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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Finance Degree Facts

May 16th, 2014

The problem with a Finance degree is that each school may have a different idea of what finance actually is. While each school may have its own definition, finance in general examines how to manage, move, and manipulate money. It is different from Accounting, which is basically tracking the money and organizing financial information.
Still, it is part of the group of inter-related subjects called FAME (finance, accounting, management, and economics). Some schools lump these topics into one program, and when they are separated from one another they share a lot of the same courses that it can be very easy to acquire a double major.
Before you can study it in college, you will first need to demonstrate an aptitude for mathematics. Once you are enrolled in a finance program, you will study the basics of the FAME subjects. Then you can start to specialize in any of the following:

  • Corporate finance. Here you focus on the financial management and procedures within a corporation.
  • International finance. This elevates the study of finance toward the international level, when business dealings between countries are involved.
  • Behavioral finance. This incorporates elements of psychology, sociology, and economics to explain the financial behavior of individuals or groups.
  • Financial mathematics. Many businesses deal with extremely complex mathematics in which their money will be involved in. This includes modeling interest rates and valuing derivative securities.

What Can You Do with a Finance Degree?
You can apply to just about any company with a job opening in their financial management department. There are a lot of tasks to be done here, including assisting in business planning, managing the company budget, monitoring the cash flow, making financial reports, evaluating opportunities, suggesting cost reduction and profit enhancement programs, and checking the company’s compliance with financial regulations.
With a finance degree you can also go to work in institutions that deal primarily with money. Banks are an obvious choice here, and there are a lot of tasks which you can do because of your finance training.
You can also apply to insurance carriers. You can advise the company’s customers, process insurance claims, and calculate the company’s risk in insuring certain items or persons. These are also basically the same jobs in the pensions sector.
Financial trading companies are also one of the more popular places that hire finance graduates. Here, you will be involved in buying and selling stocks, commodities, bonds, assets, and shares. This can be a very high-pressure work environment, but the potential financial rewards are great.
You can also be a financial consultant. In this job, you help your client (both individuals and businesses) improve the way they manage their finances. You offer advice on topics like the budget, investments, and debts.
What Are the Best Schools to Get a Finance Degree?
For the best training and for the best work opportunities after you graduate, here are the schools you should go to:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  4. University of Chicago
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  6. University of California, Berkeley
  7. New York University (NYU)
  8. Yale University
  9. Columbia University
  10. Princeton University

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