Are you thinking of an accelerated online finance degree? Then you were probably the kid who always knew how much change you had in your piggy bank.
You like money. Not just having money but managing money, studying finances, analyzing growth and making predictions about the best investments to make. When you earned your first paycheck did you spend it all at the corner store on Fun Dip, Nerds and Pop Rocks? Or did you have a plan? You saved, you invested, you made your money work for you.
Finance is a burgeoning field with an expected job market increase of 8% in the next 7 years. The employment world of finance is as varied as the ways you earn money. From analysts, managers, sales and advisors there is a niche for you if you are ambitious, love numbers and computing figures.
It’s been on your mind for awhile. Your backburner dream of working in finance. You know you would be good at it. But you can’t put life on hold for 4 years to pursue a degree. You know that 99% of jobs in finance will require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Because you are good with money and numbers, you have added it up. It could cost you over $200,000 to get that degree! You might have had a paper route since you were 13 but that doesn’t mean you have money like that.
But you are ambitious and hardworking. Those skills can work for you now. You can get a bachelor’s degree in finance in 30 months and it can cost you $100000s less than you thought. Analyze these facts and see if they compute.
Accelerated Finance Degree Programs Overview
Finance is the cornerstone of most businesses. It makes sense that a finance degree is typically a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance. A finance degree prepares you for both working in business and in finance.
John Paulson, a famous American investor, has been called “the man who made one of the biggest fortunes in Wall Street history.” Paulson started out his career at New York University’s College of Business with a degree in finance.
He applied what he learned! He went from being a money manager to investing his own money to make an estimated $8.6 billion dollars. His finance degree paid off big!
There is no guarantee that a degree in finance will profit you over $8 billion dollars but it will prepare you to be a wise money manager both corporately and personally through classes like:
- Sustainable Enterprise
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Ethics in Contemporary Organizations
- Social-Ethical-Regulatory Issues in Business
- Financial Markets and Institutions
- Principles of Investments
- Strategic Management
- Supply Chain Management
With classes like those under your belt you will be ready to go big in the financial world. But how big is big? Check out these careers and the income you could be making.
Careers with an Accelerated Finance Degree
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that there will be an additional 632, 400 jobs in the next 7 years in finance and business. The average yearly wage for all those new jobs is estimated at $66,530. That is almost double the average wage of a typical North American employee.
|Real Estate Assessor|| |
|Budget Analyst|| |
|Purchasing Agent|| |
|Financial Analyst|| |
|Financial Manager|| |
|Personal Financial Advisor|| |
|Financial Services Sales Agent|| |
|Financial Examiner|| |
|Management Analyst|| |
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
You might have noticed that a degree in finance holds many similarities to a degree in accounting. Many of the careers you could pursue would be satisfied with either degree. A key difference is a degree in Finance will prepare you for the science of planning and distributing the assets of a business. Accounting is more geared towards the recording and reporting of financial transactions. Both deal with money and both can make you good money.
Accelerated Finance Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
A key skill in the world of finance is good timing when it comes to investments. Same principle applies to starting your degree in finance.
An accelerated online finance degree can be started any time of the year. That means that you can choice to start your degree when it works for your life. Now that makes good sense! In a traditional program you might feel like you are trapped by the September – April schedule. But you don’t have to be.
An online degree offers you the benefit of planning your start for when it works for you. Whether that is the middle of the summer or right before Christmas.
Types of Accelerated Finance Degree Programs
An accelerated finance degree has 6 different concentrations. Are you interested in international travel and speak a second language? International finance might be a good fit for you. Do you want to work with individuals or with a corporation? Do you like investing or risk management?
Each area has their own set of jobs and perks. You just need to choose which one spikes your interest.
Purdue University Global offers the following Online Bachelor’s in Finance programs. Purdue’s online classes are accelerated, lasting only 6 weeks long.
