online, the entire degree cannot be completed in an online format.

Students have their choice of five concentrations, including Financial Analyst (CFA), Financial Technology, Financial Management, Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, or Real Estate Finance. Some courses include Mathematics for Finance, Financial Modeling for Valuation, and Analytics of Finance.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,593 per credit hour
Program length: 18-24 months
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Pepperdine University

  • Malibu, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

Pepperdine University reveals that while many master’s in finance programs focus primarily on theoretical concepts, the Master of Science in Applied Finance program at the university is a STEM-designated program that takes an experience-based approach to preparing graduates for a rewarding career in finance.

The curriculum was recently updated, which helps students prepare for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam and for a career in banking, project finance, asset and wealth management, risk management and other in-demand career paths. Some topics covered in the program include financial accounting, investment banking, and equity analysis.

Students decide whether to follow either the investments specialization, or the financial management specialization.

School Overview

Tuition: $2,020 per credit hour
Program length: 12-15 months
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Princeton University

  • Princeton, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 98%

The Master in Finance (M.Fin.) degree at Princeton University features strong emphasis on data science, financial economics, financial engineering, computational methods and emerging tools in finance. Graduates have the knowledge and comprehensive understanding of economic theory, probability, optimization, computer science, machine learning, and other tools that are critical for working in the finance industry.

Students complete required coursework in finance, risk management, economics, mathematics, and financial analysis and then have the opportunity to customize their program. There is a required internship, which is completed during the summer between the first and second year of the program.

Students that complete the program within two years have an opportunity to obtain the Graduate Certificate from the Center for Statistical and Machine Learning (CSML).

School Overview

Tuition: est. $1,995.92 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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We did the hard work of finding the best masters in finance degree programs for you. We obtained information directly from each school, and ranked the schools by assigning a unique score for tuition and the program length to provide reliable rankings and recommendations. When a tie occurred, the school with the lower tuition rate received the higher ranking.

No school can pay us to receive a higher ranking. We list any sponsored school separately, and always do our best to be honest, fair and accurate in all of our rankings.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like to have your school included in our rankings. Contact us if you would like to update the information for your school.

Master’s in Finance: a Top-grade Degree you Need to Know About

A master’s degree in finance is for competent professionals that desire to advance their career in this field. It is a top-notch degree suited to individuals who want to upgrade their financial analysis skills, change their specialization within the vast finance field, and those who want to gain more knowledge in finance from other related fields such as economics. This degree equips students with exceptional skills in the principles of finance, analytical tools, research, and decision-making. These are critical elements for any individual that desires to make it in the financial industry at large. 

This piece is going to examine many of the aspects that surround a master’s degree in finance, including:

  • The benefits of getting a master’s degree in finance.
  • The common career paths for people having a master’s in finance degree.
  • The key factors that will determine how you can decide between a master’s degree in finance versus accounting or business.
  • The best programs for getting a master’s in finance.

These will give you a thorough insight into what a Master’s in Finance entails.

The Benefits of Getting a Master’s Degree in Finance

Earning a master’s degree in finance is a huge step towards building a successful career in the vast financial field. The employment rate of financial and business professionals is expected to increase by approximately 10% through 2026. This rate is high, and therefore having a master’s degree in finance would keep you a step ahead of the rest. 

Earning a master’s degree in finance carries the following benefits:

  • An excellent salary: Individuals who have bagged their master’s in finance degree can expect to earn a good salary. On average, as estimated by Payscale (www.payscale.com), a professional with this degree earns about $76,000 every year. Forbes indicates that people working in corporate finance earn a whopping $126,000 annually. A master’s in finance is a lucrative course whose career is a sure ticket to living a comfortable life.
  • A vast option of jobs to choose from: There is a wide range of opportunities present in the current financial market for professionals having a master’s degree in finance. The master’s in finance degree gives you an upper edge over graduates with only an undergraduate degree. Many employers, such as those in the corporate financial sector, prefer highly skilled finance professionals, a quality that makes them hire master’s degree professionals in the field. Such opportunities include financial analyst, financial manager, financial controller, investment analyst, operations manager, senior accountant, and VP of finance, among dozens of others. 
  • A lot of areas to specialize in: Having a master’s in finance degree gives you a wide range of specialization areas to choose from either the advancement of your career or education. Finance is a large field made up of different units, each having its unique concepts and principles. Depending on your strengths, abilities, skills, and experience, and coupled with a master’s degree in finance, you are in a better position to explore a field that best suits you. For instance, you can choose to become a personal finance advisor for a financial corporation or government institution.
  • Indicates your commitment and drive: When you have a master’s in finance degree, many people, including potential employers, see your drive and the commitment to your career. It is common knowledge that the number of people with bachelor’s degrees in finance is way higher than those with a master’s degree. The determination to complete a master’s degree not only helps you market your expertise in finance but also your commitment and drive to advance your education and skill level. 
  • You get to tour the world: Finance is a global enterprise that gives financial professionals a chance to travel the world. Experts with master’s degrees in finance are familiarized with the world’s top financial institutions, and clients seek out their services beyond their country borders. If you have dreamt of visiting different countries and continents, advancing your expertise through getting a master’s degree in finance could be your missing link to achieving this.

