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Finance, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Finance, General. A program that generally prepares individuals to plan, manage, and analyze the financial and monetary aspects and performance of business enterprises, banking institutions, or other organizations. Includes instruction in principles of accounting, financial instruments, capital planning, funds acquisition, asset and debt management, budgeting, financial analysis, and investments and portfolio management.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Finance students apply business, accounting and marketing smarts to jobs in banking, international finance and financial planning. If you've got sharp communication skills and a head for number-crunching, check out this degree.

You can enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree. But some students choose to pursue a master of business administration (MBA). Graduate programs usually require an honors undergraduate degree in commerce or the equivalent as well as an interview, a graduate admissions test and letters of recommendation.

Undergraduate programs last about four years and prepare graduates for entry-level positions. Graduate programs range from one to two years.

Finance is offered under a school's department of commerce or business administration. Students choose finance as a subspecialty and graduate with a bachelor of commerce (B.Comm.) or a bachelor of business administration (BBA).

"Students select their specific concentrations within finance by selecting from electives in portfolio theory, bank management, options and futures, international finance and financial planning," says Jeff Peterson of Saint Bonaventure University in New York.

Many programs also contain one or more internships or paid work terms, where students work for a bank, government department or financial services company.

Students need an aptitude for numbers. "If you don't like basic math or statistics, don't even consider it," says Leigh Riddick of American University.

Finance students must also demonstrate solid communication and information processing skills. Professor Robert Heinkel also believes interpersonal skills are necessary.

"Generally speaking, students should pursue a general college preparatory course of study in high school," says Peterson. "Math, physics and economics are particularly important to the study of finance."

The main costs are tuition and books.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agents

Learning Network
Learn about finance the fun way -- through stories and quizzes

Association for Financial Professionals
Information and resources for the finance profession

Finance and Economics on the Web
Look no further, it's all here


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.