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A Finance Degree's Versatility Is Its Biggest Asset
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom looking to re-enter the workforce or an already-working mother interested in a career change, a finance degree can serve you well. One of the biggest benefits of a finance degree is its versatility. It gives you a solid base in business and economics, so you have the ability to apply that knowledge to a variety of industries. Think about whether you would like to stick to a traditional career path in finance or go outside of those careers for something a little different.
Traditional Career Paths
A degree in finance opens up the possibility of a variety of careers within the banking, finance or economics industries. These include:
- Accountant: Professionals in this career reconcile financial records to ensure they are accurate and that a company’s or person’s taxes are paid correctly and promptly. Accounting offers a variety of niches that might be interesting to you, such as government accounting, public accounting, forensic accounting or internal auditing. The 2016 median pay for an accountant was $68,150.
- Controller. Also known as a “finance director,” financial manager or chief accounting officer, a controller is in charge of an organization’s finances and accounting. This detail-oriented position requires you to develop balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and financial projections. The median salary for this position is around $121,750 a year.
- Financial advisor. If you like working directly with people, considering personal financial advising. This career path requires providing guidance to clients about all types of financial topics, including investing, estate planning, retirement planning and college savings. This profession earns a median salary of $90,530.
- Financial analyst: Dig deep into the financial profession as an analyst. These professionals assess the performance of investments, such as stocks and bonds, and offer advice to businesses or people who are making these investment decisions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a financial analyst was $81,760 as of 2016.
- Tax examiner: Those who work as tax examiners or collectors figure out how much a company or organization owes in taxes through reviewing tax returns and conducting audits. They then collect those taxes on behalf of local, state or federal governments. BLS states that those in this position earn a median salary of $52,060.
Non-Traditional Career Paths
Just because you have a degree in finance doesn’t mean that you have to go down a traditional career path. Luckily, a degree in finance provides a number of transferrable of skills, which means that you might succeed in a non-traditional career choice, such as:
- Meeting planner: People who work as meeting or event planners must have a strong grasp of financial principles to ensure that the meetings and events, not only stay on budget but also make money, if that’s the purpose. These professionals also coordinate with vendors and arrange the details of the event, such as transportation, lodging and technological necessities. The BLS states that meeting planners earn a median salary of $47,350 as of 2016.
- Teacher: If you have a bachelor’s degree in finance, consider becoming a high school teacher in a related field, such as economics. You will have to obtain certification to teach seventh to twelfth grade. The median salary for a high school teacher was $58,030, as of 2016.
- Investopedia: Uncommon jobs for your finance degree
- Bentley University: 12 Interesting Jobs in Finance
- First Quarter Finance: Reasons to Study Finance
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Business and Financial Occupations
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Financial Managers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: High School Teacher
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.