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How to Get a Financial Management Position Without a Degree

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Financial managers take care of the company’s finances. This is a big job that directly relates to a company’s ability to perform and meet its goals. Financial managers analyze and advise the organization on ways to maximize profits. Some financial managers are experts in a specific industry or on certain processes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, controllers, treasurers, credit managers, cash managers, risk managers and insurance managers are types of financial managers. Financial managers generally have a college degree or even a master’s degree. However, related experience sometimes can be enough to get you started in this occupation.

Related Work Experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers generally have more than five years experience in another related occupation such as a loan officer, accountant or financial analyst. Financial managers often have knowledge of various departments in their company, so it is possible to advance and be promoted into a financial management position within an organization. Loan officers, a position that offers related experience, does not require a college degree, according to the Bureau and could provide a pathway to a financial management career without first earning a related college degree.

By Certification

A college degree is not required for obtaining certification as a certified treasury professional. The CTP credential is a recognized finance and treasury industry credential sponsored by the Association for Financial Professionals. Two years of professional work experience, not including internships or volunteer positions, are required to be eligible for the CTP exam. The full-time work experience should be in a career position working in cash management or a finance-related position. The exam tests your knowledge of the corporate treasury function, cash management, working capital management, capital markets and treasury systems. To maintain certification, CTPs must complete continuing education requirements.

Management Training Program

Some companies provide in-house training for highly motivated and promising individuals to become financial managers, according to the Bureau. Each corporation maintains the requirements for their financial management trainee program. Generally those companies that recruit for their program externally seek recent college graduates. In some cases, they may recruit candidates with a graduate degree. However, some companies may offer similar training programs internally. Talk to your boss about opportunities with your organization.

Market What You Have

If you have a degree in another major or field, it might be enough to qualify you for a position in financial management. Similarly, if you have some college but didn't graduated, the business classes you took could be a selling point. The important thing is that you market yourself, based on what you do have and not on what you lack. If you have related experience, held positions of responsibility, started your own business or made someone a lot of money, it might not matter that you don’t have a degree.


Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.

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