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What is Finance?

Nebraska's financial industry is an integral component of its economy including banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other financial institutions that serve both individuals and businesses alike. These services may include loans, mortgages, savings accounts, or investing opportunities - creating jobs while contributing revenue and stimulating economic development within Nebraska. And this doesn’t even include the many finance roles that you may find in other businesses who need budget analyst, accountants, auditors, and other finance-focused professionals.

Finance professionals specialize in financial management, investment strategies, risk mitigation techniques, and analysis. These professionals are responsible for handling transactions while analyzing data to produce financial reports and offering advice to management teams. Finance professionals can work in various industries such as banking, insurance, investment firms, and accounting firms. Their roles may range from being financial analysts, accountants, or consultants to holding titles like investor relations manager or investor relations specialist.

One of the most important roles of a finance professional is to ensure that the company's financial goals are met while minimizing risks. They work closely with the management team to analyze financial data and make informed decisions on how to allocate resources effectively. Finance professionals must stay abreast of the latest trends and developments in finance. They need an in-depth knowledge of financial markets, economic conditions, and investment strategies to advise their clients or employers on the most effective strategies for reaching their financial goals.

Finance professionals need not only technical skills but also outstanding communication, analytical, and problem-solving abilities. They should be able to explain complex financial concepts to non-financial staff while making recommendations based on their analysis.

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Online Finance Education in Nebraska

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nebraska's financial activities sector employed approximately 28,000 people in 2020. This sector includes finance and insurance and real estate, rental, and leasing. The finance and insurance sub-sector alone employed nearly 22,000 people. These numbers indicate that the finance industry is a significant employer in Nebraska, providing many job opportunities to residents.

The finance industry is an essential component of Nebraska's economy, contributing to the state's GDP. The industry creates jobs and attracts skilled workers, which helps to drive economic growth. Additionally, financial institutions play a crucial role in providing loans and other financial services to businesses, which helps to increase their productivity and competitiveness.

Nebraska's finance industry is an integral component of its economy - providing jobs, generating revenue, and aiding economic expansion. The employment of thousands of Nebraskans, directly or indirectly, within this field demonstrates its importance as the state develops further. Looking forward, its continued contribution will only strengthen Nebraska's future economic prospects.

Online Associate Degree in Finance (AS)

An associate degree in finance can be a great starting point for those interested in pursuing a well-paying career, though many roles in finance will require more education than an associate degree can provide. These finance degree programs typically take two years to complete and covers topics such as accounting, financial analysis, investments, and economics. Graduates with this degree have the skills needed to work entry-level positions such as financial analysts or personal financial advisors.

Many colleges offer associate accounting or finance degree programs, with some offering online options for students who need more flexibility. Students who plan on pursuing further education can use their associate degree as a steppingstone toward higher qualifications, like a bachelor's or even a master's degree in finance. These higher-level degrees often lead to more advanced career opportunities and higher salaries within the field.

Overall, an associate degree in this field is an excellent starting option for those seeking to jump into their careers quickly and gain valuable skills that will help them succeed in the finance industry. With many colleges offering affordable tuition rates and flexible scheduling options, it’s never been easier for students to pursue their passion.

Online Bachelors Degree in Finance (BS)

Colleges and universities offer various degree programs in finance, including bachelor's that can focus on finance, accounting, and other related degrees. These degree programs are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful financial professionals. Students enrolled in these programs learn about financial analysis, investments, risk management, corporate finance, and other related topics.

The curriculum of a bachelor's degree in finance typically includes core courses such as accounting principles, microeconomics and macroeconomics, statistics for business decision-making, financial management principles, investment analysis, and portfolio management. Additionally, some schools offer elective courses that allow students to focus on specific areas, such as international finance or corporate finance.

Graduates with a bachelor's in this field can pursue different career paths such as financial analysts, investment bankers, stockbrokers, credit analysts, personal finance advisors, among others. The demand for skilled professionals in the field continues to grow rapidly due to globalization of businesses across industries. As organizations seek competent individuals who can navigate through complex financial problems and make sound decisions that impact their bottom line positively.

