Beyond the Numbers: What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?

12/09/202315 minute read
Beyond the Numbers: What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?

When it comes to choosing a college major, one question that often looms large is whether your investment of time, effort, and money in a degree will ultimately pay off. If you're considering a finance degree, you might be wondering if it's worth it. 

In this blog, we’ll explore what you can do with a finance degree, including different career paths and emerging fields. We’ll also shed light on the benefits of a finance degree, and the average salaries of different professions in the field. 

A finance degree equips you with knowledge and skills related to managing money, investments, and financial resources. It covers a wide range of topics, from personal finance and corporate finance to financial markets and investment analysis.

Is a Finance Degree Worth It?

One of the standout features of a finance degree is its versatility. Here's why it can be a valuable asset in various career paths:

1. Countless Career Opportunities

With a finance degree, you open the door to a vast array of career options. You're not limited to just one industry or role. You could work in banking, investment analysis, financial planning, corporate finance, risk management, and more. Your skills are applicable across various sectors, making you a sought-after professional.

2. Strong Foundation for Entrepreneurship

If you have dreams of starting your own business, a finance degree can be a powerful tool. Understanding financial management, budgeting, and investment can be crucial to the success of any entrepreneurial venture.

3. Global Relevance

Finance is a global language. Whether you're in New York, Tokyo, or Sydney, financial principles remain largely the same. This means your finance degree can open doors to international opportunities and a global career.

4. Stability and Growth

Finance professionals are consistently in demand. Every organization, regardless of its size or industry, needs financial expertise to manage their resources effectively. As long as money exists (and we don't see it disappearing anytime soon), there will be a need for finance professionals.

5. Excellent Earning Potential

Compensation is a crucial factor when evaluating a degree's worth. Finance professionals tend to enjoy competitive salaries. As you gain experience and expertise, your earning potential can soar.

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What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?

The world of finance is vast, and your degree opens the door to a variety of exciting career paths. Let's take a closer look at some of the career paths you can take:

What Can You Do With a Finance Degree?
Career PathAverage Annual Salary (USA)
Investment Banking$313,915
Corporate Finance$123,938
Financial Planning and Wealth Management$104,282
Risk Management$130,334
Asset Management$128,901
Financial Analysis and Consulting$87,101
Real Estate Finance$135,691

Salaries retrieved from on 12 Sep 2023

1. Investment Banking

As an investment banker, your primary role is to help companies raise capital and navigate complex financial transactions. You'll work closely with corporate clients, analyzing their financial situations, and providing strategic advice.

Investment bankers often play a pivotal role in mergers and acquisitions. You'll assess the financial viability of potential deals, help negotiate terms, and guide your clients through the entire process.

Investment bankers also assist companies in raising funds through methods like IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) or debt issuance. You'll also offer financial advisory services to help clients make informed decisions about their financial strategies.

Average Yearly Salary $313,915 (Glassdoor)

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2. Corporate Finance

In the corporate finance world, you'll be responsible for managing a company's financial health. This includes creating budgets, analyzing financial data, and making strategic financial decisions to ensure the company's growth and profitability.

In corporate finance, treasury professionals oversee an organization's cash flow, manage liquidity, and ensure that the company has enough funds to meet its financial obligations.

As a corporate finance expert, you'll be instrumental in developing and managing budgets and financial forecasts. This involves predicting future financial trends and ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently.

Average Yearly Salary: $123,938 (Glassdoor)

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3. Financial Planning and Wealth Management

If you're passionate about helping individuals achieve their financial goals, becoming a personal financial advisor might be your calling. You'll offer tailored financial advice, investment strategies, and retirement planning services.

Wealth management professionals also assist clients in planning for their golden years and managing their estates. It's about ensuring financial security and legacy preservation.

Average Yearly Salary: $104,282 (Glassdoor)

4. Risk Management

Risk managers identify potential threats to a company's financial well-being and develop strategies to mitigate these risks. It's all about safeguarding against the unexpected.

Another avenue in risk management is working with insurance companies or as an independent consultant. You'll help clients navigate the complex world of insurance and risk coverage.

Average Yearly Salary: $130,334 (Glassdoor)

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5. Asset Management

Asset managers oversee investments on behalf of clients, such as pension funds or individual investors. Your role is to make sound investment decisions to achieve optimal returns.

You can specialize in managing various types of funds, such as mutual funds and hedge funds, each with its own investment strategies and goals. Alternatively, you might work for institutions managing their assets.

Average Yearly Salary: $128,901 (Glassdoor)

6. Financial Analysis and Consulting

Financial analysts are in demand across industries like healthcare, technology, and energy. You'll assess financial data, provide insights, and help organizations make informed decisions.

Management consultants with a finance background advise businesses on improving their financial performance, optimizing operations, and implementing strategic changes.

Average Yearly Salary: $87,101 (Glassdoor)

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7. Real Estate Finance

In real estate finance, you'll assess the value of properties and analyze investment opportunities. This role is crucial for property investors and developers.

You can also venture into real estate development, overseeing projects from inception to completion, or focus on property management, ensuring that properties are maintained and profitable.

Average Yearly Salary: $135,691 (Glassdoor)

Emerging Opportunities in Finance

The finance landscape is continually evolving, offering exciting new opportunities that leverage cutting-edge technology, sustainability, and data analytics. Let's dive into some of the emerging areas where your finance degree can open doors:

1. Fintech (Financial Technology)

The fintech revolution has been reshaping the financial industry, offering innovative solutions that are changing the way we bank, invest, and transact.

As a finance graduate, you can be at the forefront of digital banking. This involves working with online banks, mobile payment platforms, and digital wallets.

You might analyze customer behavior, develop user-friendly interfaces, or help design secure transaction processes. With the rise of mobile banking apps and digital payment solutions, the demand for professionals in this field is soaring.

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2. Sustainable Finance

The world is becoming increasingly focused on sustainability and responsible investing, and finance professionals are playing a vital role in this movement.

ESG investing involves evaluating a company's environmental, social, and governance practices to make investment decisions. As an ESG analyst or advisor, you'll assess companies' ethical and sustainability efforts, helping investors make socially responsible choices.

You can work for investment firms, asset management companies, or consult with organizations seeking to align with ESG principles.

Green bonds fund projects with positive environmental impacts. Your finance degree can lead you to roles in structuring, marketing, and managing these bonds.

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3. Data Analytics in Finance

Data is the currency of the modern financial world, and finance professionals who can harness the power of data are in high demand.

Finance graduates with strong analytical skills are well-positioned to work with big data, analyzing vast datasets to uncover insights that inform investment decisions, risk management strategies, and financial planning.

Whether you work for a financial institution, asset manager, or fintech startup, your ability to transform data into actionable insights is invaluable.

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Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to follow traditional finance paths or explore emerging fields like fintech, sustainable finance, or data analytics, your skills and expertise will always be in demand.

Embrace the challenges, stay curious, and keep adapting to the changing tides of the financial world. Your journey in finance is not just about where you start but the endless possibilities that lie ahead. With your finance degree, you’ll be equipped to navigate this exciting terrain.

If you’re sure of the right degree or right school for you, we can help! Working with our expert team of strategists increases your chance of admission to your dream university by up to 7 times!

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