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Finance & Financial Management Major

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Finance & Financial Management

45,273 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
6,535 Master's Degrees Annually
#10 in Popularity
$79,830 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Finance & Financial Management Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many finance and financial management graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 45,279
Master’s Degree 6,535
Basic Certificate 3,956
Graduate Certificate 622
Associate’s Degree 305
Undergraduate Certificate 209
Doctor’s Degree 54

What Finance & Financial Management Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to finance were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Finance Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Finance Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to finance:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Finance Majors

Finance majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Finance & Financial Management Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with finance:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Budget Analysts 6.5% $76,220
Business Professors 18.0% $83,960
Credit Analysts 8.3% $71,520
Credit Counselors 13.8% $45,180
Financial Analysts 10.8% $85,660
Financial Managers, Branch or Department 18.7% $127,990
Financial Quantitative Analysts 9.6% $70,280
Fraud Examiners, Investigators and Analysts 9.6% $70,280
General and Operations Managers 9.1% $100,930
Investment Underwriters 9.6% $70,280
Loan Counselors 13.8% $45,180
Loan Interviewers and Clerks 12.4% $39,890
Loan Officers 11.4% $63,040
Personal Financial Advisors 14.9% $88,890
Risk Management Specialists 9.6% $70,280
Sales Agents, Financial Services 6.2% $64,120
Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities 6.2% $64,120
Securities and Commodities Traders 6.2% $64,120
Treasurers and Controllers 18.7% $127,990

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Financial Management?

45,279 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
30% Percent Women
25% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen undergraduate majors. It is the 10th most popular in the country with 45,273 students graduating with a bachelor’s in finance in 2018. This major attracts more men than women. About 70% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of finance majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Finance Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3,273
Black or African American 2,137
Hispanic or Latino 4,816
White 27,918
International Students 4,912
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,223

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Finance. About 10.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea

How Much Do Finance & Financial Management Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of finance and financial management students with a bachelor’s degree is $47,500 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $42,700 (25th percentile) and $52,050 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a finance degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $41,310 to $103,330 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to finance. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Finance & Financial Management Major  ( 41310 to 103330 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with finance require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to finance have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 20.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 3.1%
Some College Courses 8.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 38.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.4%
Master’s Degree 10.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 4.3%

Online Finance & Financial Management Programs

In 2017-2018, 955 schools offered a finance program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 122 23
Certificate (1-2 years) 55 10
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 123 25
Bachelor’s Degree 79 23
Post-Baccalaureate 122 23
Master’s Degree 274 80
Post-Master’s 27 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 22 3
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Finance & Financial Management Worth It?

The median salary for a finance grad is $79,830 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 100% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $798,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to finance.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 399,810
Accounting 107,851
General Business/Commerce 58,413
Marketing 49,179
Human Resource Management 26,853
Hospitality Management 20,194
Business Support & Assistant Services 19,248
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 18,282
Management Information Systems 14,578
International Business 10,536
Entrepreneurial Studies 8,522
Business/Managerial Economics 6,727
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 6,711
Other Business, Management & Marketing 5,750
General Sales & Marketing 5,673
Real Estate 5,183
Construction Management 3,375
Insurance 2,316
Taxation 1,888
Business/Corporate Communications 1,088
Telecommunications Management 48

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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