MBA in Finance Career Guide

What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Finance?

Choosing an online MBA in finance program provides students with the
same quality of education found with a traditional, on-campus program,
often at a lower price. Those who work full-time or have personal
commitments appreciate the flexible attendance policies of most online
programs, letting them participate at their convenience. A variety of
scheduling options, like part-time or accelerated options, are also
offered to give students control over the time commitment required to
work through the program. For MBA degrees, students also have the option
of seeking an executive MBA if they have professional experience in an
executive position or some other type of leadership role. It’s important
to note that every program is unique, so it’s a good idea to look
carefully into the details of several before making an enrollment
commitment.

Concentrations Offered for an Online MBA in Finance

CONCENTRATION DESCRIPTION POTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION
Corporate Finance Prepares students for a managerial finance position within a major corporation, exploring the financial needs in the corporate world and providing the tools necessary for financial analysis working capital management and capital budgeting techniques. Chief financial officer or financial analyst for a major corporation or business in a traditional office setting
Health Care Finance Students learn about the financial components of the health care industry, preparing them for the management of health care expenses and providing a deeper understanding of health insurance finances. Financial analyst, financial examiner or financial director for a health care facility
Investment Management Focuses on the skills needed to effectively handle company assets, exploring the management of various securities, such as bonds and shares, to meet investment goals. Chief financial officer or finance manager for financial institutions or corporations

Curriculum for an Online MBA in Finance

Choosing an MBA in finance program can seem difficult with the
curriculum differences found between schools. However, taking the time
to compare offerings to your professional goals can help ensure you find
the program that best meets your career needs. Make sure to watch for
blended programs that require one or more classes to be completed on
campus. Those that are outside of your local area may require relocation
to complete.

Along with the course options that are unique to each school, there
are a few courses that can be found in almost every program, including.

COURSES DESCRIPTION
Business Communication Students learn effective professional communication methods that include writing, technology and presentation preparation.
Accounting for Managers Focuses on accounting concepts critical to the decision-making process of management professions.
Quantitative Methods for Management Explores quantitative methods used to support manager decisions.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online MBA in Finance?

Most online programs for an MBA in finance require 36 credit hours
and can be completed in 18 to 24 months. This time line can be extended
for students who work full time or have personal commitments that
require a part-time course schedule of only one or two classes each
semester. Some programs also offer an accelerated option that can cut
completion time to as little as one year but require a heavier course
load.

The way curriculum is delivered can also have an impact on the time
needed to complete the program. Individually paced programs often offer
multiple start dates throughout the year and allow students to self-pace
based on their ability to complete coursework. Cohort programs are more
rigid in structure, requiring groups of students to work through the
curriculum together on a shared schedule. These types of programs
generally only offer one or two start dates each year and encourage
networking between classmates, providing a higher level of support
between students and instructors.

Certifications and Licenses an Online MBA in Finance Prepares For

CERTIFICATION DESCRIPTION
Chartered Financial Analyst The CFA Institute offers the CFA credential that can be obtained through passing three different exam levels. The CFA credential is considered to be a high achievement for the best of investment management professionals.
Financial Risk Manager The FRM certification is offered through the Global Association of Risk Professionals. A graduate degree is required to take the exam and those who pass are recognized as experts in credit risk, market risk, investment management and operational risk.

Accreditation for Online MBA in Finance

When choosing your program, it’s critical to verify that any school
you consider is accredited from a respected agency. Accreditation
guarantees that the quality of education being provided is up to the
standards set by the granting agency. Electing to pursue a program
without accreditation carries the risk of non-transferable credits
should you choose to continue your education, losing out on job
opportunities for employers who require a degree from an accredited
program and being ineligible for licenses and certifications that
require accreditation.

There are three types of accrediting agencies you should look for. National agencies, such as the Department of Education,
offer accreditation to schools that meet the national educational
standards. There are also six regional agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
These agencies are highly respected and accreditation carries the
additional benefit of easing the transfer of credits between
institutions that are accredited by the same agency. Finally, there are
industry-specific agencies that grant accreditation to programs that
meet the standards necessary to ensure students have the tools they need
to be successful. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs are two examples.

