The outlook for employment growth in finance has never been more optimistic for MBA graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of financial advisor roles will grow 30 percent by 2024 — much faster than the average for all careers, with 73,900 new jobs expected.
Other careers in finance are predicted to have strong growth as well. The BLS projects an increase of 12 percent in financial analyst roles, 10 percent for financial sales agents, and 7 percent for financial managers until 2024. An aging population and longer lifespans leading to longer retirement periods will increase the demand for financial services and drive growth in financial management, advice and planning roles.
Why Focus Your Studies on Finance?
“Finance is known as an MBA-heavy field,” according to a Monster article on the “Best-Paying MBA Majors.” In many positions within the field, an MBA is practically a requirement. At the very least, the degree opens up many more career pathways. The coursework in a general MBA provides the minimum foundation of knowledge necessary for success in a wide variety of roles. It follows that an MBA with a concentration in Finance would provide an even tighter focus on this field, and stronger training in the specific skills required for success in financial management, planning, analysis and security sales, as well as other related positions.
The first concentration identified in this article about lucrative MBA majors was Finance. According to PayScale data as of October 2016, the median mid-career pay for graduates with this concentration is $110,000. Positions that graduates often attain throughout their careers include chief financial officer ($125,000), finance director ($107,000) and senior financial analyst ($76,000).
Financial Coursework in a Concentrated MBA
The curriculum of an MBA with a focus on finance (including the UTPB online program) begins with a foundation in the following subjects:
Accounting Analysis — fundamentals of financial and managerial accounting for the planning, assessment and control of business entities.
Economic Analysis — economic efficiency and the determinants of major economic aggregates such as growth, employment and gross national product.
With this foundation in place, students progress to studying the disciplines within the field:
Financial Management — survey of foundational concepts in finance, including cash flow analysis and financial markets.
Production & Operation Management — application of concepts in process analysis, material management, and quality management.
Organizational Behavior — systematic study of the structural characteristics that influence behavior within organizations, and analysis of the customer/market relationships with the company in an open market system.
Information Systems Management — methods and problem resolution in developing and managing company-wide information systems.
Legal Environment of Business — role of law in business and commerce, in facilitating and constraining business decision-making.
Analytical Models for Decision-Making — linear programming, networks, and dynamic programming, and formation and utilization of programming computer packages.
Business Research Methods — the research process paradigm, investigated with an emphasis on the role of research in management decision-making.
Strategic Management — development and implementation of knowledge from multiple disciplines, and integration of multiple viewpoints.
The UTPB MBA with a concentration in Finance online program also offers students three concentration courses for more specific training in their preferred career paths: Management of Financial Institutions, Options & Futures, and International Finance.
Addressing the potential positives and negatives of focusing an MBA education, a student (Kevin Lieberum at Washington University in St. Louis) cited in a recent U.S. News & World Report article offered his thoughts:
On the concern about limiting one’s options:
“Focusing on one thing doesn’t mean you’re locked into that for the rest of your life. There is room to grow both within a concentration, and laterally into other functions as your experience, knowledge, and interests grow.”
On the excitement of following one’s passion:
“Having a passion and an excitement about a company and an industry … is more important than any of the other considerations.”
If your heart leads you toward a career in a dynamic field with excellent growth and income prospects, you will not limit yourself by following that path. For finance MBA majors, the future is wide open.
Learn more about the UTPB online MBA with a concentration in Finance program.
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