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Online Masters Degree in Finance (MS)

Master's finance degrees are graduate-level program that focuses on the study of financial management, accounting, economics, and investment strategies. Students who pursue these degrees learn how to analyze and interpret financial data to make informed decisions about investments, risk management, and business operations. To qualify for master's finance degrees, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The curriculum of a finance major can vary from school to school, but they commonly includes courses such as international business, financial theory and practice, financial economics, portfolio management, securities analysis,risk management, financial statement analysis, corporate finance, and accounting principles.

For those who are interested in one day moving up into the C-suites, you might want to consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. These degrees will give you a year of foundational business courses that will prepare you for management roles at a higher level. This can get you into some of the highest roles available in companies all over the world.

Graduates with a master’s degree or MBA in finance are often sought after by employers looking for highly skilled professionals capable of managing their finances effectively. Graduates can choose from various career paths such as investment banking analysts or managers, commercial bankers, financial analysts or advisors, traders or brokers, credit analysts, or even CFOs (Chief Financial Officers).

Online PhD Degree in Finance (PhD)

A PhD in finance is the highest level of academic attainment for those interested in pursuing a career in finance or academia. These degree programs equip students with advanced knowledge and skills in financial theory, quantitative methods, and empirical research. They are designed to prepare graduates for careers as researchers, academics, consultants, or financial analysts.

Many colleges and universities offer PhD programs in finance that typically take four-five years to complete. These programs are rigorous and require extensive coursework, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation that demonstrates original research on a topic related to finance. Students may also have opportunities to work as teaching or research assistants during their studies.

Overall, earning a PhD in finance can be challenging but rewarding for those looking to advance their careers in this exciting field. Graduates are equipped with the skills needed to contribute to the development of new theories and practices in finance while also making valuable contributions to academia or industry.

Online Finance Certifications

Finance certifications are an excellent way for individuals to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in the finance field. Many colleges and universities offer specific certification programs, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, which is highly respected worldwide. The CFA program typically takes around four years to complete and requires passing three exams.

Other popular finance certifications include the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, which focuses on financial planning for individuals and families, and the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification, which emphasizes management accounting skills. These programs can also be completed through various schools or organizations offering online courses.

Overall, obtaining a finance certification can significantly boost an individual's career prospects by showcasing their technical skills and dedication to continuous learning in a fast-paced industry. Additionally, many employers prefer candidates with relevant certifications when hiring for higher-level positions within their organization. Therefore, pursuing a finance certification through a reputable college or university can be a wise investment in one's future success.

Become a Finance Professional in Nebraska

The finance industry is a lucrative and exciting field, and becoming a finance professional in Nebraska can be a great career choice. Whether you're interested in accounting, financial planning, or investment banking, there are steps you can take to become successful in this field. Here are the steps you'll need to take to become a finance professional in Nebraska.

  • Step 1: Get a Bachelor's Degree in Finance or Related Field

    To be successful in finance, you’ll need to have a strong knowledge base in financial and accounting principles. A bachelor's degree in either finance, accounting, economics, or business administration from one of Nebraska's four-year institutions is an excellent first step - be sure to research schools that meet both your needs and budget when choosing one.

  • Step 2: Gain Work Experience through Internships

    Internships offer valuable work experience and can help you to build an impressive network of industry professionals. You should consider seeking internship opportunities at banks, accounting firms, or any finance-related businesses. Your school career services department might even have recommendations.

  • Step 3: Obtain Professional Certifications

    Professional certifications in finance can demonstrate your expertise and make you more attractive to employers. Some popular certifications include the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPA (Certified Public Accountant), and CFP (Certified Financial Planner). Each certification requires additional coursework and exams, but they can ultimately lead to higher salaries and greater opportunities.

  • Step 4: Build a Professional Network

    Networking is essential for success in the finance industry. You can attend industry conferences, join professional organizations, and connect with other finance professionals on LinkedIn. Building relationships with other professionals can lead to job opportunities and help you stay up to date with industry trends.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Finance?

Graduating with a bachelor's in finance prepares you for a world of career opportunities in the financial industry. A finance degree offers a broad range of subjects including accounting, economics, mathematics, and statistics. These skills are highly valuable to potential employers from various sectors such as banking institutions, insurance companies, government agencies, and investment firms.

