If you’re intrigued by the financial markets, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, and you also like to think about numbers, then a finance major is worthconsidering.
If you're a student or recent graduate, your finance skills will help you get hired for these professions. Read on to learn about some of the top jobs for college graduates with a finance degree.
- Some of the best jobs for finance majors include careers in investor relations, law, and teaching.
- The average business major salary ($65,000) is slightly higher than the overall average for U.S. workers ($60,000).
- Finance majors can also pursue careers as analysts with a focus on budgets, credit, or overall finances.
Finance Majors: Skills and Pay
Finance majors developanalytical skillsin order to dissect financial statements and appraise the financial standing of companies, municipalities, and other entities. They can assess the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of business problems and evaluate the financial implications of corporate and individual actions.
Graduates with a degree in finance alsoacquiretheabilitytodealwith spreadsheets and with other software used to process and represent financial data. They learn to present financial information to clients and colleagues with varying levels of financial sophistication.
An academic background in finance can be applied to a broad range of careers in virtually every industry. Before arriving at a final career direction, consider your unique combination of skills, interests, values, and personality traits.
Finance majors make up slightly more than 10% of all business majors. Business majors earned slightly more than the average worker in 2019 ($65,000 compared to $60,000). Some of the highest-paying finance careers include investor relations professionals and corporate lawyers.
Top 10Jobsfor Finance Majors
Here are some options to consider as you explore careers related to a finance degree.
Finance majors learn about a variety of investment vehicles, and this knowledge can help financial planners to advise clients about how to manage their finances. Finance majors can decipher trends in the securities markets and apply this perspective to their planning sessions.
Financial planners must crunch numbers and apply principles of accounting in order to devise plans suitable for individual investors. They also need to inspire trustinpeopleand promote their services. Therefore, finance majors with strong interpersonal skills and persuasive abilities will be most likely to succeed in this profession.
Salary and Employment Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),personal financial advisorsearned a median salary of $94,170 in 2021, and jobsarepredictedto expand ata rate of 5% by 2030.
Financial analysts research stocks, bonds, companies,and industries to assist bankers, investors, and corporate finance officers with mergers, acquisitions, and stock/bond offerings, as well as corporate expansions and restructuring. They can capitalize ontheirfinance majortrainingas they dissect financial statements and other financial data.
Financial analysts build financial models and conduct complex quantitative analyses. Financial analysts also produce reports detailing their findings and present their analyses to other members of the banking or finance team.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Financial analystsearned a median salary of $81,410 in 2021, and jobsarepredictedto grow ata rate of 6% by 2030.
Investor Relations Associate
Finance majors with strong writing, organizational, and communication skills can thrive in this role. Investor relations professionals prepare and present financial information about their company or corporate clients to investors, analysts, and business media.
Investor relations professionals must digest, interpret, highlight, and present information from financial statements.
The analytical and software tools developed throughtheirfinance majortrainingfacilitate this process.
Salary: The average base salary for a senior investor relations professional was around $250,000 in 2019, according to a survey by Korn Ferry and the National Investor Relations Institute. Lower-level analyst and manager positions in this field earned an average of $140,000.
Budget analystsapply principles of finance to projects and proposals in the business, educational, governmental, and not-for-profit sectors. They analyze budgets and evaluate the financial impact of continuingventuresand new ventures.
Budget analysts must have refined communication skills because they interview managersinorderto gather information for proposals.They also train staff regarding the budget development processes for their organization. Finance majors develop the essential analytical and communication skills needed to become successful budget analysts.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Budget analysts earned a median salary of $79,940 in 2021, and jobs are predicted to grow by about 5% by 2030.
Actuariesplay a leadership role in financially oriented businesses such as insurance, banking, rating agencies, and accounting firms. The finance graduate with strong mathematical skills is ideally positioned to calculate the likelihood of various events and to assess the financial consequences for those outcomes.
Justlikethe finance major, actuaries manipulate software to perform calculations and represent their findings. They present their recommendations to managers at their firm and convince others of the soundness of their decisions.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Actuariesearned a median salary of $105,900 in 2021, and jobsarepredictedto grow atamuch faster than average rate of 24% by 2030.
Finance majors learn to construct, interpret,and critique financial statements while completing the accounting component of their studies. Thus, they become capable of carrying out complex accounting work infinanciallyorientedindustries.
Students of finance develop a number ofaccountancyskillsas they learn to analyze business problems with precision and attention to detail,which prepares them for the world of accounting. Just likeaccountants, finance majors learn to present financial information to clients and colleagues by using charts, graphs, and other visual aids.
Entry-levelaccounting jobscan be gateway jobs leading to corporate financial management positions, or leadership positions with non-profits and government agencies.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Accountantsearned a median salary of $77,250 in 2021, and jobsarepredictedto grow at a rate of 7% by 2030.
