Careers In Financial Management: Is A Bachelor’s Degree Enough?

What credentials do you need to compete for a financial management job? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a master’s degree in business administration, economics, or finance will be in the best position to secure finance-related jobs.

While financial management jobs are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014 (between 9 and 17 percent), the BLS notes that the number of people seeking finance-related jobs should exceed the number of such jobs available. To remain competitive, therefore, the BLS recommends getting a master’s degree in business administration or a related field, such as economics or finance.

Kick Start Your Finance Career

However, a master’s degree may not be necessary to get your start in finance. The minimum qualification for entering the field is a bachelor’s degree, reports the BLS. With a bachelor’s degree you can begin pursuing entry-level jobs in finance. Remember that many reputable MBA programs strongly encourage applicants to gain some relevant professional experience before entering graduate business school.

Financial Management Jobs

You’ll find a variety of jobs in the field of finance. Every company requires the services of a financial manager, someone to prepare financial reports, oversee investments, and manage flows of cash. You might work for a financial investment firm that advises clients on everything from retirement and long-term savings plans to picking the best credit cards. You might also work for a local bank or a mortgage company, developing and implementing lending programs, for example.

Continuous Education

The BLS provides another helpful tip to those interested in becoming a financial manager. Since the field of finance evolves quickly, good financial managers must stay abreast of developments in financial best practices and regulations by attending seminars, classes, and relevant networking opportunities. You can learn about such events through organizations like the Association for Financial Professionals and the Financial Management Association International.

It’s worth noting, however, that while the BLS recommends getting a master’s degree, you may not need it for a successful career in finance. Certain banks, for example, offer their own training programs for those ascending its ranks of management. And if you’re content to work at a lower level as an analyst, for example, a bachelor’s degree may suit you just fine.