How Much Can You Earn with A Master’s Degree in Finance? 

As mentioned earlier, a master’s degree in finance opens up a wide range of high-paying opportunities. Professionals enjoy fat salaries in the different positions they hold. Some of these positions and their estimated salaries are mentioned below.

  • Financial analysts earn $61,600 annually.
  • Senior financial analysts earn $78,300 annually.
  • Financial controllers earn $84,100 annually.
  • Finance managers earn $93,100 annually.
  • Chief financial officers earn $147,000 annually.
  • Finance directors earn $134,000 annually.
  • Corporate controllers earn $95,100 annually.
  • Accountants earn $54,800 annually.
  • Senior accountants earn $70,800 annually.
  • Portfolio managers earn $92,3300 annually.
  • Investment analysts earn $61,400 annually.
  • VPs of finance earns $132,000 annually.
  • Personal Financial advisors earn $63,100 annually.
  • Valuation analysts earn $60,600 annually.
  • Operations managers earn $73,900 annually.
  • Chief executive officers earn $180,000 annually.
  • Senior business analysts earn $85,400 annually.
  • Senior finance managers earn $115,200 annually.

How Does an MBA In Marketing Compare with An MBA In Finance?

Two of the most popular and lucrative MBA specializations are MBA in Finance and MBA in Marketing. As an undergraduate degree holder or a student pursuing a master’s in finance, to better understand the comparison between these two MBA degrees, it is essential to examine the different parameters below:

  • Basic Difference: MBA in marketing involves the communication and promotion of different services and products with customers to increase sales. It also focuses on measures such as public relations, advertising, market research, and corporate branding to help increase sales. MBA in finance entails handling investments, computations, asset analysis, and budgeting of different financial concepts.
  • Skills involved: MBA in marketing and an MBA in finance require a certain set of skills to have a successful career. MBA in finance requires expertise in crunching numbers, problem-solving, and financial analysis. On the other hand, an MBA in marketing values skills such as creativity, excellent communication skills, and persuasion.
  • Scope: an MBA in finance career involves working in the banking and insurance sector, stock market, mutual funds, as an investment banker, or as a sole consultant. An MBA in marketing offers a plethora of alternatives in advertising, hospitality, retail industry, and e-commerce, among many others. More so, digital marketing is a growing and lucrative option in the MBA marketing field.

The fundamental difference, skills involved, and scope of opportunities available draw a stark comparison between an MBA in finance and an MBA in marketing. MBA in finance differs considerably from MBA in marketing on many levels. Your skills, career goals, and interests are the guiding factor to weigh in your options and determine which MBA best suits you.

Existing Common Career Paths for Someone with A Master’s in Finance

When selecting a career path that best suits your career goals, many factors are put on the table to help you decide. No one goes through the years of studying to end up in a mediocre career. The time you put in and the degree you earn should lead to a career that pays well and meets most if not all your career needs. So, the question is, what can you do with a master’s degree in finance?

If you are wondering what you could do with your master’s degree in finance, here are the four most admired career paths available.

  • Corporate Finance: Corporate finance is one of the top-notch career paths for ambitious professionals holding a master’s degree in finance. This career appears to effectively manage a company’s capital as well as accounts and come up with critical business and investment banking decisions that add value for stakeholders and maximize profits for the company. In any company, the financial department is in charge of its success and profitability. There are many lucrative careers for graduates who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in corporate finance. For instance, Chief Financial Officers are one of the highest paying jobs, and the average salary is approximately $330,000 annually. 
  • Investment or Commercial Banking: Graduates with a Master’s in Finance who end up in the banking sector always have one of the highest starting salaries in finance. You will agree that most individuals and businesses interact with banks in their day-to-day banking needs. Investment banks are more pronounced as it handles complex and large transactions which include the selling of bonds and stocks, and mergers and acquisitions. In this career path, the starting salaries range from $94,000 to $126,000 every year. 
  • Private Wealth Management: A master’s degree in finance can set you up for a lucrative career in private wealth management, especially if you are the type that is interested in managing financial assets. You manage the financial assets of people with a net worth of over $5 million. This role requires financial analysis expertise in relationship management and investment management.
  • Accounting: Recent reports indicate that accounting has emerged to be the field hiring the highest number of individuals having a master’s in finance degree. Accounting involves more than just crunching of numbers. It requires numerical and analytical literacy and a clear understanding of corporate regulations and laws. As many financial analysts would put it, this is a busy career. In 2015 alone, there were over 5.1 million cases of financial fraud in the United Kingdom as reported by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. You would be busy accounting and cashing in if this is your ideal career path.