One popular career path for finance graduates is investment banking. Investment bankers help companies raise money by underwriting and selling securities, such as stocks or bonds. They also provide advice on mergers and acquisitions between companies. Other popular careers include financial analysts who use their analytical skills to evaluate investments for individuals or businesses, financial planners who assist clients in creating long-term financial plans, and risk managers who identify potential risks that could affect an organization's finances.

In addition to these roles, there are many other career paths that one can pursue with a bachelor's in finance. Graduates can work as accountants or auditors and analyze financial statements, or they could work for non-profits where they manage budgets and finances. The options are numerous, with this versatile degree opening doors to positions across many industries requiring financial expertise.

Potential Careers for Finance Graduates

  • Investor Relations Associate:

    An investor relations associate will be responsible for maintaining relationships with current and potential investors, offering advice, support, and assistance when needed and contributing to developing communication strategies to reach these investors.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, or a related field
    • 2+ years of experience in investor relations or a related field
    • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
    • Ability to understand financial statements and data
    • Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts in the US in 2021 was $108,790
    • The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts in Nebraska is $77,420
  • Public Accountant:

    Public accountants are accountable for managing financial records, preparing tax returns, and offering financial advice to their clients in various industries, accounting firms, government agencies, or private businesses.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field
    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license
    • Strong knowledge of accounting principles and practices
    • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Attention to detail and accuracy
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for accountants and auditors in the US in 2021 was $77,250
    • The mean annual wage for accountants and auditors in Nebraska is $74,320
  • Economic Analyst:

    Economic analysts are responsible for interpreting economic data to gain insights into markets, industries, and economies. Furthermore, they help businesses and organizations make informed decisions with confidence by identifying trends and making recommendations - providing an invaluable service.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in economics, finance, or a related field
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Familiarity with statistical software such as R, STATA, or SPSS
    • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
    • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for economists in the US in 2021 was $105,630
    • The mean annual wage for accountants and auditors in Nebraska is $71,360
  • Financial Manager:

    Financial managers are accountable for overseeing all aspects of a company's financial activities such as accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. Their job involves making sure financial reports are accurate and on schedule while offering guidance to senior management on strategic plans and performance measures.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance or accounting (Master's degree preferred)
    • Professional certification (e.g. CPA, CFA)
    • At least 5 years of experience in finance or accounting
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Knowledge of accounting software and ERP systems

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for financial managers in the US in 2021 was $131,710
    • The mean annual wage for financial managers in Nebraska is $133,170
  • Tax Preparer:

    A tax preparer is responsible for preparing and filing income tax returns for individuals and businesses. They must have a thorough understanding of tax laws and regulations, as well as excellent communication skills to interact with clients.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field
    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification preferred
    • Knowledge of federal, state, and local tax laws and regulations
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Proficiency in tax preparation software and Microsoft Office Suite

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for tax preparers in the US in 2021 was $49,550
    • The mean annual wage for tax preparers in Nebraska is $41,340
  • Chief Financial Officer:

    A chief financial officer (CFO) of any company is charged with overseeing its financial operations, which may include planning, and analysis, budgeting, accounting, tax, treasury functions, and providing strategic financial advice to help steer its overall direction.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance or accounting; MBA preferred
    • CPA or CFA certification preferred
    • 10+ years of experience in finance or accounting roles
    • Experience in a leadership position, preferably as a CFO or VP of Finance
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for chief executives in the US in 2021 was $246,440
    • The mean annual wage for chief executives in Nebraska is $232,210
  • Financial Analyst:

    Financial analysts are responsible for analyzing financial data, compiling reports, and offering insights that support strategic decision-making processes. They work closely with various departments within their organization in providing accurate and timely financial information.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or related field
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Knowledge of accounting principles and financial analysis techniques
    • Experience with budgeting and forecasting processes preferred
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for financial analysts in the US in 2021 was $95,570
    • The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts in Nebraska is $77,420
  • Loan Officer:

    A loan officer is responsible for helping clients secure loans for various needs such as purchasing a home, starting a business, or financing education. They evaluate loan applications, assess creditworthiness, and advise clients on the best loan options available to them.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or related field
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • Knowledge of lending regulations and compliance standards
    • Ability to analyze financial data and make informed decisions
    • Customer-service oriented mindset
    • Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for loan officers in the US in 2021 was $63,380
    • The mean annual wage for loan officers in Nebraska is $86,750

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