Is Finance a Good Major? [2021 Guide]

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Is Finance a good major? We're comparing it to other business majors and looking at what Finance majors can do and earn in their career.

Is Finance a good major? We’re comparing it to other business majors and looking at what a bachelor’s degree in finance can do and earn in their career.

Is Finance a Good Major

If you are considering a career in finance as a financial manager, budget analyst, or one of the other jobs for finance majors, you may be wondering: what goes into a finance degree, and what is the job outlook for me once I graduate? What can you do with a finance degree?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the field is growing rapidly, and finance professionals enjoy fairly high salaries.

Why Major in Finance?

Why Major in Finance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the finance field will grow 5% for the next 10 years. This is faster than the average for all jobs. No matter if you have a BA Finance vs BS Finance, or what your job title or specialty is, an on-campus or finance online degree may connect you with outstanding job opportunities and job security.

The job security is partly because finance is such a specialized, narrow field. Graduates may perform many different functions, but each requires a laser focus on the tasks and procedures you will learn in school.

As you advance at a company, your value may become greater as your level of specialized knowledge also grows.

If you already have a business background, working as a financial analyst may be a perfect fit. Most employers want you to have at least 5 years of experience in a related field as well as your degree.

Why Finance Instead of Other Business Majors?

business woman working on company's finance department

Why study finance instead of, say, business administration or accounting?

Since business administrators have so many different functions, they are often pulled in different directions during a workday. With financial degrees and jobs, you may focus on creating budget reports, analyzing spending, advising clients, or managing the finances of a department or corporation.

If you major in finance, you may also be entering a field that has a much higher growth rate than many other business and related careers.

Accounting is often a gateway for those who want a career in finance. But the advantage over being an analyst or manager, rather than an accountant, is more career mobility. You may have a narrow focus but will not be locked into a single endeavor or workflow.

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Why Study Finance?

finance major students presenting their work to their professor

Majoring in finance may allow you to compete for a variety of jobs. Here are a few descriptions of the most pertinent ones.

Personal Financial Planning

In this industry, you may work for a large bank or investment firm. You may advise clients of setting up and maintaining their portfolios, including choosing new investment vehicles. Financial planners should have fantastic communication and customer service skills. This helps gain the trust of clients.

Financial Analysis

financial analyst working on his laptop

A financial analyst typically works for a large corporation. There are also opportunities in the nonprofit and government sectors.

An analyst looks at how money is being spent and helps allocate resources to keep the company viable. Analysts may look at payroll, marketing, requisitioning, and sales to determine the best courses of action.

Investor Relations

Another option for those majoring in finance is to become an investor relations associate. In this role, you may prepare financial documents and data about your company. You may then present this information to potential investors, media outlets, and analysts within your organization.

Finance Major Jobs

financial advisor talking to a couple

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, there are options for graduate work in the field of finance. Getting a master’s or doctorate in finance may open new possibilities for your career.

A master’s degree may teach you specific methods for things like investment projections and financial planning or analysis. In some areas, you may also teach with a master’s degree. A master’s degree typically has a focus, so you may focus on a specific area of finance that interests you.

A master’s degree may also set you up for management at many corporations and other settings. It can help distinguish you from those in the finance field who only have a bachelor’s degree.

Doctoral degrees in finance may add even more specialization to your experience. You may be able to go into an instructional or research sector. You may also be qualified for any job in the financial industry with a doctorate.

Finance Major Salary

Finance Major Salary

Here’s a comparison of four of the careers you can look into as a finance major.

Career Annual Median Salary
Financial Advisor $87,850
Financial Analyst $81,590
Budget Analyst $76,540
Investor Relations Associate $62,270

These numbers are averages, taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. They are meant to act as a guide for you to see what jobs you can get with a finance degree. Your location and company may cause deviations from these numbers.

Is Finance a Good Degree?

finance graduate in a job interview

Yes, finance is a good degree if you are mathematically inclined and detail-oriented. Being able to present information and gain client trust can also help in your career. Before you major in finance, be honest with yourself about whether you have these qualities or how you might develop them.

One positive aspect of your finance degree is the number of entry-level jobs it may qualify you for. You may work as a planner, analyst, or investment associate with no training beyond your degree and related experience. These jobs pay well and present opportunities for growth.

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Remember that you usually need experience in finance to get hired for an entry-level position. Look for internships that will give you some of this experience. The more you have, the better situated you might be for a career in finance after you finish school.

Is Finance a Good Major?

finance major students discussing while walking into their classroom

Yes, a finance major is a good major for many undergraduate students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in business and financial occupations over the next 10 years. Financial advisor, budget analyst, and investor relations associate are some common careers in the field.

If you want to work in the business field as a specialized financial advisor or analyst, this may be the college major for you.

Questions Related to Earning Your Finance Degree

financial analyst working on her laptop

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

Finance Degree vs Accounting Degree – What’s the Difference?

The difference between accounting and finance has to do with the day-to-day focus for someone working in either field.

Accountants are concerned with revenue flowing in and out of the business on each day of operation. Working in finance means you have a much broader view and set of tasks. You may plan and project overall growth for the entire company or department.

Is Finance a Hard Major?

financial advisor meeting with his clients

No college degree is “easy.” They all require several years of sustained effort and the ability to learn quickly. You must also show mastery of everything you learn. You may be doing all this while also taking care of a family and working a different job.

A degree in finance becomes more feasible if you enjoy and excel at math. You must also be able to analyze large amounts of data, then present your findings in a way colleagues and stakeholders will understand. Attention to detail is vital if you are considering a career in the financial sector.

How Much Do Finance Majors Make?

Based on the statistics we found, you can expect to make around $62,000 to around $87,000 as a yearly salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is for an entry-level financial planner, analyst, or investor associate.

Your earning may increase with time, experience, and continued education. To maximize your success, you may consider earning a graduate degree after you enter the financial field.

Is a Finance Degree Worth It?

financial advisor closing a deal with his clients

Yes, a finance degree is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial jobs are set to grow at 5% over the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations. Common careers in this field include chief finance officer, financial manager, cost analyst, and investment banker.

If you enjoy math, have good attention to detail, and can interact with people effectively, we encourage you to apply to a distance-learning or other program to help set you on the path of working in the financial services field.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.