Masters Degrees for Stock Market Professionals: Program Info

Learn about how a master degree in finance can help you advance your career in finance. Discover how to apply to a program and what you will learn in the program. Also find out a little about what to expect after you earn a graduate degree.

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Essential Information

Stock market professionals may advance their careers with a master's degree in finance. The Master of Science in Finance (MSF) is available at several universities throughout the United States. To apply to this graduate program, you will need a bachelor's degree. Schools may have additional requirements, like a high undergraduate GPA and a resume.

In this degree program, you will gain a stronger knowledge in financial accounting, economics, mathematics, and finance theories. Core topics are fleshed out from a financial perspective, encouraging you to analyze, make critical decisions, and learn to operate the software that is utilized by today's financial institutions.

At many universities offering this degree, there is a degree concentration in capital markets. This concentration helps you to become employed at and excel in capital-seeking corporations that invest in the stock market. Earning a master's degree may also help you to be more competitive in the job market, according to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Prerequisites

Universities offering the Master of Science in Finance program require that prospective students have a bachelor's degree, though not necessarily in business; areas such as mathematics and computer science can offer relevant preparation for the MSF as well. Students are typically required to have met a certain GPA level in their undergraduate coursework. In the application, students may need to include a resumé, personal statement essay, and educational transcripts.

Program Coursework

Students enrolled in an MSF program will be exposed to financial topics such as trading, risk management, and construction of portfolios. Some universities even have trading rooms that bring actual financial market activity to the classrooms. The course topics students may cover in this master's program include the following:

  • Statistics
  • Economic environment of firms
  • Accounting
  • Financial statements
  • Corporate finance
  • Fixed income strategies
  • Equity valuation
  • Equity trading
  • Risk management
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Employment Prospects and Salary Info

Graduates of the master's degree program in finance may go on to become employed in such institutions as consulting firms, auditing firms, major banks, stock market companies, financial holdings, securities firms, and industrial companies. Their job description may include front office duty in trading rooms, performing tasks such as trading and selling, analyzing finances, managing portfolios, and evaluating acquisitions.

Individuals who hold a master's degree in finance can become financial analysts. These professionals earned median salaries of $76,950 as of 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of jobs for financial analysts was projected to increase 23% between 2010 and 2020, reports the BLS, which is faster than average. During this time, applicants with master's degrees and relevant professional certifications should have the best prospects of employment.

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