What Career Options are Available for Finance Majors?
There are plenty of outstanding careers in finance and lucrative job positions that you can readily obtain if you have the proper education. You can go more into general finance if you wish or specialize in another position like a budget analyst, CPA, or financial investment analyst. These jobs are lucrative and generally very easy to move up in once you get your foot in the door. Considering a career in finance is realistically one of the best ways that you can enhance your future!
Alabama is a great place to get a degree in finance. There are plenty of schools that offer financial degrees. You can easily choose one by researching what sort of specializations they offer. Research the school of your choice in advance, and you will be prepared to begin your career right after graduation.
What is a Financial Advisor?
A financial advisor provides customized plan or outline to help clients reach their financial goals through investments, savings, budgeting, insurance and tax strategies. Typically a financial advisor is licensed and certified to handle many different financial services for a client, offering a complete one-stop-shop for wealth solutions.
What is a Financial Analyst?
Financial Analysts tend to make very good money as they work with individuals and businesses to help guide them in making proper investment choices. They are generally tasked with looking at the bigger picture; stocks, investments, and bonds; and making decisions and suggestions based upon the data they uncover. This career tends to be very competitive, so you might want to consider getting additional schooling if you’re going to go this route.
Finance Education in Alabama
Associate Degree in Finance (AS)
An associate degree in finance only takes two years to complete and can unlock a variety of opportunities. You can get yourself started in several kinds of entry-level jobs and eventually work your way up to a better position. You need at least an associate finance degree to do jobs like bookkeeping and benefits coordinating.
There are also ways that you can get different kinds of certifications too, which may help you to advance in your field. If you want, you can always go back to school and get more education as your job needs change.
Bachelor's Degree in Finance (BS)
A four-year bachelor’s finance degree helps those students looking for entry into more varied areas of finance, including things like financial planning and investments. You can become a budget analyst or accountant with a four-year degree. You also have the opportunity to hone your skill set during school and specialize in your field, which allows you to be more in demand.
Bachelor’s finance degrees are the most popular option of all degree types, and many people find that they’re an excellent way to jump-start their lives after school.
Master's Degree in Finance (MS or MC)
Getting your Master’s degree in finance or an MBA is an excellent way to differentiate yourself in the finance field and also command more money overall. You can do quite a few things with a master’s degree in finance, including becoming a financial manager. You can also find a position working with budget analysis and other types of jobs in the financial sector.
Many people wind up getting their master’s degree after they start working in the financial field. They realize that they can earn more money and be promoted quickly with this extra step in their schooling. Since these programs typically only take two years to complete, they are a great option.
PhD Degree in Finance (PhD)
If you really want to go all out and make the most of your schooling, a Ph.D. or doctorate degree is an excellent way to go. With your doctorate, you can teach or even get into higher positions in the financial field. Those with doctorate degrees are the only ones able to access research positions and they can make much more than those with lower-level degrees. You are also much more likely to work in a specific niche or field, as you’ve had plenty of time to specialize your degree and figure out exactly what area of finance that you want to work in.
Become a Finance Professional in Alabama
Working as a finance professional in Alabama can be a very lucrative and rewarding career. You can work in a number of different fields including personal financial planning, estate/trusts, valuations, taxes, or forensic accounting. When considering your schooling options, you should think about what field would work best for you and your lifestyle.
You should also consider what sector you want to work in. Financial professionals operate in public, corporate, and private sectors. All of these sectors pay varying salaries, even for the same positions sometimes. For example, if you can get in with a governmental organization, you might have a higher starting salary than someone who is working for a non-profit.
Although Alabama might not be the first state that comes to mind for work in the financial sector, it’s actually a great place to start your career. Alabama has seen massive economic development over the course of the past few years, and it continues to grow and attract people from all over the country.
With Alabama on the rise, you can expect to start a flourishing career in finance here.
Top College Programs in Alabama for Finance
Although everyone has different criteria for what they look for in colleges, there are a few top schools that really shine if you’re looking for a great degree in the world of finance. These schools should help you leverage your education to find work in the financial world, no matter where you want to work.
The University of Alabama:
The University of Alabama is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to work in finance after graduation. With four financial degree programs, the school offers more generalized options and specialties as well. This university is a public school in a smaller city, so you can be assured that you will have a flourishing social life as well.
UA takes great pains to set you up with the proper work skills and helps you determine whether you want to work in the corporate, public, or private sectors. They also offer specializations in areas of finance such as commercial and investment banking, asset management, and venture capital work. Ultimately, this university is such a winner because they help you succeed every step of the way.
