What Can You Do with a Finance Degree? 7 Careers to Consider

What can you do with a finance degree

You’ve always been fascinated by the finance field—the buzz of following stocks and international business news just seems interesting. But there’s more to finance careers than stock exchanges. It’s a large field with several unique paths and job titles you can obtain throughout your professional career.

You know these jobs require formal training and education, but you might still be wondering: What can you do with a finance degree? It turns out there are several potential paths to pursue.

We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 620,000 job postings calling for candidates with a finance degree over the past year.1 This data helped us determine the finance careers in highest demand.

Keep reading to learn more about some positions you may encounter on your finance career path.

7 Finance degree jobs worth examining

The good news is that earning a finance degree is no dead end. This education and training can help you qualify for several rewarding roles. Let’s take a closer look at seven finance careers that could be yours after graduating.

1. Financial analyst

A lot of thought—and work—goes into the financial decisions made by businesses and organizations. Financial analysts are the professionals tasked with researching and advising these organizations on financial investment decisions. They take a deep dive into the financial health of investments, research market trends and help businesses make the most of the market they’re operating in.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Research investment opportunities for businesses
    • Buy and sell stocks and bonds on behalf of institutional investors
    • Study industry trends and manage portfolios
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)26 percent (as fast as average)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$85,660

2. Personal financial advisor

Personal financial advisors are probably the finance professionals who are the most visible to the public. They’re the people who assist clients in managing their personal investments to fit their needs—for example, planning for retirement, managing investment risks, or planning what to do with their estates. These professionals depend on gaining clients and maintaining relationships so they’ll need strong interpersonal skills. People feel strongly about their personal finances so it helps to be an advisor who can explain their options in a clear, calm and confident manner.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Attracting clients through networking events and prospecting
    • Meeting with clients to discuss investment opportunities and priorities
    • Researching investments and educating clients about potential risks and rewards
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)27 percent (faster than average)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$88,890

3. Management analyst

Management analysts are the people businesses turn to when they need help improving the profitability and efficiency of a process or specific area of their business. These experienced professionals often work as outside consultants—which helps them give an unbiased and objective view of what might be going wrong and what could be done to make a change. They work closely with stakeholders to gather information about what is currently being done, identify problem areas and then develop and propose potential solutions to management teams.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Analyze revenue, expenditure and financial data to solve or improve a procedure
    • Develop solutions and recommend changes to increase an organization’s efficiency
    • Advise organizations on ways to reduce costs and increase revenues
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)214 percent (much faster than average)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$83,610

4. Financial manager

Financial managers are the senior-level business professionals responsible for guiding the financial policy of entire organizations or large divisions of a company. They review financial reports and profitability forecasts to help plan where organizational investments are made—and, if necessary, where cuts should be made to improve profitability.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Manage the overall financial health of an organization
    • Study market trends to maximize profits, find opportunities and create forecasts
    • Create financial statements and reports to help management make decisions
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)216 percent (much faster than average)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$127,990

5. Bookkeeper

This entry-level finance position is responsible for the recording of all financial transactions made by an organization or department. They maintain a general ledger by recording (and verifying) costs and income, as well as produce reports used by other financial professionals for higher-level decision-making.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Enter financial information and transactions into spreadsheets and databases
    • Create balance sheets, income statement and totals by account
    • Ensure accuracy in all data and report any differences
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)2-4 percent (decline)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$40,240

6. Tax examiner/revenue agent

Not all finance degree jobs are found in the private sector. Tax examiners and revenue agents work for federal, state and local governments to investigate the tax filings and financial information of individuals and organizations. They identify any potential under- or over-payment of taxes owed and work with these entities to receive clarifying documentation or development plans for resolving the difference.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Verify that citizens and companies are paying the proper amount of taxes
    • Audit and investigate tax returns to ensure accuracy
    • Issue refunds or contact clients to request additional payment if proper amount was not paid
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028)2-2 percent (decline)
  • Median annual salary (2018)2$54,440

7. Loan officer

Whenever money is lent from one entity to another, there’s an expectation of repayment—and the risk if this expectation isn’t met. A loan officer is the person responsible for vetting a borrower’s ability to pay back a loan. They evaluate the financial information of loan applicants with the help of underwriting software to help lenders decide if a loan agreement is worth making.

  • Typical duties2:
    • Meet with loan applicants to record information and answer questions
    • Explain loan options, types and agreements to clients
    • Analyze applicants’ financial information, such as credit score and income for loan eligibility
  • Projected employment growth (2018–2028) 28 percent (Faster than average)
  • Median annual salary (2018) 2$63,040

Start on your finance career path

So what can you do with a finance degree? It turns out there are several options. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some in-demand finance careers, you should have a clearer picture of whether or not this fits your career goals.

If you’re intrigued by some of these finance degree jobs, the next step is acquiring the necessary education. Check out the Rasmussen University Finance degree page to learn more about how they can help you reach your goals.

1Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 620,319 finance degree job postings, Apr. 01, 2019 – Mar. 31, 2020).
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [information accessed March 2020] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Salary ranges represent national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Ranges do not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2018. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.

Callie Malvik

Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.

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This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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