Affordable Online Finance Degrees

The academic field of finance focuses on the way funds and assets are managed, designated, and dispersed. Finance professionals are responsible for ensuring the monetary health of their employer, whether they crunch numbers for a corporation or assist individual clients with their personal funds and investments. Those who work in finance are also trained to monitor two critical variables: the time value, or current value, of different assets; and the potential liabilities and losses, or ‘risk’, that different investments pose. The stock market is a dynamic, unpredictable system, and finance professionals are called upon to analyze current trends and make informed, minimal-risk predictions. An online degree in finance will prepare you to succeed in this challenging sector.

The continued role of the United States as a global economic hub ensures healthy career prospects for those who earn online finance degrees. Additionally, the implementation of new regulations governing the way people and companies do business — as well as evolving technology and increasingly complex investment portfolios — have increased the demand for qualified professionals in certain areas of the financial sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects above average job growth for certain finance jobs — such as finance analysts and finance examiners — over the next eight years.

This page examines educational trends and career prospects for students who are planning to earn their finance degree online. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive resource that will help you decide if an online degree in finance is right for you.

Did You Know?

As of 2016, there was nearly $1.46 trillion dollars of U.S. currency in circulation — most of which was outside of the country. As a finance student, you learn about the growth, flow, and value of money, along with dozens of other skills that can be applied to the business world and beyond. Explore the possibilities available for finance degree-holders.

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What Can You Do with a Degree in Finance?

Financial Analyst

$80,310 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

Financial analysts recommend stocks, bonds, and other investment options for businesses, organizations, or individuals. Some specialize in singular investments, while others offer advice on collections of investments (also known as portfolios). They carefully analyze the market and current economic trends before making their picks in order to minimize risk and increase the probability of a favorable return-on-investment (ROI) for their clients. Financial analysts generally fall into two categories: buy-side analysts, who create investment plans for mutual funds, insurance companies, and other institutional investors; and sell-side analysts, who counsel financial services personnel tasked with selling investments. Most financial analysts work in New York City and other financial hubs in the U.S. and across the globe; financial analyst salary expectations vary by location.

  • Licensure Required: None
  • Time Commitment: 4 years
  • Median Annual Salary (Entry-Level): $54,488
  • Median Annual Salary (Mid-Career): $63,812
  • Median Annual Salary (Late-Career): $71,880

Financial Examiner

$78,010 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

The primary responsibility of a financial examiner is to make sure that banks and other financial institutions are complying with federal laws and regulations. They study balance sheets, expense accounts, and loan documents in order to assess the assets and liabilities of a given institution. Financial examiners typically work in one of two areas: risk scoping, or ensuring that banks and other financial lenders are able to offer loans without incurring major losses; or consumer compliance, a field that evaluates individual loan programs in order to determine whether or not borrowers are treated fairly. The majority of financial examiners work for the finance or insurance industry, or for government agencies at the state or federal level.

  • Licensure Required: None
  • Time Commitment: 4 years
  • Median Annual Salary (Entry-Level): $53,000
  • Median Annual Salary (Mid-Career): $73,000
  • Median Annual Salary (Late-Career): $82,000

Financial Manager

$117,990 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

Financial managers oversee the monetary health and activities of corporations and organizations. Day-to-day duties include drafting budgetary reports, advising on investment opportunities, and analyzing the market for the latest trends. The BLS notes that the role of financial managers has evolved as technology has improved; historically these employees spent most of their time monitoring their company’s financial traffic, but currently their jobs mostly entail data analysis and providing guidance to senior executives. Chief financial officers (CFOs) lead financial management teams at most institutions. Other roles for managers include: controllers, who prepare financial reports; treasurers, who handle company budgets; and risk managers, who study business trends in order to minimize potential losses. Although licensure is not required for financial managers, these employees often boost their career standing by earning certification through entities like the CFA Institute and/or the Association for Finance Professionals. Financial manager salary expectations tend to be much higher than other employees in this sector.

