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5 Top Jobs for Finance Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists more than 20 career tracks that require a finance degree. This comes as no surprise since BankRate positions a finance degree as number 23 among the most valuable degrees (the highest-ranking non-STEM major) and Niche ranks it the eighth most popular major.

Finance Majors Can Pick and Choose From the Career Menu

The breadth and depth of positions open to finance professionals — including roles in everything from niche roles in corporate America to entrepreneurial enterprises — makes it difficult to pick a list of the top jobs. BLS data on median salaries and predicted job growth, however, helps narrow the list.

If you're looking to start your own business, top opportunities include the following roles (with corresponding salaries as of May 2020 and projected job growth for the next decade):

Management Analyst (Consultant): Median salary: $87,000; predicted job growth rate: 11%

In a LinkedIn article, Munzer Awad said his interest in organizational operations led him to replot his career course toward management analysis from engineering.

"[T]his role has so much to offer in terms of a long-term professional career, and [it] allows one to continuously learn new techniques to tackle complex business problems and find innovative solutions in today's technology-driven economy," he noted.

Commercial Real Estate Agent: Median salary: $42,500; predicted employment growth rate: 2%

Requiring the analysis of business plans as well as financial status reports, commercial real estate agents depend on a significant finance background to satisfy the needs of their clients. Beyond the value of individual properties, those working in commercial real estate must also be conversant in financing options necessary for funding the acquisition of properties in addition to the launch of successful businesses.

Personal Financial Advisor: Median salary: $89,330; predicted employment growth rate: 4%

A finance degree can open doors to global brands in wealth management. But Glen D. Smith, a certified financial planner in Flower Mound, Texas, says he prefers the "highly personalized and attentive" service that an independent practice affords:

"As investment advisor representatives, we work alongside [clients], focusing not only on the management of [their] finances but also the role these decisions play in the grander scheme of things," he said.

If, on the other hand, finding your place in corporate America better suits your career ambitions, a finance degree can open doors leading to dozens of positions, including:

Market Research Analyst: Median salary: $65,810; predicted growth rate: 18%

OneWire Resources, a recruiting and staffing agency in the finance sector, describes a market research analyst as "a tastemaker" who defines and popularizes trends and preferences.

Market researcher Ken Roberts said, "You need to be a 'people person,' but you also have to be stringently analytical and dedicated to hard statistics. … [I]f you're as good with numbers as you are hanging out with your friends, a market research analyst could be the position you've been searching for.

Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: Median salary: $67,190; predicted employment growth rate: 8%

This position requires a combination of general financial fundamentals and necessary social skills.

Marshay Floyd, a Wells Fargo hiring manager, looks for prospects' soft skills and says a successful candidate:

"[D]emonstrates exceptional communication abilities and understands they have a voice and will speak up if they see/know something or someone is putting the firm at risk."

Northwest Missouri State University's Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Finance – Financial Management online program also prepares students with an introduction to the basic principles of human resources (HR). The HR course covers a wide range of topics, such as training, administration of benefits, and employee relations. 

Finance Degree Graduates Like Their Jobs

Overall, finance professionals are among the most satisfied workers, according to one report. More than one-third of survey respondents "expressed satisfaction with all aspects of their jobs" in accounting, management analysis, market research, human resources and lending.

Learn more about Northwest Missouri State University's Bachelor of Science in Finance – Financial Management online program.


BankRate: The Most Valuable College Majors, Ranked

Career Explorer: Are Finance Students Happy?

Glassdoor: 6 Keys to Scoring a Finance Job, According to Hiring Managers

Glen D. Smith & Associates: Committed to Helping Our Clients Build Their Wealth

LinkedIn: Top 5 Reasons Why I Want to Be a Business Analyst

MPI: 33 Skills Needed to Become a Successful Event Planner  

Niche: The Most Popular College Majors

OneWireResources: Becoming a Market Research Analyst – Is This the Job for You?

PayScale: Commercial Real Estate Agent Salary

The Balance Careers: Best Jobs for Graduates With a Finance Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Business and Financial Occupations
Management Analysts
Personal Financial Advisors
Market Research Analyst
Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists

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