By Ellen Wilson


If you’re planning to pursue a degree in finance, you’re working toward a bright future.

The benefits of pursuing a finance degree include a wide-ranging array of job options as well as steady growth in employment opportunities and lucrative salaries.

Depending on your specialization, you might work in accounting, economics, real estate, investment banking, or as a financial advisor or analyst. As a financial analyst, you might help businesses make critical decisions based on market performance. As an economist, you might analyze global market trends or focus on domestic financial matters.

Each of these options includesits own variety of finance jobs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth in the financial sector is expected to remain strong for the next decade. For example, the demand for financial analysts is expected to grow by 23% during that period, faster than average.

Your salary expectations will also be higher than average, too, even for entry level jobs in finance. For example, entry-level corporate finance jobs are paying $35,000-$50,000. As you gain experience, your salary will climb. The average salary for a personal financial advisor is $91,220 and actuaries earn an average $98,620.

Earning additional credentials such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant only adds to your value and your compensation will increase accordingly.

As you rise through the ranks, you might reach the peak in corporate finance as a chief financial officer for a major company, earning as much as $300,000 – with additional perks thrown in.

In fact, business and finance jobs rank among the top 10 best-paid entry-level fields for college graduates, according to a study by ForbesWoman and

While the Class of 2010 graduated to a 1.7% decline in entry-level salaries, jobs in the top 10 provided compensation above the norm. Not surprisingly, in the modern world, all the top 10 fields were occupations that involve practical application of mathematics and technology, including information technology posts as well as engineering, biotech and pharmaceuticals and insurance, along with business and finance jobs.

With markets rapidly changing, studying finance provides you the opportunity to position yourself among revenue-generating employees instead of those considered part of overhead expenses. That’s important when the economy is not looking its brightest. But people who help businesses earn tend to be better compensated, no matter the economic outlook.

By serving a key role in advising businesses how to generate profits, people with finance degrees solidify their positions in a company as vital to its growth.

With global economics playing a more critical role in many markets, graduates who have the background to analyze international trade have growing roles. As businesses go global, they’ll need help navigating trade agreements, international mergers and acquisitions. Having a second language is a definite advantage in this kind of work.

In general, people with the necessary background to help organizations and individuals manage their money are well-positioned for a changing world.


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