  • Licensure Required: None
  • Time Commitment: 4 years
  • Median Annual Salary (Entry-Level): $59,067
  • Median Annual Salary (Mid-Career): $71,413
  • Median Annual Salary (Late-Career): $68,007

Finance Careers by the Numbers

BLS data indicates that the median annual salary for all finance careers is $65,710 — nearly $30,000 higher than the median annual earnings for all professions. Although the median financial manager salary was the highest among all finance professionals, the projected growth for this career path sits at a relatively low 7%. By contrast, careers as personal financial advisors — the second-highest salary in the field — are expected to grow by as much as 30% between 2014 and 2024. The median financial analyst salary placed fourth on the earnings list, just above $80,310.

Top Finance Careers by Income and Growth Rate
Career Salary Job Outlook
Financial Managers $117,990 + 7%
Personal Financial Advisors $89,160 + 30%
Management Analysts $81,320 + 14%
Financial Analysts $80,310 + 12%
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm

Highest Paying Financial Manager Careers by Sector


What Does it Take to Succeed in Finance?

Anyone can pursue an online finance degree, but those with certain personality traits stand to enjoy the most success in this dynamic field. The following table lists some of the attributes that will help you thrive in the financial sector.

  • Communication

    Finance professionals often work on teams or as part of a larger department. They are expected to be in constant communication with their peers and provide critical market updates as promptly as possible. Communication is also crucial when dealing with individual clients who have not received a formal education in finance.

  • Attention to Detail

    Finance professionals must carefully pore over budget reports, balance sheets, and other documents to minimize risk and ensure the monetary wellbeing of their employer or clients. A keen understanding of financial regulations is also required.

  • Presence of Mind

    Finance professionals often work under pressure and must make valuable market predictions in order to reduce potential risk. This level of uncertainty can create a stressful job environment, and cool-headed individuals are often the ones who are selected to advance into higher positions.

  • Trustworthiness

    The financial sector is governed by strict laws and regulations, and professionals in this field are expected to follow the rules. Ethical employees who understand their legal obligations are an invaluable asset to any company’s financial department. Trustworthiness will also help financial analysts and advisors build healthy relationships with the clients or businesses they serve.


Associate Degree in Accounting: An Overview

Who should pursue an associate degree in finance?

Anyone who wants to pursue a career in finance and would like to gain some introductory knowledge about the field.

How many years will it take to complete?

Most associate online finance degree programs require a one- or two-year commitment.

Is a thesis or capstone usually required?

No, although some programs feature a capstone course.

What type of jobs does this degree prepare you for?

While most finance professions require at least a bachelor’s degree, an associate may be sufficient for some entry-level jobs.

What's the average salary for someone who holds this degree?

According to PayScale, the average salary for an entry-level finance or accounting professional is $45,000.

Core Concepts

An associate degree in finance focuses on the following core concepts:

  • Understand fundamental principles related to budgetary and asset and investment management
  • Learn basic strategies for analyzing market trends, monitoring business activities, and reporting on monetary strengths and weaknesses
  • Calculate potential risk factors and develop long-term plans for minimizing liabilities and maximizing returns
  • Apply financial regulations and policies to real-world business scenarios
  • Communicate with clients about complex financial concepts using terminology that is accessible and easy to understand

Course Highlights

Personal Finance

Description The elements of personal financial planning, such as making major purchases, supporting a growing family, and preparing for retirement.
Job Skill Be able to develop and implement an integrated, comprehensive plan to meet financial goals and prepare for financial emergencies.

Principles of Economics

Description An introduction to concepts and theories related to micro- and macroeconomics
Job Skill Be able to advise companies or individual clients using philosophically-oriented approaches to money management. Microeconomics is related to principles of individual (household) funds, whereas macroeconomics deals with factors that affect national income such as inflation and gross domestic product.

Principles of Accounting

Description An introduction to strategies used by today’s professional accountants
Job Skill Be able to advise companies or individual clients in terms of maximizing profits, minimizing losses, and following financial regulations.

Business Statistics

Description Strategies pertaining to the way corporate financial data is observed, tallied, and reported
Job Skill Be able to analyze different documents in order to find trends and patterns that positively or adversely affect the monetary health of a company or individual client.

Bachelor’s Degree in Finance: An Overview

Who should pursue a bachelor's degree in finance?

Anyone who wants to pursue a career in finance and begin applying for jobs immediately after graduation.

How many years will it take to complete?

A commitment of at least four years will be required of anyone who earns a finance degree online.

Is a thesis or capstone usually required?

An undergraduate capstone project is required in many (but not all) undergraduate online finance degree programs.

