Recently, we explained what finance is, and here we’ll review why finance matters in today's business world.
As part of this discussion, we’ll cover what finance entails, what finance professionals actually do, and why you should consider getting into the field.
Virtually everyone has heard of finance, money management, investing, or the many other terms used to refer to this discipline, but few people seem to understand why it’s so important to modern organizations.
Simply put, finance is critical to the success of modern businesses because finance professionals are the individuals responsible for creating and reviewing budgets, interpreting financial statements, and using it to determine an effective strategy for driving organizational performance.
After you’ve learned everything you need to know about what makes finance such a critical discipline, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about CSU Global’s 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and our online Master’s Degree Program in Finance, or if you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
What is Finance?
Finance refers to the management of money and financial professionals who are responsible for activities like investing, borrowing, lending, saving, and forecasting. Within this broad definition, there are three main categories of finance:
- Personal finance.
- Corporate finance.
- Public/government finance.
Personal finance refers to the field of financial planning for individuals, assisting these clients with retirement planning, obtaining personal credit cards, and managing insurance, mortgages, or investments. Any financial decisions that we make in our own lives or on an individual or family level would fall under the category of personal finance.
Corporate finance includes the financial activities involved in running a corporation. In many corporations, there is a finance department or division dedicated to managing these concerns, which can span from the minutiae of balancing the corporate budget to larger strategic decisions about raising funds through stock offerings or generating capital from angel investors or venture capitalists.
Finally, public finance, or government finance, refers to all financial operations that occur under the umbrella of government at all levels. From taxes to government spending, budgeting, and debt issuance policies, government finance affects every level of society. In the federal government, public finance can also include economic stability measures and efforts used to prevent market failure, shore up the economy, etc.
As you may imagine, this process and the critical role played by finance and finance professionals have made them incredibly important members of virtually every organization operating in any sector of the economy.
What Do Finance Professionals Actually Do?
Finance professionals are responsible for handling a variety of important responsibilities, including tasks like:
- Analyzing past and present data to identify financial trends.
- Determining a company’s value based on financial statements.
- Monitoring a company’s investment portfolio.
- Making recommendations on investments or strategic purchases.
- Communicating essential financial insights with management in easily understandable formats.
Accordingly, finance professionals play an important role in helping senior leadership teams make difficult decisions about driving organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability.
Some of the key skills finance professionals need to perform these complicated tasks include:
- Assessing clients’ financial status and making actionable recommendations.
- Understanding and managing financial risk.
- Security analysis and portfolio management.
- Apply pricing and uses of standard derivative instruments.
- Gathering and analyzing data.
- Confidently present research and analysis in a logical and coherent manner.
- Development and nurturing business relationships with clients.
Because of the complex nature of these responsibilities, and the important role finance professionals have in maintaining the health and longevity of any organization, it's crucial that anyone who wants to become a financial professional gains the necessary training needed to be successful in this challenging career.
Should I Pursue a Career in Finance?
Knowing that finance is a difficult discipline and a challenging role, why would you want to pursue a career in the field?
First, the field is growing rapidly, and demand for skilled finance professionals is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade.
In fact, the BLS predicts that employment for roles related to finance will rise considerably quicker than the average rate of growth for all occupations between 2020 and 2030.
These roles include:
- Financial Manager - 17% projected growth
- Financial Examiner - 18% projected growth
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist - 10% projected growth
Because the industry is growing so quickly, and demand for related roles is predicted to continue rising at such a fast pace, it’s a great time to consider entering the industry.
Next, anyone interested in playing a critical strategic role in a modern business or other organization should think about developing finance skills.
As we mentioned earlier, finance professionals are the individuals responsible for helping senior leadership make important strategic decisions about core business units, making those people trained in finance an essential asset for modern organizations.
Accordingly, top positions in this field command excellent salaries, with some of the top jobs for Master’s program graduates earning a considerable average annual income:
- Personal Financial Advisor / 2021 Median Pay: $94,170
- Finance Director / 2022 Median Pay: $185,856
- Finance Manager / 2022 Median Pay: $124,129
Even roles for Bachelor’s program graduates pay quite well, as some of the best jobs for Finance alumni include:
- Budget Analysts / 2021 Median Pay: $79,940
- Financial Analysts / 2021 Median Pay: $81,410
- Cost Estimators / 2021 Median Pay: $65,170
- Insurance Underwriters / 2021 Median Pay: $76,390
If you’re looking to play a central role in helping an organization reach success, and you want to earn an excellent income, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better field than finance.
