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, of GDS Wealth Management in Flower Mound, Texas, says his goal is to provide “highly personalized and attentive” service that an independent practice affords.
The GDS Wealth Management website emphasizes this goal: “As investment adviser representatives, we work alongside you, focusing not only on the management of your finances but also the role these decisions play in the grander scheme of things.”
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%
A market research analyst can be thought of as “a tastemaker” who researches, defines and popularizes trends and preferences.
To be a good market research analyst, you need to be a people person while maintaining an analytical mindset and dedication to hard statistics. If you have a love for both hanging out with people and working with numbers, 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. Hiring managers typically look for prospects’ soft skills, preferring candidates who demonstrate exceptional communication abilities.
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.