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Finance & Financial Management

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2021 Finance & Financial Management Degree Guide

The backbone behind any company is its financial team. They budget and manage the capital that firms have acquired and invested. As opposed to accounting, finance is the study of managing and manipulating money, in order to fit into the company's budget and prepare for future success.

A major in Finance & Financial Management teaches students how to make logical financial decisions for organizations. They will learn how to plan, manage, and analyze the financial and economic aspect of business. There are a few concentrations within this major; they include Banking and Financial Support Services, Financial Planning and Services, International Finance, Investments and Securities, Public Finance, and Credit Management. While pursuing this major, you will be taking courses in investments, financial management, international finance, accounting and statistics, and financial markets and institutions.

#14 Most Popular Major
56.2k Degrees Awarded
-1.4% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, finance and financial management was the 14th most popular major nationwide with 56,186 degrees awarded. This represents a 1.4% reduction in finance degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -56,960.

The United States has 713 different schools where you can get a degree in finance and financial management. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Finance & Financial Management ranking analyzes 317 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for finance and financial management students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of finance programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Finance & Financial Management

Students should enjoy working with numbers and have an interest in learning about money, as well as stock, bonds, forecasting and budgeting. Interest in financial markets would be ideal. Students will flex their creative skills finding solutions to budgets and finance problems.

To prepare for this major, it is advised to take prior courses in Statistics, Economics, Business, Computer applications, and Calculus. This program is not only offered as a Bachelor's Degree, but students can continue onto higher education and receive a Master's or Doctorate.

Finance Degree Program Entry Requirements

finance and financial management degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional finance certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Finance & Financial Management Degree Types

There are many different finance degree levels. You can get anything from a associate's degree in finance and financial management to the highest finance degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Different finance and financial management degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to finance, with approximately 38.9% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for finance workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 38.6%
High School Diploma 20.1%
Master’s Degree 10.3%
Some College Courses 8.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.7%

Most workers in finance have at least a bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in finance and financial management have received.


The education level required is different depending on the finance career you are seeking.

Finance Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$51.5k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Finance and Financial Management will typically enter into careers as Financial Managers and Analysts. These professionals work in various firms and oversee their financial activates and plan for their present and future success.

Another path that is possible for graduates is to become Personal Financial Advisors. These professionals work with people to manage their money, both for short and long term. There is a large demand for these Advisors, due to the recent financial crisis and amount of baby boomers retiring.

Growth Projected for Finance Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your finance degree? Finance & Financial Management careers are expected to grow 7.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to finance and financial management.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
General and Operations Managers 2,468,300 9.1%
Financial Managers 689,000 18.7%
Tellers 460,900 -8.3%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 398,900 6.2%
Loan Officers 354,900 11.4%

How Much Money Do Finance Grads Make?

Recently graduated finance and financial management students earned an average of $51,534 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $13,200 to as high as $183,600. As you might expect, salaries for finance graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Finance Careers

Salaries for finance and financial management graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers finance grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Chief Executives $200,140
Financial Managers $146,830
General and Operations Managers $123,880
Personal Financial Advisors $121,770
Business Professors $103,330

Getting Your Finance & Financial Management Degree

With over 1,877 different finance degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased finance school rankings to help you with this.

One of 21 majors within the Business, Management & Marketing area of study, Finance & Financial Management has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Marketing 51,241
Human Resource Management 26,823

View All Finance Related Majors >


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