Degrees Offered To A Finance Major

Depending on your career aspirations and individual interests, a finance major may pursue a variety of degrees and/or certifications in the course of his or her career.

An overview of the available options:

  • Certifications. These are generally pursued once you have begun your career in the financial services industry, although in some cases they may be obtained while still in school. Available certifications include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC), Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), Chartered Market Technician (CMT), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
  • Associate's degree. The associate's degree is the most rudimentary degree a finance major can obtain. It generally takes two years to complete and offers courses in the basics of the finance industry. It may provide a springboard to a career in financial services, but if you aspire to anything more than entry-level work, you may be better served in obtaining a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's degree. This is the degree most people initially think of when they first think about obtaining a finance degree. It usually takes four to five years to complete and is required for consideration for employment in many positions in the financial services industry.
  • Master's degree. A master's degree is usually considered after a bachelor's degree recipient has been in the working world for a few years and wants to advance to managerial or executive-level positions in his or her chosen field.
  • Doctorate degree. This is the highest degree a finance major can obtain. Because of the rigor of this degree program, it is generally only pursued by those who wish to teach finance at a bachelor's degree level or higher.

Sample University Guide to Finance Degree Programs (PDF)

Last Updated: 06/08/2014


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