What type of jobs does this degree prepare you for?

An online bachelor’s degree in finance is sufficient to be considered for entry-level positions in most finance career pathways.

What's the average salary for someone who holds this degree?

According to PayScale, the median salary among those who earn a bachelor’s degree in finance is $55,248.

Core Concepts

An online bachelor’s degree in finance concentrates on the following core concepts:

  • Use principles of risk and security to inform decisions related to portfolio management and analysis
  • Apply financial laws and regulations to real-world business contexts in order to evaluate compliance and minimize risk
  • Collaborate with fellow finance professionals in order to effectively organize company assets, make sound investments, develop long-term budgetary plans, and maintain monetary health
  • Utilize various qualitative and quantitative methods in order to deliver accurate, up-to-date financial reports

Course Highlights

Corporate Finance

Description Intermediate principles of analysis, asset management, and corporate strategy are introduced
Job Skill Be able to develop long-term spending strategies, compose comprehensive budget reports, and perform in-depth risk assessments at the corporate level.

Management and Organization Theory

Description A look at philosophical approaches to finance at the corporate level
Job Skill Be able to apply the four principles of management — planning, organizing, leading, and controlling — to real-world problems, and to develop strategies for companies in terms of ethics and fiscal responsibility.

Financial Analysis

Description Methods and strategies for observation, analysis, and reporting financial data
Job Skill Be able to analyze financial records and market trends, apply data to corporate or individual budget plans and use the findings to maximize potential gains and minimize risk.

Wealth Management

Description Elements of asset management, career planning/retirement, and taxation
Job Skill Be able to meet with clients of different socioeconomic backgrounds and provide valuable, evidence-based guidance regarding funds, assets, investments, and risk management.

Affordable Schools With Online Bachelor’s Programs

Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Florida International University

Value Score 7.00
Average Tuition $4,721 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91%
Net Price $9,039
Graduation Rate 49%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Programs 1 (Online)
Established in 1998 and physically located in Miami, Florida International University was ranked #3 in Student Services and Technology by U.S. News & World Reports in 2012. FIU offers a fully online bachelor’s degree in finance. Students begin by learning basic principles of microeconomics and accounting, before moving on to more advanced courses in areas of emphasis, such as banking, corporate finance, and business investments. Like a traditional program, costs are based on a student’s state status; Florida residences are charged $212.71 per credit hours, while non-residents pay about $329.00. FIU Online is so integrated into the institution’s college life that remote students will find many of the same opportunities usually only allocated to their traditional counterparts are also available to them. Not only is the same financial aid open to all, fully online students can also join the FIU Honors College, which allows them easily access undergraduate research and special study abroad opportunities.
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2

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Value Score 6.82
Average Tuition $1,714 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $11,064
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 13%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Programs 1 (Online)
University of Massachusetts – Amherst offers an online finance bachelor’s degree through their Isenberg School of Management. Established in 1949 with only 15 students, Isenberg is now ranked among one of the best business school in the nation, and according to Businessweek in 2016, they are the best public institution of the kind in the northeast. The online programs are facilitated through the Blackboard platform. Online finance students not only learn the ins and outs of core topics like marketing and business theory, they also study how money interacts with risk and time, allowing them to pursue careers in fields like financial planning and risk management. In addition to their academics, students are encouraged to join one of the many programs Isenberg is associated with, including the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, in order to start networking as soon as possible. At $525 dollar per credit, tuition is the same for all online students. Federal financial aid is available, and because Isenberg is a longstanding and connected school, a variety of private scholarships are also up for grabs.
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3

University of St. Francis

Value Score 6.71
Average Tuition $28,220 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $13,502
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 57%
Number of Programs 1 (Online)
Located in Joliet, Illinois, St. Francis University was established in 1920 and derives its institutional philosophy from the Franciscan focus on wisdom, justice, charity, and peacemaking. USF’s School of Business is backed by the Accreditation Council on Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). USF does not offer a fully online bachelor’s degree in finance. However, with over 120 courses offered online per semesters, students can take a lot of their coursework through the remote platform, like “Principles of Microeconomics” and “Survey of Accounting and Budgeting.” Online costs are factored into the student’s overall tuition, which for a full-time student sits at $15,260. In addition to the flexibility USF offers through their course options, finance students are also encouraged to complete at least one internship before graduation. Advisors will help you pick the most suitable one based on personal interests and professional specializations, including opportunities with Exxon-Mobil, Citibank, and the Center for Economic Progress.
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4