- Bachelor’s in Finance – General Finance
- Bachelor’s in Finance – Investments
- Bachelor’s in Finance – Wealth Management
- Bachelor’s in Finance – Real Estate
No matter what concentration you choose, your degree in finance can teach you excellent communication skills, IT skills, analytical and logical problem solving and how to take initiative to solve a financial problem.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Finance Degree Even More
You’ve made the decision to start but you are dreading the thought of 5-6 long, drudging years before you can be back out in the workforce making big money. Never fear! Even though a finance degree means you will have to earn at least 180 credits, you do not need to take 6 years to do that.
Are you questioning those math skills? You know that a typical student earns 30 credits a year so it should take 6 years to earn 180 degrees. But not for the clever student who uses these tips.
#1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Why go to class when you can just earn the credit by writing the exam? It sounds like a complete scam but it is legit. Most universities have a Credit by Exam program in place where you can earn 30 credits towards your degree by writing the exams for the classes.
30 credits is the equivalent of a full year of classes in a traditional program. Crazy, right?
If you think you already know the material for business management or microeconomics than you can just register for the exam and write 90 multiple choice questions. Score yourself 3 credits in less than 2 hours! Even if the material is not familiar to you, you can buy a study guide and study hard. When you take the exam, you only have to get 50% of the questions right to receive credit.
#2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
Do you have experience in the areas of business or finance? You can earn college credit for what you have accomplished at work.
This is called Credit for Prior Learning and most universities have a program in place where your previous life, work and military experience can be evaluated for credit. You would talk to your advisor at the university you are enrolled with and put together a portfolio that shows your training, experience and credentials. You submit this portfolio and can be given credit for the matching classes.
- Intro to Business
- Personal Finance
You could even apply to earn credit for your elective classes if you have experience in humanities or languages. The maximum number of credits that you can typically earn through Credit for Prior Learning is 15.
#3. Stay continuously enrolled with the max course load
Eventually though, you do need to take classes. How you take your classes will determine how quickly you finish!
You can take a typical 15 credits per semester. You may already have 45 credits from Credit by Exam and Credit for Prior Learning. You still need to earn 135 credits. At 15 credits per fall and winter semester it will take you 4.5 years.
The secret is that most universities will allow you to take 18 credit hours per semester. Just one extra class every semester. Don’t forget to capitalize on the summer semester. When all your friends are posting pics of their hot dog legs by the pool you could be taking a full credit load.
This strategy can earn you 54 credits in 12 months.
Instead of your finance degree taking 4.5 years it will end up being 2.5 years. 30 months.
Then you can post pictures of your hot dog legs by the pool in February when you are on a paid vacation from your high paying finance job. While your friends are still slogging through university classes.
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Is this your second (or third or fourth) try at getting a college degree? There is no shame in that! You can use those previous classes you took at college to your advantage now.
No college credit is wasted! You can request to have that credit transferred to your finance degree program.
The class must:
- Be taken at an accredited college
- Have a decent mark, at least a C
- Fit your new degree requirements
Then boo-yah! More credit to apply to your current degree from something you already did. Thank you Me from Yesteryear! Even if a class doesn’t match your degree it can still be used as an elective. Use up your pre-existing credit to fill those holes.
Lower Tuition Costs
So Mr. or Ms. Future Moneybags, answer this question. What is the best way to save money on a finance degree?
The answer: take fewer classes. Not only does this save you time but it can save you truckloads of money.
At Colorado Tech University your tuition will be $325 per credit hour, a 3 credit class will cost you $975. But that is not the only way to earn 3 credits. You can take a financial accounting exam with the College Level Examination Program and earn 3 credits for $85. Same credit but you just saved $890.
You can test out of classes for all 30 credits and save $8,900.
You can be the financial whiz. What is a better investment: $46,225 or $266, 460 for a 5 year degree in finance?
Accelerated Finance Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
Once you’ve decided to start your accelerated online finance degree you decide how fast you want to finish. There are 2 options available to you and which is faster depends on how you like to work.
There are universities that offer either accelerated online classes or self paced classes. An accelerated online class has a set schedule determined by the school. The class starts when at a pre-determined time and will need to be completed by the deadline. A good motivator if you need an external source keeping you on track.
