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What can I do with a finance degree?

Majoring in finance is a savvy decision for a young person who knows how to crunch numbers and is interested in working in the private sector. Earning a degree in finance opens up a rising professional to several stable and high-paying jobs in the financial services industry. In addition to earning a finance degree, studies in economics, business and mathematics are encouraged. The following are top careers for finance majors:

1. Financial Advisor

Many different kinds of people seek help from Financial Advisors. Generally, Financial Advisors serve individuals who are seeking guidance to make financial decisions. A Financial Advisor looks at a person’s salary, assets and equity. They’ll be able to provide a financial plan that will set up an individual to be more financially stable, plan for retirement or clarify their liabilities. Finance degrees are the first step to becoming a financial advisor. The median salary for Financial Advisors is around $90,000.

2. Financial Analyst

Financial Analysts must be able to understand both micro and macro economics to be successful.  In their role, they are asked to recommend  investments and assess the financial health of companies. The career requires analytical and mathematical skills to look at several financial indicators simultaneously. Financial Analysts earn a median salary of $80,000, well above the average for most careers.

What can I do with a finance degree

3. Financial Risk Manager or Analyst

Some financial services professionals specialize in analyzing risk and advising companies how to avoid threats to their businesses. Many risk analysts will work with traders to assess the risk of a certain deal. Median salaries for risk managers are around $95,000.

4. Financial Manager

A Financial Manager might also be called a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Treasurer or Controller. Financial Managers are responsible for the financial stability of an organization. They oversee all financial decisions, assess market trends and manage the finance department of an organization. Because of how much influence managers have on a business’ success, Financial Managers tend to earn large salaries – the U.S. median being around $120,000.

What can I do with a finance degree

5. Quantitative Analyst

Quantitative Analysts are paid to use mathematical calculations to predict outcomes or behavior using a numerical value. Quantitative Analysts might be hired by a government to make a monetary policy decision based on indicators like GDP, employment and inflation. These analysts are also valuable at a private company to make complicated computations that are important for financial reports, like calculating earnings per share (EPS), for example. Quantitative Analysts make around $80,000 per year.

And more…

Note that finance degrees also provide a number of transferable skills that can be used in any number of career fields. From economics or marketing to accounting, a finance degree is a great base on which to build a successful career. Many business majors will go on to get their MBA or they may even bring their knowledge of finance to the public sector and work for the government or an NGO.

Now that you know a few answers to the questions, “What can I do with a finance degree?” apply now to gain intern experience abroad!



1. based on Wall Street, NYC, by faungg’s photos, CC-by-ND 2.0

2. based on Shiny, by Laurence Edmondson, CC-by-ND 2.0

3. based on Finance, by Hamza Butt, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!