University of North Alabama:
This public university has two excellent finance degree programs and is one of the most popular universities in the northern part of the state. Most people who attend end up earning their bachelor’s degrees and, as a medium-sized university, it’s a good option for people who prefer a smaller school with a lot of excellent social life.
Experts have explicitly designed the programs at UNA to accomplish one goal; to give you a solid foundational understanding of the world of finance and help you to select your specialty and make the most out of your career.
TU is an excellent option for studying and learning finance in a beautiful setting. The medium-sized university has two finance degree programs and is situated outside of a larger metropolitan area. If you’re looking for a quiet place to get your work done and enjoy the natural beauty of Alabama, Tuskegee University is a great option.
Tuskegee University’s programs are very computer-centric and focused on honing analytical skills so that students can excel in various areas of finance. They offer a solid foundational base that you can use to get a job right out of school or continue your schooling after graduation.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville:
UA in Huntsville is a great school that offers an excellent bachelor’s degree program for those who want to study finance. The university itself is medium-sized and located in a mid-sized city, so you can experience an excellent social life while getting your work done. They offer two different degree programs for those who want to study finance, and you can whittle down your specialty as well.
One of the ways that this university differentiates itself from others is its “Finance Academy”, where students get to collaborate and manage an investment portfolio. This gives them hands-on knowledge and expertise and prepares them for work in the real world after graduation.
If you want to attend a large, fun school, Auburn University might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. This public school offers two finance degree programs, and most of the students who attend wind up earning their bachelor’s degree in finance.
One of the other significant components of Auburn University is that you can find a mentor or join some finance-related groups that may help you better succeed in the job market after school. With a plethora of foundational courses and specialized ones, you can certainly build your own degree program and set yourself up with the skills you need to succeed after you graduate. Their mentors and faculty can also guide you every step of the way.
SU has two finance degree programs and is a private university located in a large, bustling suburb. Its bachelor’s degree program is renowned and respected, so if you want to start applying for jobs after graduation and have some serious name recognition, Samford University is a great way to go.
Samford focuses on three key areas: financial markets, managerial finance, and investments. If one of these areas interests you, this school is an excellent choice. Although the areas are relatively broad, you can drill down a bit and specialize as much as you want to.
Additional Careers for Finance Graduates
There are plenty of careers that you can become involved in if you've studied finance. These popular options will set you up for a bright career after graduation, but there are plenty more as well. You can consider this list to be a good jumping-off point.
- Budget Analyst:
As the name suggests, budget analysts help ensure that your budget is on the up and up. They look at how much money a company has to spend and make sure that they’re spending it appropriately and keeping track of expenses. They can also make adjustments to budgets as needed and prepare company reports to ensure that everything is working the way that it should be.
Certified public accountants work with the small businesses and corporations to provide services to those who need accountants. They tend to be in very high demand, so you can certainly find work in this field in Alabama if you decide to become a CPA. Since CPAs are so universally needed, you can generally find work not only in Alabama but in other states and even around the world.
- Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable Specialist:
All companies need accounts payable/accounts receivable staff. These persons are tasked with making sure that all of the company’s invoices are being properly processed. They make sure that the processing is both timely and correct. Those in this position often work with the staff and the company’s customers.
Accountants are some of the most sought-after people on the planet because they have a unique skill set that allows them to ensure that an organization can maintain operation by keeping their books balanced and more coming than going out. There are several different types of accountants, including CPAs, chartered accountants, and more. If you major in accounting, you can work in virtually any sector, and it’s easy to make very good money while working in this field.
- Credit Analyst:
Credit analysts identify whether or not companies, people, or organizations are credit-worthy by looking through a number of different factors. In order to be able to do this job effectively, you have to have very good analytical skills and the ability to see the bigger picture and the details all at once.
- Investor Relations Associate:
If you want to get a really good job in finance, consider becoming an investor relations associate. These people tend to work for banks, helping them manage their investors. The job is part financial professional and part customer service, as investor relations associates generally have to take care of all correspondence and work with investors to schedule meetings. They also have to deal with any problems that may crop up.
- Accounting Manager/Controller:
Accounting managers and controllers are generally higher up positions at a company or organization and are responsible for managing all of the accounting that happens within that company. They are typically “C-level” employees, managing staff and setting company budgets. As such, they tend to make a lot more money than accountants. This job is highly sought after and very lucrative, so there’s a lot of competition.
- Financial Planner:
Financial planners are also known as financial advisors, and they tend to help either people or organizations make intelligent decisions about their money. They can manage financial portfolios, stocks, or decisions pertaining to how much you should save for retirement.
If you want to pursue a great career in the state of Alabama, you should consider going into finance. There are so many options and opportunities available to you, and you could really make an excellent income. These schools will help to get you there.