Self paced classes are exactly like they sound. You set the pace. Once you register for a self paced class you are the one who decides how fast you complete the class and even how many classes you complete in the timeframe. A brilliant fit if you can drive yourself to work fast!
Option 1: Accelerated Online Finance Classes
Accelerated classes have a distinct advantage over the traditional classes you could take. They are twice as fast. A typical class will run for a 16 week semester. If you sign up for an online finance class you can complete the class in 8 weeks. You could also take another class right after the first and end up with twice as many credits in the same time frame as a regular class. That is a good investment!
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Finance Classes
Do you see yourself as more of an academic sprinter than a marathon runner? If you love to complete classes at high and intense speeds look at self paced online classes. There are 2 universities, Western Governors University and Capella University, that offer self paced finance classes.
At Capella you pay a one time fee of $2300. This fee covers you for a 12 week session and you can complete as many classes as you want during that time. Sound incredible? It is.
In 12 weeks you could complete 6 classes for $2300. You can take up to 2 at one time but can pick up a new one as soon as you finish the first.
This ends up at a ¼ of the cost of a typical class ($1500) and you are completing classes at 2.5 times the speed of a typical semester.
Finance Degree Accreditation
An accredited degree is a valid degree. Accreditation is not just a fancy designation, it can mean the difference between your future employer recognizing your degree or not.
Most regional colleges will be regionally accredited. That is good enough. You can aim for a higher level of accreditation by looking for colleges that have accreditation by:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) (most finance degrees are also business degrees)
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Make sure you have that stamp of accreditation before you start a degree program. You are not saving money or time if your degree ends up being fake.
List of Finance Degrees Online
|College Name||Degrees Offered||Accreditation|
|Ashford University|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Baker College|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Bemidji State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Brandman University|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Brescia University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|California State University – East Bay|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Capella University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Central Methodist University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Colorado State University – Global Campus|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Colorado Technical University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Columbia College|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Columbia Southern University|| ||Distance Education Accrediting Commission|
|Dallas Baptist University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Davenport University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|DeSales University|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Dickinson State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Excelsior College|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Florida International University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Fort Hays State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Franklin Pierce University|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Franklin University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Golden Gate University|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Granite State College|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Grantham University|| ||Distance Education Accrediting Commission|
|Huntington University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Indiana University – East|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Indiana Wesleyan University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Kansas State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Liberty University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Limestone College|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Linfield College|| ||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Metropolitan State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Missouri State University – Springfield|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|National University|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|New England College of Business|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Northeastern University|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Northern State University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Northwood University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Old Dominion University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Pennsylvania State University|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Philadelphia University|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Purdue University – Global|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Rasmussen College|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Regent University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Regis University – Denver|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Saint Leo University|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Southern Illinois University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Southern New Hampshire University|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|SUNY College of Technology – Canton|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Thomas Edison State University|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Alabama – Birmingham|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of Houston – Clear Lake|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of Houston – Victoria|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of Maryland – University College|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Memphis|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of Minnesota – Crookston|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of North Carolina – Pembroke|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Upper Iowa University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Walden University|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Walsh College|| ||Higher Learning Commission|
|Washington State University|| ||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Western Governors University|| ||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
Are you still sold on a degree in finance? Excited about the thought of a job market with a projected 8% growth in the next 7 years? Your fingers are itching to start a career in finance where you could have a yearly average wage of $66,530 (or more!)?
Now you know that it doesn’t have to take you 5 years and over $200,000. Doesn’t that sound more doable?
5 years from now you could:
A) Have completed your finance degree in 2.5 years for $46,000. Have been working for 2.5 years already earning $66,530 a year. Assuming you took a loan to pay for your degree you would still have earned $120,325 in the last 5 years.
B) Have started a finance degree at a traditional college. Graduated with your degree after 5 years in class and are now $242,530 dollars in debt.
The choice is yours. Which option makes better financial sense to you?