An MBA with a concentration in finance prepares graduates to succeed in a challenging and lucrative industry. Broadly speaking, a graduate business finance degree covers corporate finance, strategic management, and financial markets, and many graduates go on to work as financial managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earn a median income of nearly $128,000. Additionally, learners who enroll in a master's degree in finance online can continue to work and earn money while they study. This guide outlines some important information about what you will learn in an online finance degree.
Online MBA in Finance Curriculum
As with any graduate program of study, the curriculum for MBA with a concentration in finance varies depending on the university. Students should make sure to choose courses that train them for their career goals, however, most curricula introduce markets and financial considerations in business management. You can find commonly offered courses in the table below.
Usually learners enroll in this course during the first semester, as the class introduces financial theories that relate to large companies. Students learn the capital structure of corporations and financial policy. Course material also covers concepts such as cash flow, corporate budgeting, capital asset policy, and investment decisions.
Students examine the fundamentals of financial markets, like the flow of capital and monetary policy. The course also introduces significant institutions, like the Federal Reserve and the banking industry, and how these institutions affect the economy's stability. Other topics might include international money markets, financial intermediaries, and risk measurements.
This course delves into the world of stocks and investments, and usually covers investments for both individuals and companies. Students learn about how to make smart choices and create good investment portfolios. They study topics like mutual funds, diversification, active and passive investment strategies, and risk and return.
Comparison of Finance Master's Degrees
Individuals pursuing a career in business can choose from several different types of degrees. An MBA may seem like an obvious choice, and it does indeed prepare many people for careers in business management. Yet other options -- like an online finance degree or an accounting master's degree -- can also provide adequate education, depending on one's career choice. You can learn about the differences in these careers in the table below.
|Degree Type||Description||Potential Career Path||Length|
|MBA in Finance||An MBA with a concentration in finance not only gives students knowledge in finance, but it prepares them to work in administrative roles at businesses. The MBA explores concepts like operations management and business regulations. Students also learn about financial institutions, capital markets, and how they relate to corporations and other businesses.||Chief Finance Officer||Two years|
|Master of Science in Finance||This program focuses on the finance industry and financial analysis skills. Unlike those who pursue an MBA, students who pursue a master's degree in finance online do not usually go into administrative or management positions. Instead, they pursue careers that directly require their finance skills, like a financial planner who can help individuals with investments.||Financial Planner, Financial Analyst, Budget Analyst||One year|
|Master's in Accounting or Taxation||As the name suggests, this master's degree focuses more on accounting and tax skills than trading and investments. This degree prepares learners to advise individuals and organizations to navigate the tricky business of taxation. Graduates of this program can apply for accountant certification.||Accountant, Tax Accountant, Tax Preparer||One year|
Rising tuition costs can often make the dream of pursuing a master's degree in finance seem impossible; however, aspiring MBA students have several funding options. Schools usually offer scholarships to qualified students, but learners should also apply to private scholarships from companies and foundations. Start with the list of five scholarships below.
|Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Benventi MBA Scholarship||
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, both men and women enrolled in business administration programs may apply for this scholarship. Candidates should hold at least a 3.25 GPA.
|Toigo MBA Fellowship||
Who Can Apply: Minority students enrolled in a full-time, two-year MBA program may apply for this scholarship. Candidates should aim to pursue a career in finance after graduation.
Amount: $1000 during the first year; up to $10,000 during the second year
|Government Finance Officers Association Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship||
Who Can Apply: Full-time graduate students interested in working in government finance can apply for this scholarship. Applicants should possess a strong academic record and submit a recommendation letter.
|Military MBA Scholarship||
Who Can Apply: Military veterans working toward an MBA can apply for these scholarships. Eligible candidates must also attend one of several member schools. Applicants must submit transcripts and two letters of recommendation.
|Forté Fellows Fellowship||
Who Can Apply: This fellowship provides funding for women enrolled at 50 member MBA programs. The foundation prefers candidates with at least two years of work experience. Applicants should also submit GRE or GMAT scores.