Credit analystsevaluate the financial standing of loan prospects and assess the risks involved with offering them financing. Finance majors learn to appraise the financial viability of entities and interpret their financial records and data. The investigative mindset of a finance major would enable the credit analyst to scrutinize the legitimacy of financial information furnished by clients.
Finance majors analyze trends in industries that can impact the ability of organizations to generate the income necessary to repay loans.
They have the communication skills necessary for credit analysts to extract information from prospective clients and convey their analyses to colleagues.
Salary: According to the BLS, credit analysts earned a median salary of $77,440 in 2021. Employment in the sector is expected to decrease by 6% by 2030.
Lawyersin many areas of practice,including divorce, product liability, civil litigation, corporate, labor, and securities law,benefit from a knowledge of finance. Attorneys who investigate financial irregularities must read and understand financial statements. Lawyers in civil cases need the skills to estimate appropriate compensation for settlements.
Research and analytical skills developed by finance majors enable attorneys to prepare their cases.Presentation skills andknowledgeofpresentation softwarehelpattorneys to deliver arguments and prepare exhibits.
Salary and Employment Outlook: Lawyersearned a median salary of $127,990 in 2021, and jobs are predicted to grow by about 9% by 2030.
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Finance majors with strong verbal skills and a sales orientation should consider a career as a commercial real estate agent.Commercial real estate agentsanalyze the business plans and financial status of clients in order to recommend appropriate spaces for their enterprises.
When listing a property, brokers must estimate the value of the property based on its financial potential for prospective buyers. Agents advise clients about options for financing property acquisitions and launching new businesses.
Salary: Real estate agents earned a median wage of $48,340 in 2021. However, real estate agents earn the bulk of their salary through commissions, and these commissions may vary depending on the type of property and the people involved.
Finance majors hone thecommunicationandpresentation skillsthatare essential to the teaching profession.Business teacherstap a broad knowledge of business as they instruct high school students about the fundamentals of accounting, management, marketing, and investments.
Finance majors with a curiosity about the business world and an enthusiasm for business issues are well suited for this role. Individuals who earn advanced degrees in business can also pursue teaching jobs at junior and four-year colleges.
Salary: Postsecondary teachers who specialize in business topics earned a median wage of $94,360 in 2021. That's roughly $15,000 more than the median pay for all postsecondary teachers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the best-paying jobs for finance majors?
The best-paying jobs for finance majors include investor relations professionals ($140,000 or more) and attorneys ($127,990). Other high-paying careers include business teachers ($94,360) and actuaries ($105,900).
Where do most finance majors work?
Major financial hubs draw the most amount of finance majors. These hubs are typically large cities with major exchanges. New York City and Chicago are two examples of major cities with exchanges.
Can finance majors make 6 figures? ›
Depending on the job they accept, B.S. in finance graduates can earn competitive salaries of up to six figures. Graduates with finance degrees might work for employers like private businesses, financial institutions, accounting firms and financial agencies.What finance jobs pay the best? ›
High-paying financial positions include portfolio manager, corporate finance manager, investment banker, trader, economic analyst, and financial analyst. Financial careers can be lucrative, especially if bonuses are involved, but they also can be demanding and stressful.Is it hard for finance majors to find jobs? ›
Many career options: A job in finance is one of the most diverse professions, so the likelihood of finding a job is higher than in other fields with less versatility.What is the hardest job in finance? ›
The positions that some financial recruiters have identified as the hardest and most competitive jobs to fill include controllers (including hedge fund controllers), tax managers, fund and senior-level accountants, and valuation analysts.What is the most common job in finance? ›
Banking. Banking is the most well-known kind of finance job. Working in a bank is a good entry-level career option for someone looking to get into the financial field. Commercial banks offer a wide range of financial services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and IRAs.What majors guarantee 6 figures? ›
- Financial manager. National average salary: $100,178 per year. ...
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Yes, a finance degree is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial jobs are set to grow at 5% over the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations.What is harder finance or accounting? ›
Generally speaking, people consider accounting majors to be more difficult to study and pass than finance majors. And there are a few different reasons for this. The content of accounting majors is, on average, much more technical than for finance majors, and this can make it more difficult.Is finance a high paying major? ›
The average starting salary for finance majors is $55,000, and the average mid-career salary is $110,000.Is a finance degree in high demand? ›
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that business and finance employment will grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031, slightly above the average projected growth for all U.S. occupations.
What do finance majors usually do? ›
You practice using mathematical concepts, statistics, and analytical tools to solve problems and make decisions. With a finance degree, you can prepare for a career as a financial planner, financial analyst, commercial banker, investment manager, and more.