Harvard University

Value Score 6.43
Average Tuition $40,418 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Net Price $2,473
Graduation Rate 97%
Student to Faculty Ratio 8:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 8%
Number of Programs 1 (Online)
Located in Cambridge Massachusetts, the Harvard Extension School was created in 1910 by President A. Lawrence Lowell and originally named after him. The institution’s mission from the beginning has been to provide students whose obligations prevent them from traditional schools the opportunity to earn a college degree. The Extension School offers a number of partially online degree programs. Consisting of 32 courses (or 128 credits, at least 16 of which must be taken on campus), students can choose to base their curriculum in Business Administration and Management with a minor in Finance. Like some of the other schools on this list, the Extension School accepts transfer credits. And a student can import up to 64 credits, reducing their total degree tuition cost from $44,800 to $22,400, making this one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degree in finance of its caliber. Though it may not be located on the same campus, the Extension School is fully accredited by Harvard, and its degrees and certificates are adorned with the university’s prestigious and influential insignia.
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5

Dickinson State University

Value Score 6.39
Average Tuition $4,891 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $8,233
Graduation Rate 35%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38%
Number of Programs 1 (Online)
First founded in 1916 through a state constitutional amendment to train educational professionals in the area, Dickinson State University’s main campus is located in the North Dakota city it’s named after. Among the school’s eight fully remote degree programs is an online bachelor’s degree in finance. Consisting of 128 total hours, finance students complete coursework in the general education, major, required adjunct, and elective categories in order to develop knowledge of financial management while also enhancing their interpersonal and professional skills, allowing them to pursue careers in fields like banking and credit analysis. Dickinson utilizes a host of software to facilitate the online learning experience, including Moodle for assignment completion and Tegrity, which records class time and course content for students to watch live or review on demand. Distance students pay approximately $3,756 for 12 credit hours, and while most out-of-state students can enroll in the online degree programs, those from Massachusetts and New Jersey may not as the accreditation process for those states are not finalized.
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Master’s Degree in Finance: An Overview

Who should pursue a master's degree in finance?

Anyone who wants to pursue a career in finance and effectively compete with bachelor’s degree-holding counterparts in the job market.

How many years will it take to complete?

Most master’s in finance online programs require at least a two-year commitment, although some programs are accelerated.

Is a thesis or capstone usually required?

Yes, a capstone project will be required for the majority of online master’s in finance degree programs.

What type of jobs does this degree prepare you for?

Since most finance careers are attainable with a bachelor’s degree, an online master’s in finance program will build on your undergraduate skills and allow you to enter the job market with additional academic experience.

What's the average salary for someone who holds this degree?

According to PayScale, those with a Master of Finance degree earn a median annual salary of $92,782, and those with a Master of Science in Finance earn a median annual salary of $67,788.

Core Concepts

A master’s in finance online degree will emphasize the following core concepts:

  • Provide expert financial advice for senior executives of corporate entities operating at the national and multinational level
  • Use advanced principles of asset management and risk analysis to safeguard high-volume personal and corporate accounts
  • Lead teams that perform complex data analyses and produce comprehensive, long-term budgetary plans
  • Communicate with peers and clients using advanced terminology about the role and operations of the Federal Reserve and other federal financial institutions

Course Highlights

Managerial Economics

Description Principles of economic theory and decision science
Job Skill Be able to approach corporate-level management using theory-based economic models, and utilize different tools designed to calculate potential risk and liabilities.

Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management

Description Advanced strategies for market analysis and asset management
Job Skill Be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of different investments (including stocks and bonds), and communicate these factors to clients using accessible terminology.

Financial Modeling

Description A look at the role of modeling in the world of modern finance
Job Skill Be able to use different financial models to analyze current market trends and evaluate a company’s monetary health in terms of performance and risk management.

Financial Econometrics

Description Methods of approaching economics using mathematical operations
Job Skill Be able to develop and evaluate complex financial databases based on econometric principles such as exploratory data analysis and regression analysis.

