A finance major is a great choice for anyone who is interested in a business degree. Finance is a very broad field and there are many different opportunities out there for graduating college students with a finance major. Most jobs that deal with finance are expected to grow 6% from 2018 through 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interested in other business majors? Check out our total guide to business majors.
This is the biggest sector in terms of finance major jobs. If you have a job in corporate finance you are in charge of helping find the money to run the business, grow the business (through acquisitions and mergers), plan ahead for the future of the company, and manage all the cash on hand. One main goal of someone working for a big corporation would be to maximize shareholder value – essentially, increase the stock price. This could be done though different capital investment decisions or strategies implemented.
One skill most employers will look for in corporate finance is problem solving skills. There will be many different problems that arise throughout your career, and your employers will want to see how you handle these problems. You may end up working for a huge fortune 500 company or a small local business with potential for growth. Job stability is relatively good while working for a corporation because it is not as dependent on how much you sell but rather if you keep the company’s long term success in mind.
Investments is an interesting sector in the finance world. There are so many jobs you could do in the finance world that deal with investments. The main job that everyone thinks about when it comes to investments is an investment banker. Investment bankers are in charge of creating capital for others (companies or governments). Investment bankers also help with the merging and acquisition aspect that companies undertake.
It is good to have a background in investments as it may help you create personal wealth for yourself after graduation. If you are familiar with the stock market and different types of financial assets used to create wealth you will be in a very good spot.
Most college or universities will have some sort of investing clubs on campus. These clubs may either deal with equity management, fixed income management, or derivatives management. These clubs offer real world experience to students by allowing them to trade real money and make investment decisions for their respective schools.
One of the most useful aspects of finance is financial planning. If you are thinking about being a wealth adviser or a financial planner this is what you will want to focus on/specialize in. Even if that is not what you are interested in, have a good background in financial planning will help you make better financial decisions for yourself moving forward.
If you decide you want to specialize in financial planning, you may want to take classes that cover topics such as:
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Personal finance
- Risk and insurance
Many students who graduate with a background in financial planning take their CFP. CFP stands for certified financial planner and is a great designation to have if you want to be recognized and respected by others in the industry and potential clients.
Finance Major Jobs
There are many different finance major jobs. Depending on what you are interested in, and the background knowledge you accumulated in college, there should be a plethora of finance major jobs.
A financial analyst is one of the most popular finance major jobs for students who just graduated college with a degree in finance. A financial analyst does exactly what the job description says – they analyze different aspects of the business.
Their role will depend on what type of company they are working for. If you are working for an investment firm, a financial analyst may provide information with regards to investment decisions. They may review stocks, bonds, and other types of investments before advising portfolio managers if financial planners.
A lot of financial analysts work in the corporate finance field. They will create reports and other useful insights to report to “higher-ups” in the company. Companies rely heavily on financial analysts and this is a great position to start out in if you want to climb the corporate ladder.
|Number of jobs (2018)||329,500|
|Job outlook (2018-2026)||6%|
|Employment Change (2018-2026)||+20,300|
A budget analyst helps companies organize their finances. Their main job is to keep spending in check and develop a budget report for the company. A budget is a major key for a company. A budget keeps spending in check and allows the company to grow and expand.
This job could be utilized by any company regardless of their sector. Government agencies use budgets all the time when creating new projects. Corporate businesses use budgets to help growth and to remain profitable. Some people in the personal sector may hire you as a consultant to help them create and manage a personal budget plan.
|Number of jobs (2018)||56,900|
|Job outlook (2018-2026)||4%|
|Employment Change (2018-2026)||+2,400|
The main goal of a financial advisor is to advise clients to make the best decisions with their money, based on their goals. Each and every client will need different advice because they will have different goals in mind. This means that a financial advisor should have good problem solving skills and be able to think critically.
Not only do you need good problem solving skills, you should also have a good personality and be trustworthy. The personal side of finance is all about building relationships and trust. You will get most of your business from referrals from other clients, so it is important that all of your clients trust you! You will advise clients in investments, college planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.
|Number of jobs (2018)||271,700|
|Job outlook (2018-2026)||7%|
|Employment Change (2018-2026)||+19,100|
A financial managers main goal is the financial health of the company they work for. Some tasks they may be in charge of are creating financial reports, directing investment activity, and keeping in mind the long term financial goals of the company.
You may be wondering what the difference between a financial manager and a financial analyst. A financial manager is in charge of a financial analyst. As a financial analyst, you are working your way towards being a manager. Companies may have different titles for different positions but this could also fall under a chief financial officer (CFO).
|Number of jobs (2018)||653,600|
|Job outlook (2018-2026)||16%|
|Employment Change (2018-2026)||+104,700|
These are just a couple of finance major jobs available in the financial sector. As you can see, the financial sector is a very broad field and there is a type of job for just about anyone. If you obtain your finance degree and have a good base knowledge of financial concepts, you should not have any problems finding a finance major job after graduation.
Is it important to have good business ethics when working in the financial sector, as you are dealing with other people and other businesses money. Trust is very important in the financial industry.
Some additional jobs in the financial sector include: securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent, bank tellers, treasurers, investment banker and stock broker.
Statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics
Finance Major Salary
As you can see above, the salary of someone with a finance degree can vary widely. A finance major salary depends on what kind of job they obtain in the world of finance. With that being said, data has been collected from recent college graduates who graduated with finance degrees. According to a survey conducted by Payscale, students who earned a finance degree have a starting median salary of $47,900. Students who graduated with a finance degree can expect to make $88,300 once they hit the middle of their career.
As you can see in the table below, students with finance degrees are near the top in average salary when compared to other business majors. Check out the table below for more information on other business majors and their average career earnings.
|Undergraduate Major||Starting Median Salary||Mid-Career Median Salary||Mid-Career 25th Percentile||Mid-Career 75th Percentile||Mid-Career 90th Percentile|
A finance major is a great choice for anyone considering a business major. There are plenty of finance major jobs available to students after they graduate. Students can expect to earn a competitive wage as finance majors have one of the highest average salaries when compared to other business majors.
Any major in college will be a challenge – college is not easy. However, finance was not on our list of hardest majors, so there are definitely more challenging majors out there. Finance should be pursued by those who enjoy working with numbers and take an analytical approach to problems.
There are plenty of finance major jobs out there. Some of the most popular finance major jobs include financial analyst, budget analyst, financial planner, and financial manager. Finance majors tend to make more after graduating college when compared to other business majors.