Job growth in the broad field of finance is expected to outpace the national average for all industries during the next seven years. An MBA with a concentration in finance prepares you for a rewarding career in a challenging field in which the MBA is the expected level of academic achievement.
“Finance is known as an MBA-heavy field,” according to a Monster article titled “Best-Paying MBA Majors.” Whereas a general MBA provides the minimum education necessary for success in a wide variety of business roles including finance, this concentration provides a tighter focus and stronger training in the specific skills required for success in financial services.
The careers available to graduates are diverse, with positions suited to a wide range of natural aptitudes and interests. The key to finding your greatest degree of career fulfillment is to match your skills with these common career paths before you explore the many niches available within each.
The outlook for employment growth in finance for MBA graduates is especially bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of financial advisor roles is projected to grow by 30 percent until 2024 — much faster than the national average for all careers. 73,900 new jobs are expected. Increased demand for financial management services will be driven by the aging population and longer lifespans, which lead to longer retirements. Other categories with faster-than-average growth include advisors, analysts and sales agents, all in the financial realm.
Financial planners work in large corporations and smaller, local firms. They serve individual clients by developing plans that will secure their clients’ financial futures and specific objectives. Financial planners review clients’ saving objectives, risk tolerance and investment horizon before building appropriate investment portfolios. Some planners earn a percentage of assets under their management, some receive commissions on the products they sell, and some charge flat fees.
Professionals in this field are involved in sourcing and managing the capital it takes to run and grow a business. The challenge lies in balancing potential gains in corporate value against the need to minimize financial risk.
Positions in this field include internal auditors, treasurers and financial analysts and are available in organizations of all sizes — from multinational investment banks to local municipalities. The common functions in this role include forecasting profits and losses, negotiating lines of credit, determining an organization’s investment and financial strategy, and preparing financial statements. Executive and C-suite level jobs might involve mergers and acquisitions analysis, strategy, and execution.
Banking and Investing
Commercial banks provide various financial services to individuals and businesses. These include accepting deposits and issuing loans, as well as offering a range of investment products including certificates of deposit. Loan officers, as well as operations, marketing and branch managers, or management and executive-level positions in the corporate office are some of the career roles available to finance-focused MBA graduates.
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).
Other functions within banking and investing include issuing and trading securities, analyzing and executing mergers and acquisitions, and working the trading desk.
This field includes a broad range of opportunities. 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, audit manager and tax manager.
MBA graduates often find great career prospects in the insurance industry, where they work with individuals or businesses to plan for potential risks and protect against losses. Functions include sales, team management, and actuarial work, including the computing of risks and premium rates.
While many MBA finance graduates eventually pursue highly specialized roles in each sector above, new graduates can find opportunities in nearly every industry, with almost any company. Focusing your MBA provides targeted training to enable you to hit the ground running in finance, while also providing nearly limitless career paths.
Learn more about the TAMU-CC online MBA with a Concentration in Finance program.