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If you possess keen business savvy and a love for crunching numbers, then earning an MBA in finance online may be the next step to furthering your career in the world of finance. Students who earn an MBA in finance online can go on to extremely lucrative careers, especially as they climb the career ladder. According to Payscale, established professionals (10 to 19 years of experience) who hold an MBA in finance earn $109,666 per year on average — far above many other careers. Read on to learn more about what to expect from earning a finance master’s degree online, including career prospects.

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Students who earn an MBA in finance online can go on to extremely lucrative careers, especially as they climb the career ladder.

Across the board, earning an online MBA with a finance concentration correlates with higher salaries, especially when earnings over time are considered. In fact, for professionals with five to nine years of experience, MBA holders earn an average of $10,000 per year more than than professionals in the same field who hold only a bachelor’s degree.

Comparison of Finance Master’s Degrees

There are a no shortage of online master’s in finance programs for you to potentially pursue. An MBA, however, gives you the broadest introduction to the world of business, compared to other popular degrees like a master’s in finance or master’s in accounting. By earning an online MBA in finance, you focus on the financial aspects of business while receiving a solid foundation in all areas of business.

Degree Description Average Salary* Length
Master’s of Science in Finance A master’s in finance (MF) is a good fit for someone who’s sure they want a career laser focused on finance, such as in trading or investments. MF curriculum often includes in-depth courses on mathematics, markets and investments, and financial analysis and reporting. MF programs don’t often require or encourage prior work experience, so students in these programs tend to be younger. $150,000 1 Year
Master’s Taxation and Accounting This program prepares you to guide businesses and individuals in the private sector through the myriad of rules and regulations surrounding the process of taxation. By studying the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues surrounding taxation, you’ll be able to provide sound tax and business advice. This curriculum will often prepare students to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. $54,000 1 Year
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance An MBA provides you with a broad spectrum of knowledge related to running businesses, including marketing, business law and regulations, cash flow, and operations management. With a concentration in finance, you’ll focus on issues related to corporate and international finance, investments and portfolio management, and issues surrounding financial institutions and capital markets. $64,121 2 years

Graduates of finance MBA online programs are expected to understand and apply a wide range of financial concepts, including financial management, budgeting, and regulatory compliance. By and large, the courses you take in your online MBA in finance program will depend on the school you choose, but you can explore sample curriculum below.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Financial Forecasting Create sound financial plans through budgeted financial statements, variance analysis, and avoiding bias in your forecasts.

TITLE: Finance Director

SALARY: growth of 10%

Financial Compliance Manage financial risk, address security concerns, and ensure legal compliance.

TITLE: Certified Public Accountant

SALARY: growth of 8%

Budgeting Interpret financial information, assess costs, benefits, and risks of business decisions, and develop operational budgets.

TITLE: Financial Controller

SALARY: growth of 2%

Finance MBA online program graduates go on to pursue a range of careers in the financial world. Explore some of the most popular career paths for online MBA in finance graduates below.

Finance Director Median Salary: $108,460
  • Large and medium- sized corporations
Finance directors lead the finance team in developing budgets, preparing and creating financial statements, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Certified Public Accountant Median Salary: $62,410
  • Large and medium- sized corporations
  • Government departments
  • Self-employed
CPAs maintain financial records, report taxes, and ensure compliance with government regulations. They may also assist with bookkeeping duties.
Financial Controller Median Salary: $78,736
  • Large corporations
A financial controller manages the finance-related departments within a company. The controller keeps senior management abreast of the company’s financial risks and reports.

If you’ve decided that an MBA in finance is right for you, then it’s time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses/hospitals

    The main objective of getting your MBA in finance is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local hospitals and businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Finance program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

For many careers in finance, you don’t need to earn another license or credential after you graduate from your finance MBA online program. For some career paths, however, earning certain credentials can help you advance in your career and give you a leg up on the competition. Furthermore, a handful of careers — like the Certified Public Accountant — do require specific credentials to practice in the field. You’ll find a few of the most widely recognized financial certifications and licenses below.

Liscense Description
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) The CFA credential is the most widely recognized credential in the field of investment and portfolio management. While not required for the field, it may give you a career advantage.
Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Certification By earning the FRM certification, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to better risk practices and to improving financial stability.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification CFP certification signifies to clients that you have a dedication to fairness, confidentiality, and a strict code of ethics, particularly important factors for professionals managing another’s wealth.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) The CPA license is the premier credential for accountants and auditors in the U.S. This license is earned after passing certain requirements, including completing the CPA exam. In some states, you’re not allowed to call yourself an accountant until you earn your CPA.

If you’re looking for ways to pay for your finance MBA online program, it’s wise to start with a scholarship search. There are many scholarships available to high achieving students interested in careers in finance. Often, scholarships specify that applicants must be interested in pursuing a particular field within finance. Scholarships may also be restricted to students with particular qualifications, such as hailing from certain states or ethnic backgrounds. To avoid wasting time, be sure to apply for scholarships that match your interests and demographic background — read the fine print carefully. Scholarship award amounts typically range from a few thousand dollars to around $10,000 per year.