How To Launch a Career in Finance
While you might be able to get an entry-level role in the industry without first completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s program, it may be far easier to break into the field if you’ve finished a degree program before you apply for related roles.
Why? Because the best way to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities you’ll need to be successful as a finance professional is to study finance in an academic setting, like CSU Global’s online Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, or our online Master’s Degree in Finance.
These programs will provide you with the experience and knowledge you need to launch a career in the finance industry, while also giving you the academic credentials needed to catch the eye of hiring managers looking to fill related positions.
Earning a degree in finance will increase the chances that you’re capable of bringing value to an organization from day one, and choosing to study at CSU Global will ensure that your degree is respected by the hiring managers you’ll be looking to impress when it comes time to pursue your first industry role.
Should I Get a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree in Finance?
We suggest enrolling in the degree program that best meets your professional needs.
To determine your needs, review your current credentials, knowledge, and experience in finance, and weigh those against your long-term career goals.
If you’re new to finance and just looking to get your foot in the door, or if you lack an undergraduate degree, then you may want to consider our Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
However, if you already have some experience in the industry, if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, or if you want to pursue leadership or managerial-level roles, then you’ll want to consider our Master’s Degree in Finance instead.
If you’re having trouble choosing between a bachelor’s or master’s degree, consider contacting an Enrollment Counselor by calling 800-462-7845, or by emailing enroll [at] csuglobal.edu.
The good news is that whichever program you choose, getting your degree will help develop your skills and abilities, while choosing to get your degree from CSU Global will ensure that you’ll graduate prepared to launch a lifelong career in the industry.
Can I Get My Degree in Finance Online?
Yes, you can get a regionally accredited online Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Finance from CSU Global.
Our accelerated online degree programs were designed entirely for online students, and they offer far more flexibility and freedom than traditional in-person programs.
We make it easy to juggle your educational pursuits with existing work and family responsibilities, as our programs offer:
- No requirements to attend classes at set times or locations.
- Monthly class starts.
- Accelerated, eight-week courses.
If you’re looking for a degree program with the flexibility to fit into your already busy life, then there may be no better option than choosing to study with us.
Why Should You Choose to Study Finance at CSU Global?
CSU Global’s online Finance Bachelor’s and Master’s programs prepare students to meet the challenges they’ll face working in the field of global financial services.
Our programs are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the Master’s in Finance is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
These programs were designed to be completed 100% online, offering you the flexibility you need to complete your educational pursuits without sacrificing existing family and career responsibilities.
Reasons to Choose our B.S. in Finance Degree
CSU Global is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an online college for finance. Our program will help you develop essential skills to work in this competitive industry, including:
- Foundations of financial management.
- Fiscal decision-making skills.
- Technological approaches to business challenges.
- Understanding financial risk.
Also, when choosing the CSU Global Bachelor’s in Finance with a Financial Planning specialization, you’ll be in one of just a few programs in the country that is recognized by the CFP Board®. Those who earn a CFP Board-recognized degree are distinguishing themselves among their peers by meeting CFP Board’s education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. Completing this program also means you’ll have met the education requirement for CFP® Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board.
Finally, with our accelerated schedules, monthly class starts, no set class times, and 100% online degree formats, this B.S. in Finance program lets you earn your degree on your schedule.
Reasons to Choose our M.S. in Finance Degree
Completing our Master’s Degree in Finance is designed to hone your leadership, analytical, and operational skills to give you a competitive edge in this challenging industry.
This program is widely recognized as a top-ranked program and has won several well-respected rankings, including:
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Master’s in Finance by Best Masters Programs.
- A #2 ranking for Best Online Master’s in Finance Degree Programs by Intelligent.
Our M.S. in Finance alumni also report finding impressive real-world success one year after completing their program, with a median salary that is 6% higher than the national average for all master’s degree holders.
CSU Global itself has also recently won several important awards, including:
- A #3 ranking for Best Value Online Graduate School from Value Colleges.
- A #3 ranking for Best Colleges in Colorado from Best Value Schools.
- A Gold School of Distinction award from Best Colleges, making us one of only 15 schools to receive gold rankings, out of more than 2,000 online degree programs.
Finally, CSU Global offers competitive tuition rates, a Tuition Guarantee to ensure your rate won’t increase, and for undergraduate programs, Alternative Credit Options like Credit By Exam, Self Study Assessment (SSA), and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to help save you time and money.
To get additional details about our fully accredited, 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, or our top-ranked online Master’s Program in Finance, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.
Ready to get started today? Apply now!