Employment Outlook for MBA in Finance Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

Taking the time to complete an online MBA in finance program gives
job seekers an edge over bachelor-holding competitors. It demonstrates
your dedication to your career and provides additional education and
work experience. It’s also important to note that some certifications,
such as the FRM certification, are only available to those who hold a
master’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the growth of
jobs for financial managers to be around 19 percent, which is much
higher than the overall job growth average of 7 percent. Having your MBA
in finance can increase the chance that you land one of the more
desirable positions.

Expected Salary

The salary potential for those who hold an MBA in finance is
significant, with many job titles offering six figures in the upper
range. Looking at the chart below, it’s easy to see the positive
financial impact of positions often held by those with a graduate
degree.

Job Title Salary Range
Financial Examiner $40,718-$93,736
Financial Manager $42,219-$116,259
Financial Operations Manager $50,591-$111,659
Business Financial Manager $50,335-$119,195
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) $71,559-$215,020
Finance Director $59,742-$158,651

ving an MBA in finance can help tip your salary to the higher end of the scale. Looking at the chart below, you can see how the salary potential goes up with additional experience in the first 20 years.

Career Opportunities

There are a number of career opportunities for someone with an MBA in
finance. The degree also increases your negotiating power, commanding a
higher salary potential and increasing your eligibility for better
benefits packages.

JOB TITLE JOB DESCRIPTION MEDIAN SALARY PROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Financial Examiner Financial examiners are responsible for ensuring financial institutions are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. This requires the examination of financial documentation and practices and can involve one of two specialties. Those who choose to work in risk assessment determine the financial health of the bank or financial institution. Those in consumer compliance focus on lending practices to prevent illegal or unjust lending to consumers. $81,690 per year 10%
Financial Analyst Financial analysts focus on investments and offer guidance to individual consumers and companies in making investment decisions. Analysts are split into two groups: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts. Buy-side analysts are responsible for guiding the investments of those who have a high level of capital to invest. Sell-side analysts focus on the financial services agents responsible for selling investments such as stocks and bonds. $84,300 per year 11%
Chief Financial Officer The chief financial officer holds the executive position responsible for overseeing all the financial operations of a business or corporation. This includes investments, working capital, asset management and budgeting. $104,700 per year 8%
Financial Manager Financial managers monitor the financial health of businesses and corporations, creating strategies for financial improvement and managing long-term financial goals. This position requires heavy data analysis to ensure the business or corporation is managing its money effectively. $125,080 per year 19%

Professional Organizations

As with most industries, professional organizations for those with an
MBA in finance provide an opportunity to network, take advantage of
educational opportunities and stay up-to-date on the latest industry
news. Here are a few organizations that could be helpful to those with
their MBA.

Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business:
This organization is sometimes referred to as the Institute of
Managerial Accounts and offers members its full resource center,
educational opportunities, industry publications, members-only discounts
and hosted events.

Association for Financial Professionals:
The AFP provides members with networking opportunities and offers a
number of professional tools and access to industry publications and
research.

American Association of Finance and Accounting:
The AAFA was created to help professionals connect with consumers.
Young graduates, especially, can benefit from the career building
provided on the AAFA site.

Financing Your Online MBA in Finance

In many cases, the tuition for an online MBA in finance program is
lower than that of an on-campus program. Despite that, some students may
still find themselves in need of help to cover program costs. Filling
out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be your
first step to find out if you qualify for any government-funded grants
or loans. If you don’t, or if the amount offered isn’t enough, you also
have the option of pursuing private loans or scholarships to make up the
difference. To get you started, check out the resources below to learn
more about your options.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

Government Finance Officers Association Scholarships

Award: $5,000-$15,000

Deadline: January 26

Eligibility: Open to all students who plan to pursue a finance career in local or state government and have not previously won the award.

Lance Surety Bonds Scholarship

Award: $1,500

Deadline: December 15

Eligibility: Open to any student, enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program, who completes one of three essay questions, subject to change each year.

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

Award: $2,000

Deadline: February 15

Eligibility: Sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution and open to students enrolled in a full-time MBA program. Must have a minimum 3.25 GPA.