The outlook for job growth in finance is exceptionally bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many of the positions for which graduates of an MBA in finance program qualify are projected to significantly outpace the national average job growth over the next eight years. Many of these positions also offer excellent salaries and benefits, as well as a multitude of career paths and leadership opportunities.
Monster recently confirmed the excellent career prospects in finance in the Best-Paying MBA Majors. This assessment has held true for years, and it is expected to continue as demographic trends drive demand for financial professionals.
Other drivers for finance industry growth are emerging economies, multinational organizations, an increasing number of startups around the world, continuous digital transformation in financial services, and changing domestic and international finance regulations.
Graduates of MBA in finance programs can choose from a broad range of careers, with positions suited to a wide range of natural aptitudes and interests. The keys to finding your greatest potential for success are to match your aptitudes with the following financial industry career paths.
Corporate Financial Management: $125,080 Per Year Median Pay
The BLS places job growth for financial manager positions at 19 percent until 2026, with 108,600 new jobs expected.
Financial managers are involved in sourcing and managing the capital it takes to run and grow a business enterprise. They are responsible for the financial health of an organization, whether it is a corporation, small- or medium-sized business, or insurance company. They produce financial reports, oversee investment activities, forecast profits and losses, negotiate for lines of credit, and develop investment strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organizations. Their challenge is to balance potential gains in corporate value against the need to minimize financial risk.
Job titles include internal auditor, treasurer and financial analyst, with positions available in organizations of all sizes. Executive and C-suite level jobs might involve mergers and acquisitions analysis, strategy, and execution.
Banking and Investing
There is a broad range of careers available within commercial banks, which provide various financial services to individuals and businesses. Services include accepting deposits and issuing loans, as well as offering a range of investment products including certificates of deposit. Career roles available for MBA graduates with a focus on finance include loan officers, as well as operations, marketing and branch managers, or management and executive-level positions in the corporate office.
Investment banking firms issue corporate securities and make these available to investors. They also enable the trading of securities, including stocks and bonds, while providing financial advice to corporations and individual investors. Graduates can work in hedge funds as financial analysts, traders and portfolio managers. They can work in private equity and venture capital, with functions including interim management at struggling companies or evaluating pitches of companies for potential initial public offerings (IPOs).
According to Salary.com, as of April 2018, there are hundreds of positions in this industry with six figure salaries. They include the following:
Business Banking Manager I: $131,424 median entry-level pay - Manages relationships with business banking clients by providing service and support. Responsibilities include overseeing maintenance of client accounts and ensuring clients' needs are met.
Commercial Loan Manager: $151,618 median pay - Manages a team of commercial loan officers to build commercial loan business within a designated market.
Fraud Investigation Manager: $106,181 median pay - Manages the operations of the fraud investigation department. Develops policies and procedures to prevent fraud and recover losses.
Mergers & Acquisitions Manager: $148,809 median pay - Manages all aspects of an organization's policies toward achieving growth through mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
Public Accounting: $68,150 Per Year Median Pay
The BLS projects 10 percent job growth for accountants and auditors by 2026, with 139,900 new jobs to be created. Certifications (CPA) and MBA degrees enhance earning capabilities beyond the average median pay.
Public accountants serve businesses and individuals, enabling them to manage their finances according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). They may work for large partnerships, including the Big Four, or for smaller firms. Positions include staff accountant, accounting manager, audit manager, tax manager, principal or partner.
Demographics are also leading to many strong growth areas within the highly diverse insurance industry. MBA in finance graduates often find great career prospects where they work with individuals or businesses to plan for potential risks and protect against losses. Functions include sales, managing teams and actuarial work, including computing risks and premium rates.
According to Salary.com, as of April 2018, there are hundreds of positions in this industry with strong starting salaries. They include the following:
Appraiser (Commercial Real Estate): $97,044 median pay - Examines and evaluates commercial property to establish a fair market value for loan collateral.
Insurance Actuary III: $99,164 median pay - Conducts analysis, pricing and risk assessment to estimate financial outcomes.
Investment Analyst: $81,218 median pay - Evaluates investment activities including short-term debt securities, long-term equity, investment projects and objectives.
You can spend hours researching the countless jobs within any of these financial industry sectors and barely scratch the surface. Few degrees offer the versatility and potential for financial and career fulfillment as an MBA in finance.
Learn more about USC Aiken's online MBA with a Specialization in Finance program.
Sources:U.S. BLS: Financial Analysts
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