Affordable Schools With Online Master’s Programs

Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Finance
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Colorado State University – Fort Collins

Value Score 9.01
Average Tuition $7,868 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $10,449
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 80%
Enrollment Rate 32%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Programs 1 (Online Master's Program)
With accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of fields, CSU’s Global Campus has a mission to enhance the life of citizens from Colorado and around the world through excellent academic programs. Students can earn an online master’s finance degree from CSU to develop their leadership, operational finance, and technology skills, becoming a more attractive business candidate in the process.

Many students who earn a master’s degree in finance at CSU pursue careers as financial advisors or managers. CSU offers students a flexible schedule, perfect for those who want to earn an online master’s in finance either full- or part-time. And because CSU’s Global Campus only serves online students, all of its tools, communication, and resources are easily accessible for distance learners — so no students will miss anything by being remote.
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2

University of Houston – Clear Lake

Value Score 8.71
Average Tuition $6,372 (In State)
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42%
Number of Programs 1 (Online Master's Program)
Although UHLC has not been around as long as the system’s flagship campus, the school has made a name for itself as a strong academic institution. Since its creation in the early 1970s, the small state university in Texas has awarded students more than 62,000 degrees. UHCL, with a diverse student body of about 8,000 students, is located on a nature reserve and well known locally for its community focus.

That emphasis extends to UHCL’s online programs as well. Remote learners can earn an online master’s in finance degree via UHCL’s flexible MS program. The fully accredited 30-credit program uses the same full-time, experienced, PhD faculty who teach at UHCL (including CFAs and CFPs) and can be taken completely online. Classes are small for more personal teaching. Finance master’s degree students at UHCL can expect to learn everything from theory to practice so that they’ll be ready to hire. The program includes networking and UHCL’s career services.
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3

Concordia University – Wisconsin

Value Score 7.74
Average Tuition $25,930 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Net Price $19,494
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 75%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72%
Number of Programs 1 (Online Master's Program)
Originally teaching only 13 students when it was founded in the late 1800s, Concordia University now serves thousands of students from a variety of backgrounds. Located just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan, this Lutheran university aims to instill a global perspective in its students, among other virtues. Students globally can become part of the Concordia community through its many online programs, including its master’s of business administration with a focus in finance.

Concordia’s 39-credit, accredited online finance degree is taught by industry professionals. With electives in real estate investment, international finance, risk management, and much more, Concordia’s online finance program prepares students for a variety of careers. Distance learners at Concordia can use their degree to become budget analysts, cost estimators, financial analysts, financial examiners, personal financial advisors, and more. The personalized program includes a flexible schedule and a capstone project at the end.
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4

University of the Southwest

Value Score 7.27
Average Tuition $14,616 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $2,029
Graduation Rate 22%
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate Open
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Programs 1 (Online Master's Program)
LMS Blackboard
Hobbs, New Mexico is home to University of the Southwest. USW is a small, private interdenominational Christian university that specializes in education and business. The school’s mission focuses on providing superior education and guidance to its students supporting entrepreneurship and virtuousness after graduation.

USW online students can earn a finance master’s degree through USW in its MBA program. The Finance specialization in the USW MBA program includes courses in financial reporting, small business finance, financial planning and investment, multinational finance, and organizational design. Small business owners and entrepreneurs may be particularly drawn to USW’s 36-credit program. The program can be completed in one year.
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5

New England College

Value Score 7.06
Average Tuition $11,060 (In State)
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Programs 2 (Online Master's Program)
Located in scenic Henniker, New Hampshire, NEC was originally created to serve military veterans returning from World War II. Maintaining its community and citizen focus, NEC has expanded its academic offerings over the years and now counts roughly 2,000 students on its NH campus and many more online. But students don’t need to visit NEC’s picturesque campus for a quality education — they can earn a master’s finance degree online.

Remote learners can earn an online finance master’s degree through NEC’s banking & financial management program. The 36-credit financial master’s degree includes courses in capital strategy analysis, mergers, and acquisitions, and leadership. Students can complete the accredited program in fewer than two years and work collaboratively completely online. In addition to a thorough curriculum, all NEC finance classes have facilitators to answer any question and assure students are learning optimally.
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PhD in Finance: An Overview

Who should pursue a PhD in finance?

Anyone who wants to pursue a career in finance and increase their competitiveness in the job market for highly sought after positions.

