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What is an MBA in Financial Planning?

An online MBA in financial planning provides a broad business education with specific financial training in areas like investments, retirement, estate, and tax planning. Certain programs also prepare students to take the Certified Financial Planner certification exam. With the BLS forecasting a solid 7% growth rate in the field over the next 10 years, now is a good time to obtain certification as a financial planner.

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The BLS forecasts a solid 7% growth rate in the field over the next 10 years.

An online MBA in financial planning can help you take the next step in your career and earn a higher salary. To see how an MBA in financial planning online can change your career trajectory, take a look at the table below.

Comparison of Financial Planning Master’s Degrees

There are a few options for master’s degrees in financial planning. While an online MBA in financial planning provides a good business background, other degrees dive deeper into finance. We highlight a few of those options below.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Science in Finance This more focused counterpart to the MBA in financial planning eschews much of the broad business foundation to focus on pure finance. This is a good option for those who plan to work strictly in financial departments. N/A 12–16 Months
Master’s of Taxation and Accounting With this narrow degree option, students learn about tax law and preparation, along with accounting. N/A 12–16 Months
Master’s of Business Administration in Financial Planning The MBA in financial planning prepares graduates for the widest range of careers. Graduates work in both finance and business positions. $62,510 2 Years

Although online MBA in financial planning programs cover similar information — data analysis, financial analysis, etc. — programs differ in the specific courses they provide. Below, we highlighted a few of the courses you’ll see across most MBA in financial planning online programs.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Investment Management Plan, analyze, and manage investments. Evaluate holdings after the fact. TITLE: Financial Planner

SALARY: growth of 3%

Financial Modeling Create models to predict a company’s financial performance. TITLE: Certified Financial Planner

SALARY: growth of 4%

Financial Analysis Analyze financial data to make a company’s business decisions. TITLE: Financial Analyst

SALARY: growth of 1%

Financial planning is a broad field, and professionals who earn their financial planning MBA online have a wide variety of career options after graduating. Here are a few of the most popular careers.

Financial Planner Median Salary: $60,957
  • Banks
  • Investment Groups
Financial planners advise clients on how to make the most money from their assets, providing investment decisions and financial advice.
Financial Analyst Median Salary: $58,434
  • Corporations
  • Businesses
Financial analysts do for companies what financial planners do for clients: They evaluate and forecast the market to help companies make smart investments and maximize their holdings.
Trust Officer Median Salary: $73,287
  • Banks
  • Investment Groups
  • Offices
Trust officers provide expert counsel in trust and estate issues, often dealing with legal documents and paperwork.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Ashland University

Location Ashland, OH Tuition Tuition $7,584 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 5,677 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Benedictine University

Location Lisle, IL Tuition Tuition $35,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 5,954 School Type Private
Concentrations
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California Lutheran University

Location Thousand Oaks, CA Tuition Tuition $36,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 4,126 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Creighton University

Location Omaha, NE Tuition Tuition $11,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,435 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Indiana Wesleyan University

Location Marion, IN Tuition Tuition $23,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 14,730 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Lynn University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $26,825 % Receiving Financial Aid 28% Student Population 2,693 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Marist College

Location Poughkeepsie, NY Tuition Tuition $35,460 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 6,474 School Type Private
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Maryville University

Location St. Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $18,564 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 6,414 School Type Private
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Missouri State University - Springfield

Location Springfield, MO Tuition Tuition $10,725 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 22,273 School Type Public
Concentrations
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National University

Location La Jolla, CA Tuition Tuition $26,208 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 17,488 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Quinnipiac University

Location Hamden, CT Tuition Tuition $42,550 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 9,654 School Type Private
Concentrations
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The University of Tennessee - Martin

Location Martin, TN Tuition Tuition $22,116 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 6,827 School Type Public
Concentrations
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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Location Edinburg, TX Tuition Tuition $17,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 28,584 School Type Public
Concentrations
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location Champaign, IL Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population 45,842 School Type Public
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University of Miami

Location Coral Gables, FL Tuition Tuition $79,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 29% Student Population 16,825 School Type Private
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University of North Carolina

Location Chapel Hill, NC Tuition Tuition $104,676 % Receiving Financial Aid 32% Student Population 29,084 School Type Public
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University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Location Pembroke, NC Tuition Tuition $7,128 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 6,441 School Type Public
Concentrations
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Wright State University

Location Dayton, OH Tuition Tuition $20,526 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 17,070 School Type Public
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in Financial Planning is right for you, then it is 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 within 100 miles of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy being able to visit campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area can help you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When viewed side-by-side, this information provides a glimpse at program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Multiply the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and factor in the time you will not spend earning an income. Also compare financial aid options; different schools may offer better financial aid packages 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 require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be aware of all time commitments, and be sure they fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Financial Planning 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 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 Financial Planning 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.

In addition to earning a financial planning MBA online, obtaining an additional professional certificate qualifies graduates for upper level positions with companies. Below, we list two industry-standard certificates.

License Description
Certified Financial Planner Many MBA in financial planning programs include preparation for this certification. It classifies the holder as skilled in all areas of financial planning.
Chartered Financial Analyst® The CFA is a feather in the cap of financial analysts, vouching for their ability to manage investments and portfolios.

Earning an MBA can be a financial burden on students. However, a number of avenues are available to help finance an MBA. There are a wide variety of financial planning scholarships, based on both need and merit, with varying award amounts.