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MBA in Finance Degree Guide
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a finance specialization is one of several degree options for aspiring financial professionals. An MBA is a highly respected degree in the financial field and it could help you advance your career. Earning an MBA is a smart choice for students who want a broad business degree and a specialized understanding of finance.
"Someone who is interested in being a generalist should pursue an MBA," says Greg Wilson, a Chartered Financial Analyst with more than two decades of experience in the financial industry. "In my experience, people I worked with that had an MBA had two noticeable advances over those that didn't: they were better coached in public speaking and they had a better (professional) network."
What You'll Study
An MBA in Finance will give you an advanced knowledge and understanding of both business and financial topics. The degree is designed to help graduates take on corporate finance, banking, financial planning, and other high-level business and financial roles. To prepare you for the responsibility of these roles, you'll study a broad scope of topics that are essential to business leadership and financial management.
The exact courses you'll take will depend on your school, but there are some core subjects that all finance-focused MBA programs will cover. These include:
Are There Certifications Available?
An MBA in Finance won't automatically qualify you for any certifications, however, it will help you meet some of the the educational requirements for two important certifications:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants requires 150 semester hours of education in accounting before you apply to take the exam. Depending on what your undergraduate degree is, your MBA in Finance can qualify you to take the exam.
Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certification
The Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certification from the Association for Financial Professionals requires either two years of full-time corporate finance work or a graduate-level degree in finance. Your MBA in Finance will allow you to take the exam without work experience. This certification is a great choice for accountants, budget analysts, budget managers, and any other financial professionals who help businesses meet their financial goals.
MBA in Finance vs Master of Finance
An MBA in Finance is a broad business degree with a financial focus. It gives you a high level of understanding of business leadership practices. You'll gain an advanced knowledge of financial topics, but you'll also study communication, operations, team building, and other business topics.
Conversely, a Master in Finance Degree is intended only for financial professionals. In a Master in Finance degree program, you'll focus strictly on financial coursework. You won't take courses on other aspects of business.
What Jobs are Available with an MBA in Finance?
Finance is a broad career field that includes several job titles and that is found in multiple industries, and an MBA in Finance can help you advance your career in nearly all financial roles. However, there are some financial roles and industries that are more likely to be seeking out MBA graduates for high-level and well-paying roles, such as financial controller, chief financial officer, certified public accountant, and jobs at firms that manage high net worth clients.
Why Should You Earn this Degree?
An MBA in Finance can be a great fit for people who want their financial career to be focused on business, investments, and banking. Often, earning an MBA can allow you to move into financial management and financial leadership positions. Plus, since an MBA is a recognized and highly respected degree, it gives you an edge when you apply for jobs.
"If you want to be noticed by higher-ups or stand out to companies, get an MBA," says Stanford Nix, MBA, managing partner of The Nix Organization.
Can I Earn More with an MBA in Finance?
Earning an MBA can help advance your career. It might also help increase your paycheck. The exact amount you earn will depend on your job title, experience, and industry, but the 2021 Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Compensation Survey found that financial professionals with an MBA had an average annual salary that was 10 to 15% more than financial professionals with bachelor's or associate degrees.
Written and reported by:
With professional insight from:
Stanford Nix, MBA
The Nix Organization
Chartered Financial Analyst