Finance Degrees

A finance degree can be an excellent start for any student seeking a career in financial management, banking, investments or insurance.

Because the financial world consist of numerous interrelated areas, financiers must understand a broad range of topics to do their jobs well. Successful financiers not only grasp the many complex forces at work in finance, they also analyze how these forces interact. This knowledge allows them to point investors and companies toward sensible, comprehensive financial strategies.

Read on to learn more about finance, and the post-graduation prospects it offers students.   

What is finance?

Finance is the study of financial systems and money management. The field commonly delves into subtopics such as investing, credit, banking and insurance, though any subject that impacts a group's financial management efforts can fall under the purview of finance.

Everyone from individuals to multinational companies to national governments can benefit from the knowledge of a financier. Questions a financier may encounter include:

  • A corporation needs new financing. Is it better to issue bonds or shares? What are the costs and benefits of each option? What features can be packaged with the new bond or stock to attract investors?
  • A corporation is considering expanding its manufacturing facilities. How can they estimate the value created by the expansion? How should it be financed?
  • An investment banker is bringing a new issue of stock to the market. When is the best time to do it? At what price should it be offered? How should it be placed?
  • The research department of a mutual fund management firm considers the stock of a corporation for possible inclusion in its portfolio. Are its growth prospects sustainable? What price should the firm pay for it?
  • An importer is considering how to hedge its future payment to foreign suppliers from a change in exchange rates. How should it hedge the foreign exchange risk?

Upon graduation from a finance degree program, students should have the skills necessary to credibly analyze fiscal matters related to business investment, and to perform stock and mutual fund research and analysis. Depending on their coursework, these students may have additional expertise in areas such as international monetary relations or financial derivatives.

What can you do with a degree in finance?

Financial management principles are essential to every business and industry in the world. Thus finance majors have some decisions to make as they plan their careers.

Below are some occupations that commonly attract professionals with finance degrees, along with salary and projected growth details on that profession, according to 2014-2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. Click on the headings to visit the BLS Occupational Outlook pages for each occupation.

Financial analysts

  • $80,310 median annual salary
  • 277,600 jobs in the U.S.
  • 12 percent projected growth in positions, 2014 to 2024

Financial examiners 

  • $78,010 median annual salary
  • 38,200 jobs in the U.S.
  • 10 percent projected growth in positions, 2014 to 2024

Budget analysts 

  • $71,590 median annual salary
  • 60,800 jobs in the U.S.
  • 3 percent projected growth in positions, 2014 to 2024

Personal financial advisors 

  • $89,160 median annual salary
  • 249,900 jobs in the U.S.
  • 30 percent projected growth in positions, 2014 to 2024

University of Nevada, Reno finance students often secure finance internships at local companies. These internships provide real-world experiences in finance and often lead to career opportunities either with the company or through the experience and contacts gained on the job.

Independent studies with faculty members can also provide a unique opportunity to explore areas of personal interest under professional supervision. Independent studies must be approved by the area coordinator and the department chair.

Students who earn an undergraduate degree in finance may also consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program for their graduate study. MBA programs cover other aspects of business, such as branding and marketing, which finance programs don't typically cover. The University offers both campus-based and online EMBA options.

How do I get started?

The University offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs for finance students:

Browse the programs above to learn how to become a finance student at the University, and to discover what sets the University's finance programs apart from similar programs.

You may also visit the University's College of Business site, which features more information on the finance department and the College's other program offerings.