How many years will it take to complete?

Most Ph.D. programs require a commitment of three to four years.

Is a thesis or capstone usually required?

Yes. Doctoral students are usually required to compose and defend a dissertation during their third or fourth years.

What type of jobs does this degree prepare you for?

Although most careers in finance are attainable with a bachelor’s degree, a Ph.D. will prepare you for positions concentrated in financial research. Many academic positions are also available to doctoral finance graduates.

What's the average salary for someone who holds this degree?

According to PayScale, the average salary for someone with a Ph.D. in Finance is $157,778, and the average salary for someone with a Doctor of Philosophy in Finance is $117,810.

Ph.D. in Finance Overview

Unlike online finance degree programs at lower levels, Ph.D. programs focus less on classroom learning and more on financial theory and advanced research methods. By the end of the second year, most Ph.D. in Finance programs require students to sit for a comprehensive exam. Over the course of their Ph.D. program, students must compose a dissertation related to finance, and then defend it at an academic seminar or conference. Doctoral students are also expected to write and peer-review articles for publication in academic journals. In many cases, professors and program faculty members will review each student on an annual basis, noting both achievements and areas where improvement is needed.


Next Steps: Professional Certification

While most finance careers do not require formal licensure, many employees choose to earn certification in order to boost their professional standing and increase job security within their highly competitive field. Finance professionals commonly pursue the following certifications:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): The CFA is a certificate for investment professionals available through the CFA Institute. The course of study is divided into three progressive levels that must be completed in succession, and each level culminates in a comprehensive six-hour exam. Individuals who complete all of the requirements earn the title of ‘CFA charterholder’. Those who wish to pursue the CFA must pay a one-time enrollment fee of $450, as well as registration fees for all three exams.
  • Certified Treasury Professional (CTP): The CTP is a professional credential for treasurers available through the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). In order to be eligible for the CTP, you must have at least two years of corporate finance experience or a graduate-level degree in a finance-related field. As of 2016, the fee for taking the CTP exam is $796 for current AFP members who register early and $1,096 for non-members who register early.
  • Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM): Available through the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), the CGFM focuses on skills and knowledge pertaining to financial managers working for local, state, or federal government agencies. The exam costs $125 per sitting. You may retake the exam after 30 days of your first attempt; subsequent retakes require a wait time of at least 90 days. Those who earn CGFM status must renew their certification on an annual basis and accrue at least 80 continuing education hours every two years.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): This credential is designed for financial professionals who help individuals organize and allocate their funds and assets. Completion of the CFP requires coursework that draws from a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on ethics and trust-building in the financial planning profession. The final exam consists of two three-hour testing sessions, and is offered at more than 250 testing centers across the country.
  • Financial Risk Management (FRM): This credential from the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) evaluates candidates on their ability to identify, assess and mitigate financial risk. The FRM exam is based on GARP’s online, self-paced coursework, which is divided into two segments. The introductory ‘Foundations’ course tackles topics like credit and market risk, insurance risk, and regulatory guidelines laid out by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision; the Foundations course costs $199. The second, lengthier ‘Risk and Regulation’ segment goes in-depth to focus on issues like international standards for operational and asset/liability management; a fee of $399 is required for this course.

Sites You May Also be Interested In

Finance Job Boards

  • eFinancialCareers In addition to a global job-search aggregator, this site features information for students, company profiles for top employers, an extensive blog, and a section dedicated to IT jobs in the finance sector.
  • FinancialJobsWeb.com This site offers services for both job-seekers and employers, as well as a nationwide job-search aggregator that can be filtered for 37 different professional titles.
  • American Institute of CPAs The AICPA, a professional organization serving accountants across the U.S., maintains a robust job board with options for job-seekers and employers. The site also offers a virtual career fair once per year.

Finance Blogs

  • Money Crashers Dedicated to fostering “a community of people who try to make financially sound decisions,” this comprehensive blog features sections dedicated to smart banking and credit card management.
  • The Finance Professionals’ Post Developed by the New York Society of Security Analysts, this nonprofit forum takes an academic, research-driven approach to topics related to the financial and banking sectors.
  • Real Time Economics This blog, maintained by the Wall Street Journal, features posts revolving around national and international business topics, such as banking policies, economic analysis, and current market trends.

Professional Organizations