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Finance & Financial Management Major

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Finance & Financial Management

5,579 Master's Degrees Annually
67 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#38 in Popularity (Master's)
$79,830 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Finance & Financial Management Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many finance and financial management graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 5,579
Graduate Certificate 631
Doctor’s Degree 67

What Finance & Financial Management Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to finance were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Finance Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in finance should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Finance Majors

A major in finance prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Finance Majors

As a finance major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Finance & Financial Management Major?

People with a finance degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Budget Analysts 6.5% $76,220
Business Professors 18.0% $83,960
Credit Analysts 8.3% $71,520
Credit Counselors 13.8% $45,180
Financial Analysts 10.8% $85,660
Financial Managers, Branch or Department 18.7% $127,990
Financial Quantitative Analysts 9.6% $70,280
Fraud Examiners, Investigators and Analysts 9.6% $70,280
General and Operations Managers 9.1% $100,930
Investment Underwriters 9.6% $70,280
Loan Counselors 13.8% $45,180
Loan Officers 11.4% $63,040
Personal Financial Advisors 14.9% $88,890
Risk Management Specialists 9.6% $70,280
Sales Agents, Financial Services 6.2% $64,120
Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities 6.2% $64,120
Securities and Commodities Traders 6.2% $64,120
Treasurers and Controllers 18.7% $127,990

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Finance & Financial Management?

5,579 Master's Degrees Annually
37% Percent Women
20% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Finance and Financial Management runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #38 out of all the graduate majors we track. In 2019, about 5,579 graduates completed their master’s degree in this field. This major attracts more men than women. About 63% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of finance majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Finance Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 314
Black or African American 275
Hispanic or Latino 446
White 1,760
International Students 2,459
Other Races/Ethnicities 325

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Finance, too. About 44.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea

How Much Do Finance & Financial Management Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in finance have a median salary of $64,700 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $53,900 (25th percentile) and $78,675 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to finance.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $41,310 to $103,330 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to finance. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Finance & Financial Management Major  ( 41310 to 103330 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with finance require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for finance careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 20.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 3.1%
Some College Courses 8.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 38.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.4%
Master’s Degree 10.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 4.3%

Online Finance & Financial Management Programs

In 2018-2019, 954 schools offered a finance program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 134 29
Certificate (1-2 years) 53 12
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 1
Associate’s Degree 118 24
Bachelor’s Degree 79 23
Post-Baccalaureate 134 29
Master’s Degree 254 70
Post-Master’s 22 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 21 3
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Finance & Financial Management Worth It?

The median salary for a finance grad is $79,830 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 100% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $798,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to finance.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 135,757
Accounting 21,904
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 14,136
Human Resource Management 10,770
General Business/Commerce 10,236
Marketing 3,308
Management Information Systems 3,158
International Business 2,417
Entrepreneurial Studies 1,778
Taxation 1,611
Other Business, Management & Marketing 1,240
Real Estate 1,186
Hospitality Management 1,072
General Sales & Marketing 637
Construction Management 507
Business/Managerial Economics 267
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 221
Insurance 173
Business/Corporate Communications 80
Telecommunications Management 38
Business Support & Assistant Services 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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