College graduates with a degree in finance are qualified to work in a variety of settings including businesses, consulting firms, investment firms and other financial institutions. A finance degree provides the accounting, economics and business skills that professionals need to begin their careers in some of the most popular finance jobs.
Budget analysts play an important role in helping businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations put together, review, implement and monitor their budgets. They compile data to create annual budget reports that help managers find ways to reduce expenses and increase earnings.
Candidates must have good math, communication and computer skills. Entry-level positions are available for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often preferred.
Personal Financial Advisers
Also known as financial consultants or planners, financial advisers help clients make investment decisions, plan their retirements and minimize their tax liability. Based on their client’s financial information and goals, they put together a plan to help them accomplish their objectives. They may also sell insurance policies, real estate, mutual funds or other types of investments if they obtain the proper licenses.
Financial advisers promote their services in a variety of ways in order to get clients. They must have good communication and sales skills to be successful.
Auditors are responsible for checking the accuracy of a company’s financial records. They give organizations feedback about their bookkeeping policies and make suggestions about improving the efficiency of their accounting systems. They are employed as internal auditors that review the accounting records of their company or external auditors that provide their services to companies or government agencies as independent contractors.
A degree in finance with an emphasis in accounting will prepare graduates to work in this field. Meeting the education and experience requirements to become a certified public accountant (CPA) may also be required by some accounting firms.
Insurance companies rely on underwriters to evaluate insurance applications in order to determine the risk of loss associated with issuing a life, health or property insurance policy. They are trained to use computer systems, databases and various reports to analyze insurance applications and establish an insurance premium for the policies they issue.
Good computer skills, judgment and some insurance experience are important in this field. Most insurance companies offer entry-level positions and training for qualified candidates. The Insurance Institute of America also offers continuing education courses and professional designations for underwriters.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2009 salaries for these jobs vary depending on several factors including location, employer, experience level and additional training. Experienced budget analysts can make $93,080 or more per year. Personal financial advisers can make more than $114,260 a year not including the bonuses or sales commissions they may earn. Salaries for auditors can range from less than $34,470 to more than $94,050 a year. The average salary for insurance underwriters can range from $40,000 to $71,070 a year.