Not every career is ideal for someone with your drive and ambition. Deep down, you can feel your drive and see your highly marketable talents, but you are unsure which career will suit you best. The finance world is a field that yearns for people with your kind of abilities and drive and assures you of a rewarding career. It takes only the elite to hack it through this field. So, how do you know if you’re suited for a finance career?

Below are some of the skill sets that you must possess to achieve success in this vast yet dynamic field. 

  • Top-Notch Communication Skills: It takes outstanding communication skills to address financial issues to clients or fellow professionals. Explaining financial concepts might sound like a walk in the park, but it isn’t that cozy if you do not know how to go about it. If you are good at communicating, then this is the right field for you.
  • Highly Aggressive: If you are the type of individual that does not wait for directives to make yourself relevant in your workplace, then it is high time you moved to the finance field. From financial analysis to simple accounting, these would need individuals that believe in their skills and work without a doubt.
  • Inquisitive: Finance is a large field that requires inquisitive minds. No one person can understand every financial concept perfectly. If you are curious enough to ask about and seek to understand complex financial concepts, then this is the right field for you.
  • Excellent Problem-Solving Skills: People earn a living by solving people’s problems. In the world of finance, there are a lot of issues that require to be solved. For instance, if a wealthy individual needs their assets assessed and managed, you will need to develop effective solutions to ensure the assets generate sufficient revenue. Finance is your home if you can come up with feasible solutions to problems.
  • Hardworking
  • High Emotional Intelligence

Once you settle in a job in the finance career as a master’s of finance degree holder, there is a lot you will do. You will be required to effectively manage a company’s accounts as well as their capital, make exceptional business and investment decisions to improve stakeholder’s value and maximize company profits. A master’s in finance is one of the best degrees because it equips you with all the necessary skills and experience to tackle these duties.

How to Decide Between Master’s Degree in Finance Versus Business or Accounting

You are most likely to be faced with a tough decision of deciding which master’s degree to enroll in after completing your bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field or finance degree. Also, people in the job market who wish to further their education may have a rough time choosing a master’s program to pursue. It is essential to understand the key differences between a master’s degree in finance versus one in business or accounting.

  • Master’s Degree in Finance: This degree is appropriate if you intend to focus on finance or closely related fields. It comprehensively zeros in on finance through its courses such as mathematics, valuation, financial analysis and reporting, investments, quantitative finance, and financial theory, among many others. This program may take a shorter time compared to the rest. It may take one year of full-time study to complete, a characteristic that has made it popular. A master’s in finance degree prepares students for fields such as investments, trading, or risk management. 
  • Master’s of Business Administration (MBA): This course is another important program because it equips learners with a broader spectrum of topics in business, which include entrepreneurship, economics, accounting, communication, statistics, and management, among many others. If you take an MBA program, you are trained to work in financial institutions, including banks, nonprofits, start-ups, government agencies, and established companies. You can complete this course either on a full-time basis or a part-time basis, a characteristic that boosts the  MBA worth
  • Master’s degree in accounting: This program helps students to grow their practical and advanced skills in accounting, financial savvy, as well as business strategies. It also focuses on preparing students for their CPA exams as it teaches important areas of economics and business law. If you enroll for a master’s degree in accounting, you train to become a Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or accountant. Your responsibilities will include the regular revision and collection of client’s financial records, estimation of business operation cost, optimizing financial processes, and ensuring taxes are paid. Furthermore, you will be required in the job market to explain and ensure that an organization comprehends the impacts associated with its financial transactions. 

On the other end, most students and even professionals wonder which master’s degree offers the most career options between finance, business, and accounting. All three options are associated with having lucrative career options in the modern-day financial field. There is no specific master’s program among the three that offers more job opportunities to graduates than the other. Each has a wide range of specialization and career potential, which indicates that graduates of each program have a range of opportunities after graduation. 

When it is time to choose between a master’s degree program in finance, business, or accounting, you must analyze many factors to make a decision. Here is a list of the key issues that will help you decide which master’s degree is worth earning.

