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Finance Major - Benefits of studying finance

Finance and economics studies broaden your economic competence and understanding of how the financial markets work. As a finance major, you will also gain knowledge of practical methods for investment, risk management, value appraisal and pricing of financial instruments.

In order to do well in the field of finance, you should be very particular with details and very organized. Being outgoing and service-minded are also good qualities to have in the field, as the work often involves a lot of contact with people. Naturally, to pursue a finance degree and career, you should also have an interest in economic analytics and decision-making.

Studying finance abroad

Finance degrees are generally available at most universities in some form. However, at undergraduate level, it is rarely given as a degree on its own, but rather as part of a degree in business or commerce. Often a business degree will give you the opportunity to choose an area to focus on - where finance is usually one of them. 

Finance is an area very open to international study. International experience, and potentially an additional language skill will often add to a finance major's popularity on the job market.

Further, there are few regulations requiring country specific registration in order to practice as a finance professional. One exception may be the job of financial trader, which may require some additional certification.

In order to find the perfect finance degree, it is worth giving thought to what it is you are looking for. What country are you most interested in? What kind of environment do you prefer - campus or city for example? Which schools with those degrees offer finance as an option? It is often beneficial to have a degree from an internationally known business school with a good reputation. This is especially true if you are looking to continue with an international career.

Finance students analyze a business' growth with charts and statistics

What can you do with a finance degree?

As finance can relate to essentially any industry, studying for a finance degree can prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities. Some common finance jobs include:

  • Treasurer
  • Personal financial adviser
  • Financial analyst
  • Auditor
  • Budget analyst
  • Loan officer
  • Buyer
  • Accountants
  • Collectors
  • Bank tellers

A common area that finance majors move into is the banking sector. In this case, you will be engaged in working with securities, foreign payments, credits and advising fund and stock market investments. In order to fit into this role, you will be required to have a university education within economics and/or finance with a minimum of a three year bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college.

Further finance jobs outside the banking world can be found in value appraisal and financing, trade and analysis of stocks and bonds, risk management, risk analysis and advising organizations around financial decisions and accounting. Because of increased integration, deregulation and demands on organizations' accounting systems, the outlook for the majority of finance majors looks bright, and so far nothing points at a change in this trend.

Finance jobs and salary

Here are some average stats about financial analyst jobs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2019 median annual financial analyst salary

USD $81,590 (May 2019)

Typical entry-level education

Bachelor's degree

Number of financial analyst jobs, 2019

487,800

Job outlook, 2019 - 2029

5% growth (faster than average)

The average salary of finance jobs (according to PayScale.com):

USD $57,102

USD $51,388


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