Universities Offering a Major in Finance and Investment: How to Choose
Bachelor's degree programs in finance prepare students for careers in a variety of industries, including banking, fund management and investment services. While many 4-year colleges offer programs in finance, very few offer specific options in investment. Individuals interested in specializing in investment should ensure that financial programs of interest offer enough classes in that niche to meet their career training goals.
How to Select a School for Finance and Investment
When considering undergraduate finance degree programs, prospective students should determine whether or not the school offers an investment major, minor or concentration. A majority of schools do not offer programs specific to investment, but do incorporate investment classes into a general finance curriculum. Individuals can often read program catalogs online to determine how many investment courses are available at the schools they are considering.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Location and internships
- Extracurricular opportunities
Location and Internships
When researching schools, it's also a good idea to take the location of the school into consideration. Campuses that are closer to highly populated areas tend have more high-powered internship affiliations, such as within a city's financial district. Internships are an excellent way for students to gain real-world exposure to investment finance. It is important to note that most internships have prerequisites, including a minimum GPA. Many schools also require successful completion of a few financial courses before granting admittance into an internship program.
Potential students may also want to investigate whether the school offers any social clubs catering to finance majors. While stellar academic achievements are needed in order to secure competitive employment opportunities, most employers are also interested in hiring well-rounded candidates. Graduates who are involved in extracurricular activities exhibit greater skill diversity to potential employers.
Bachelor's Degree in Finance
Bachelor's degree programs provide students with the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to secure a career in investment finance. General education and elective courses offer interdisciplinary perspective to complement the field of finance; therefore, if students aspire to work in a specific finance-related industry, such as marketing or merchandising, they are better equipped to tackle all aspects of their career. However, graduates who work in investment usually work in brokerage firms as security analysts or portfolio managers. Areas of study include:
- Financial planning
- Risk management
Graduates interested in pursuing a graduate degree may want to consider a master's degree program in finance and investment. Although programs may be appropriate for candidates without a baccalaureate degree in finance, those who have a bachelor's degree in finance have an advantage: they have already fulfilled many program prerequisite courses, including calculus, statistics and accounting. Many graduate-level programs are designed for working professionals and do not require GRE and GMAT scores. A resume or letters of recommendation may need to be submitted in their stead. Examples of courses in a master's degree program include:
- Managerial accounting
- Financial econometrics
- Short-term financial management
- Investment analysis
- Portfolio management
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