  • Your career objectives: Everyone has their career objectives in life. You may target to work in a certain job and make the right steps towards achieving that. One critical step is choosing the correct master’s degree. For instance, a Certified Public Accountant career will require a master’s program in Accounting whereas a Senior Financial Analyst career would need a master’s degree in Finance. 
  • Your key skills: You have your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your career. When you need to settle on a master’s program, it is essential to have your strengths to guide you into choosing one. If you possess superb financial analysis skills, it would be in your best interest to pursue a master’s degree program in finance. 
  • Your job: Many professionals have settled on lucrative jobs with their bachelor’s degrees, building extensive experience. When it is time to advance their education, they would consider their job as the main determinant before settling on a master’s program. If you are an experienced accountant, you will want a master’s degree in accounting as you target becoming a senior accountant thereafter.
  • Your passion: As simple as it states, your passion will determine what master’s program best suits you. Your passion influences your drive as well as your commitment to achieving your set goals. If you have your eyes focused on a master’s in finance program, your passion will drive you to select and enroll in it.

Best Programs for Getting a Master’s in Finance

There are numerous programs where you can pursue a master’s in finance. One of the most critical determinants when choosing a graduate program is how much it costs. Some students may sail through using financial aid but many students are concerned about this approach. Most schools also require the students to have their bachelor’s in finance degree before enrolling. Some of the best masters in finance programs are below.

  • Master of Science in finance: This program is from the Drew University located in Madison, USA. It is a 30-credit program that focuses on analytical and quantitative tools and methods employed in the financial field. You can find further information on the school’s website
  • MS in finance: You can study this lucrative course at the Kogod School of Business, American University based in Washington, USA. It offers students having focused training in finance to prepare them for professional careers in the field. The university website provides additional information on this exquisite program.
  • Master of Science in financial analysis – STEM program: This course is practical-oriented to give students high-end financial analysis skills the University of San Francisco based in San Francisco, USA. 

The different masters in finance programs are almost similar, with minor differences arising from the units that institutions focus on. All these courses use the major principles and concepts of finance, which make them similar. However, some universities are more theoretical, some practical, and others focus on training students for the job market rather than research or deeper skills. This offers a clear comparison of most of the master’s in finance programs.

Difference between Studying Online and Traditional College for a Master’s of Finance Degree

There is a thin line separating the quality and technicality of studying for a master’s degree online as compared to a traditional college. Below are the main differences between the two modes of learning:

  • Online learning provides students with the opportunity of studying at their own pace and time, which is not possible in a traditional college. Online classes are more comfortable because you get to decide when and where to take your classes, which gives you ample time to understand the concepts. 
  • Online classes cost less than traditional college classes. College debt is one of the toughest things students deal with once they finish school. Most students apply for federal student aid during their courses to offset some of their debts. Therefore, online classes go the extra mile of helping students reduce their college loans.
  • Traditional college classes offer a more practical mode of learning, unlike online classes. Some concepts are well-understood when engaged in one-on-one with your lecturer. These practical skills are highly required especially in the corporate finance field. If not keen, you may lose out on most of the concepts when attending an online master in finance classes.

In Summary

A master’s degree in finance is one of the top-notch career programs that exist in modern times. This degree offers unique abilities to professionals that want to upgrade their financial analysis skills, change their field of specialization, or gain more knowledge in finance by studying related fields, such as economics.

This program has major benefits. Not only does it open up an ocean of opportunities for you, but it also equips you with enhanced theoretical and practical skills needed in the finance field. You also get to walk home with a fat salary knowing that your job supports your desired lifestyle. 

A master’s degree in finance opens doors to a range of careers for those who successfully bag the degree. Upon completing this degree, you have to decide whether you should seek employment or start your private practice, both of which are remunerative. The four major career paths for professionals with this degree include corporate finance, investment, and commercial banking, accounting, and private wealth management. The choice will be solely yours.

More so, you have a distinctive way of deciding between a master’s degree in finance versus business or accounting. You can achieve this by thoroughly understanding what each master’s program entails before making your choice. Your decision is also influenced by your career objectives, your key skills, your job, as well as your passion. Some of the crème de la crème of programs for getting a master’s in finance include Master of Science in Finance issued in the Drew University, Master of Finance issued in the Kogod School of Business, American University, and Master of Science in financial analysis- STEM program issued in the University of San Francisco.

Many financial industries depend on experienced and highly-skilled professionals, and those with a master’s degree in finance stand a huge chance of reaping big. They say education is your biggest asset. Therefore, do not sit back with that bachelor’s degree in Finance, convert it to a master’s degree, and open up your life to endless and untapped opportunities.

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