Fruitful Financials: Why Now Is A Great Time To Earn Your Master’s In Finance

Posted by Albers School of Business and Economics on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 9:16 PM PDT

Statue of George Washington on Wall Street

The financial industry has undergone a rapid evolution, one that is still very much in progress. From a shifting economic landscape, ever-changing financial regulations, and the rise of financial technology, not to mention influences and reactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is at a pivotal moment in its transformation.

While some of these elements may pose challenges, they present opportunities for financial professionals to evolve and grow. It also means the demand for these professionals will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, adding about 476,200 new jobs. This is faster than the average growth for all occupations (the average growth rate for all occupations across industries is 4 percent). BLS also notes that “...a growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.”

So, as the financial industry continues to develop and evolve, innovating right alongside with society and new technologies, companies are racing to find new and qualified finance talent, meaning this is an opportune time for students and professionals alike to break into the field or upskill to advance their career.

Why A Master’s Degree In Finance?

With the vast scope of this opportunity, and the future looking ever-changing, what can financial professionals do to stay relevant today and tomorrow? According to Graduate Management Admissions Council’s (GMAC) most recent annual report, despite the pandemic shaking the global economies and heavily influencing the way we work, “the confidence of corporate recruiters in the skills and abilities of graduate management talent remains strong.”

This makes sense.

Given the accelerated pace of transformation within the industry, most professionals can expect their roles to change, some even significantly, as our economy and all industries adapt. In fact, based on a report from CFA Institute, Investment Professional of the Future, 89 percent of industry leaders surveyed agreed that individuals’ roles will be transformed multiple times during their careers.

This means that finance professionals must have the aptitude and savvy to navigate and harness continual technological change; the type of aptitude and savvy developed by honing your skills through advanced education and instruction.

Here are some of the benefits of earning your finance master’s degree:

1: Employers Appreciate Your Advanced Degree.

Whether you are looking to advance your career with your current employer or seeking to stand out to a prospective employer, the higher level of modern, up-to-date education in the financial sector translates to key factors of success in today’s diverse workplace, such as strengthened leadership and management skills, an important qualification for many businesses. Boosting your credentials and exposure to different financial elements makes you more qualified for a range of rewarding jobs, as a part of your career trajectory at your current place of work or if you are looking to spread your wings elsewhere.

2: Engage In More Targeted Learning For A Competitive Edge.

Pursuing a master’s in finance allows for a more in-depth study of the financial aspects of business, rather than training for a variety of fields. From financial analysis/investments to risk management to corporate finance, mastering in finance pinpoints a narrow focus that will set you apart in such a competitive, global, and in-demand job market.

3: Carve Out An Expedited Path To Leadership.

If your career goals see you moving up the ranks, an important place to start is an advanced degree that supports that path. As a finance professional, you will likely be working directly with leaders in the company, helping to facilitate and guide sound monetary decisions and ensuring the company stays as financially healthy as possible. This is heavily valued by business leadership. From small start-ups to large corporations, every business depends on effectual financial strategies and principles.

4: Improve Your Ability To Juggle Juxtaposing Skill Sets.

Finance roles are often dual-natured, requiring a level of comfort in both qualitative and quantitative functions. Those in finance must be skilled with numbers and data analytics while also being good communicators, who are able to address and speak to needs and concerns at all levels of the business, and team players, who can work cross-functionally as finance impacts every part of a business.

What Can I Do With A Master’s In Finance?

While earning a master’s degree in finance is clearly a great way for aspiring and current financial professionals to enhance their resumes, many may still wonder about the variety of career opportunities made available upon the completion of this degree.

As financial professionals are able to maintain a balance of these technical and soft skills, as well as combine deep subject matter expertise with wider knowledge of the financial ecosystem, there are a number of roles that lend themselves well to those equipped with an advanced degree in finance.

For example, you could pave the way to become a financial analyst. Financial analysts are key team members who are responsible for examining a company or organization’s financial data to aid in and guide conversations around financial decisions and future forecasting. Financial analyst jobs are in high-demand, matching the projected financial operations occupation growth of 5 percent from by 2029, with an average salary of $81,590.

Finance managers and officers, responsible for diplomatically handling business goals, directing organization’s budgets, and overseeing plans to raise capital, are in even higher demand. BLS projects 15 percent growth by 2029, which is significantly above the average for all occupations, with a median salary of $134,180. Subcategories of financial management, including cash management and risk management, are predicted to be highly sought after over the decade as well.

As one of the fastest-growing and most critical areas of business operation and management, the successful finance professionals of tomorrow can take a more active and hands-on approach to learning and career development and equip themselves with the tools, resources, and know-how needed to navigate the challenges and opportunities of an evolving landscape.

Taking Finance Further at Albers School Of Business And Economics

The Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at the Albers School of Business and Economics is committed to the long-term success of its graduates and educating the ethical business leaders of tomorrow, advancing financial knowledge and expertise by offering a comprehensive study in business finance, investments, and financial institutions and markets, including discussion of ethical issues in business and finance.

This solid grounding in finance, paired with a rigorous core curriculum, is delivered in small class environments with dedicated, top-tier faculty and staff to maximize interaction and better tailor the learning experience to your ultimate career goals.

Currently celebrating our 30th anniversary, the Albers MS Finance program has consistently shown strong employment outcomes year after year. Graduates work in a wide variety of positions in banking, business valuation, investment banking, and international finance. Many also go on to seek CFA, CFP, CAIA, or FRM certification.

Now is the time to develop your expertise and broaden your career options within the transforming field of finance. If you are thinking about a career in finance, Albers School of Business and Economics is dedicated to helping you to achieve that goal.