Graduates from a Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance program enjoy many potential career options. This degree, combining advanced business education with a focus on financial study, gives students the chance to move into high-level, high-paying financial jobs in a variety of industries.
MBA graduates hold financial positions within companies of all types. According to Payscale.com, some of these positions offer annual salaries of as much as $100,000 or more. Here are five examples of potential jobs for MBAs in finance.
1. Financial Analyst
A financial analyst works with a company’s investments and wealth strategy. Analysts help prepare regular reports on an organization’s financial situation and make suggestions on future actions. The role requires a thorough understanding of current financial markets as well as the organization’s current investments, the safety and risk involved in those investments, and how they can affect the organization’s growth in the short- and long term.
Companies typically employ both junior and senior analysts; graduates of an MBA in finance program often join companies as the senior level, which comes with more responsibility as well as a higher salary. Senior financial analysts make, on average, $64,000 to $100,000 annually.
2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The chief financial officer (CFO) of a company is in charge of the finance and accounting departments. The position requires strong leadership skills for managing departments and employees. In addition, the CFO plays an instrumental role in the financial health of the company. CFOs help develop budgeting and accounting policies, ensure compliance with tax guidelines, and coordinate financial efforts within the company.
In addition to an advanced education, companies often require CFOs to have extensive experience. CFO is one of the highest-paying jobs for MBA in finance graduates, with salaries ranging from $82,000 to over $230,000 a year.
3. Finance Manager
Finance managers, as the name suggests, manage a company’s finances. This can include working with departmental budgets, making financial forecasts, overseeing the company’s investments and other finance-related tasks. Finance managers are responsible for meeting deadlines, delegating work and presenting information to other members of the organization. Because they work with their own staff as well as people from other departments, team-building, leadership and communications skills are all important.
Businesses, nonprofit organizations and government offices all employ finance managers. An online MBA program with a concentration in finance can provide opportunities for rapid career advancement to finance managers. Finance managers generally earn $68,000 to $121,000 a year.
4. Financial Controller
Also known as a comptroller, a financial controller shares many traits with a finance manager. Financial controllers manage activities and departments related to finance, such as budgeting, audits and accounting. They also create financial documents, such as summary and forecast reports and profit and loss statements, and they are responsible for submitting documentation that regulatory and government agencies require. In addition to advanced financial and accounting knowledge, problem-solving and communication skills are important for financial controllers.
Education and experience are both necessary for financial controllers — a certified public accountant or similar license may also be necessary. Financial controllers can work for governments, often in an elected office. The average salary range of a financial controller is $60,000 to $136,000.
5. Vice President of Finance
A vice president (VP) of finance has many of the same job responsibilities as a CFO. In some companies, the titles are interchangeable. Both positions report to a corporation’s board of directors and are responsible for directing and overseeing financial matters within the company. Larger corporations may have both a CFO and a VP of finance. In this case, the VP of finance is usually involved with managing the company’s finances. The CFO is more focused on overall financial strategy and future growth.
As a similarly high-ranking position, VPs of finance need many of the same skills as CFOs. Leadership and the ability to manage employees are essential skills. The salary range for VPs of finance is also similar, averaging between $97,000 and $219,000 annually.
Jobs for MBA in finance graduates sometimes require similar skills and duties, but they also require different areas of focus and levels of responsibility. They can all pay well, with starting salaries well over $50,000 and considerable opportunities for higher earnings.