The world of finance took a huge hit during the crisis. Those who worked in the industry lost their jobs as they were blamed for the situation. The industry has recovered now and there is a very high demand for people who have the skills and knowledge to not just keep the industry running, but to avoid the recurrence of past mistakes. As such, obtaining a master’s degree in finance is an excellent career move. There are many career opportunities out there for you. Once you find work, you will often also be presented with a range of opportunities to increase your knowledge even further. This makes the career even more interesting for many people. Because the world of finance is in a constant state of flux, being able to remain up to date with developments is a vital.
Here are some of what we believe to be the best jobs for holders of a masters in finance.
1. Commercial Banker
Within commercial banking, you can work in areas such as credit and financial analysis, financial services sales, commodities, financial management, and accountancy. The average annual salary is $119,000, and the job outlook between now and 2024 is a growth of 18.6%.
2. Financial Planner
No certification is needed, but you will be in greatest demand if you hold either a CFP or CFA certification. Some businesses have it as an essential requirement. The average annual salary is $81,060 and a job growth of 30% is expected between 2014 and 2024.
3. Insurance Specialist
The insurance industry and the finance industry are very closely related. As a result, you can become employed in a variety of different roles, including those of actuaries, asset managers, sales representatives, or underwriters. Your role will be to make sure that businesses (either policy holders or insurance providers) are able to minimize their risks and protect their assets. Average salaries of $72,070 can be expected, and a job growth of 10% is predicted.
4. Investment Banker
This is perhaps the Holy Grail of financial jobs, and the most glamorous and prestigious of them all. You will help businesses and governments to issue securities. Additionally, you will help businesses and individuals build their portfolios, ensuring they can grow financially. Providing financial advice will be an integral part of your job. An average annual salary of $72,070 and a job growth of 10% can be expected.
5. Financial Analyst
Your role as a financial analyst is to monitor the financial market, determine trends, focus on political markets, and more. You will use this knowledge to advise people on their financial status and decisions regarding investments. The financial analyst job is, by far, the most popular job for those with an MsF degree. You will help individuals and businesses to make sound financial decisions, ensuring that they build a portfolio that will safeguard their financial future. You can expect an annual salary of $80,880 and a job growth of 14%.
6. Financial Manager
There are many different types of financial managers, but the job that most people aim for is that of a treasurer or CFO (chief financial officer), which are members of senior management. Financial managers provide advice to other managers based on their analysis of the financial data of their business. They also create reports and essentially safeguard the financial health of the business that they work for. You can expect an annual salary of $165,000 and a job growth of 14%.
7. Securities Broker
As a securities broker, you will be responsible for the selling of commodities (precious metals, oil, corn, etc), bonds and stocks. Brokers earn around $64,220 per year. However, the demand has been on the decline and 11% fewer jobs are expected between 2014 and 2024.
8. Sales Agent
Financial sales agents usually work in financial services, commodities and securities. Their role is to ensure buyers can find sellers and vice versa. You will essentially work together with brokers, although most sales agents focus specifically on the electronic trade. Salaries are around $81,060 per year, and job growth is expected to be at 30%.
9. Personal Financial Advisor
Your goal is to make sure that your clients are able to achieve their financial goals. This may be an immediate goal, but it is most often about financial security in the future. You will help your clients with their taxes, investment decisions and more. Other ways to describe a personal financial advisor is a wealth manager or private banker. Certification is generally not required, but will set you apart from others. A salary of $81,060 per year can be expected, as well as a job growth of 30%.
10. Financial Examiner
You will be responsible for checking lending activities. You will represent both people who borrow, ensuring they receive fair treatment, and lenders, ensuring they minimize risks as much as possible. You can expect a salary of $51,120 per year. The demand for this type of job has been dropping. Thus, 6% fewer jobs are expected between 2014 and 2024.
11. Corporate Finance Expert
Your role here is to make sure that the business you work for is able to have the funds that are needed to run it effectively. Additionally, you will help to grow the business itself, often through mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and more. You can expect an annual salary of $78,620, and a job growth of 12%.
Interestingly, the salaries mentioned above are reflective of entry level positions, usually held by people who have a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining a master’s degree will usually add as much as $15,000 per year to your average salary. Remember also that there are many other factors that can influence your salary.
The Benefits of a Master’s in Finance
There are a number of benefits to obtaining a master’s in finance. These include:
- It opens up a number of very interesting career prospects.
- Obtaining a master’s degree can be achieved in as little as a year, compared to the two to three years required for a MBA.
- Because it doesn’t take as long to complete the degree, the cost is also lower. This is reflected in a lower salary than those who achieve an MBA, but you can build your salary up through work experience.
- Being accepted in a master of finance degree is generally easier than an MBA.
Certifications and Licenses
To work in the field of finance, you don’t necessarily have to have a license or certification. However, a number of licenses, certifications and designations do exist. Obtaining these will place you ahead of other applicants for similar jobs. Additionally, there are some jobs in which certification is absolutely necessary. Some of the certifications you could opt for include:
- CFP – Certified Financial Planner
- CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst
- CFS – Certified Fund Specialist
- ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant
- CIC – Chartered Investment Counselor
- CIMA – Certified Investment Management Analyst
- CMT – Chartered Market Technician
- CPA – Certified Public Accountant
- PFS – Personal Financial Specialist
- CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter
These certifications require a number of credit hours. As a result, few are available for someone who has only completed a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, most MsF degrees will prepare you for one of these certifications.
Resources and References:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Management Analysts – Job outlook for management analysts. (BLS.gov)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents – Job outlook for sales agents of securities, commodities and financial services. (BLS.gov)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Business and Financial Occupations – Job outlook for business and financial work. (BLS.gov)