Still can’t decide on a college major? Consider finance. Studying finance can later help you start your own business, prepare you to work in many different industries, help you gain universal skills, and a degree in finance is respected by many business professionals — among other benefits. Below, we have the list of reasons why you should consider studying finance.
Five Reasons to Study Finance
Business, and specifically finance, is one of the most useful fields of study you can pursue in college. It can prepare you to become an entrepreneur, to work in a well-established business, or to help grow a small business. Beyond its wide range of career prospects, studying business also has personal benefits. Below, we have detailed the top five reasons to consider studying finance.
1. It Sets You up to Start Your Own Business
If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, a degree in finance is the best place to start. A spark of genius might start a business, but a solid understanding of how to raise capital is what will keep a business going. For example, website domain giant GoDaddy’s founder Bob Parsons studied accounting at the University of Baltimore, according to Rasmussen College.
During your studies, you’ll gain invaluable advice and mentorship from your professors. And, you’ll be able to collaborate with classmates whom you may end up working with professionally. Beyond the classroom, major companies including Chevron, Georgia-Pacific, and AT&T offer finance internships, which can help you network with and learn from established professionals.
2. You Can Work in Any Industry
A degree in finance opens up a wide range of job opportunities beyond entrepreneurship. From banking to nonprofits to the arts, graduates with a finance degree are always in-demand. Finance is listed as one of the best majors for job prospects after graduation by CNBC. Kiplinger also lists finance as one of the top 10 majors for a lucrative career — noting that there are 1.4 million job postings in this field online each year and that the projected 10-year job growth is higher than average.
The finance industry is relatively recession-proof, as businesses need financial advice and leadership regardless of the state of the economy. Finance professionals are something no large business can do without. Entrepreneur magazine names “chief financial officer” among the most important roles to fill when building a management team.
The economy has three sectors: public, private for-profit, and private nonprofit. The public sector consists of anything that gets funding from taxpayers, such as government agencies or schools. Private for-profit companies do not receive any funding from the public and are typically the most profitable businesses. Private nonprofit companies receive some government funding but operate independently. With a finance degree, you can work in any of these sectors, and can even move between them. Some schools, such as Grand Valley State University in Michigan, offer separate majors in nonprofit management and administration. Students of GVSU’s program can have an emphasis in Public and Nonprofit Budgeting and Finance. However, most schools, including Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, offer a broad range of courses that do not focus on any one sector. Regardless of the sector, all businesses have carefully managed budgets and need capable finance professionals working among their ranks.
3. You Can Live Anywhere
If you’re interested in living in different U.S. cities or abroad, a career in finance can help you make that happen. You can find work wherever you go, inside the U.S. or internationally. A map on Fortune’s website shows that the headquarters of top U.S. companies can be found coast to coast, in major cities like Seattle and San Francisco, as well as smaller markets like Tulsa and Minneapolis.
Finance is the language of business and remains much the same around the world. Globally, there is a growing financial job market as companies expand their operations into emerging economies. A search for finance jobs on ExpatJob.com, a job search site targeted at American expatriates, shows opportunities available in Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, and the United Kingdom, to name a few.
4. Your Personal Finances Will Benefit from a Finance Degree
The skills you’ll learn in business school can be applied not only to your career but also to your personal life. While most college majors are only useful at work, a degree in finance will help you earn, save, and invest your money in a smart and structured way. Beyond the strong job prospects discussed above, many finance programs require coursework in topics like investment, where you’ll gain an understanding of risk, returns, portfolio diversification, and different types of investment. This will help you when establishing or rebalancing your 401(k) portfolio or making other personal investments.
5. People Respect a Finance Degree
A finance degree takes a lot of hard work, but it will result in a strong, universally-applicable skill set that includes critical thinking, communication, and quantitative analysis. The amount of effort required to excel in finance is well-known, making the degree a respectable one. Holding a degree in finance can help you earn the approval of family members, peers, and prospective employers. Rasmussen College spoke with company founders and chief executives who said that excelling in a finance degree program shows initiative, inquisitiveness, strong work ethic, and the ability to continue learning as the field changes.
Ready to study finance? Forbes’ list of top U.S. business schools is a great place to start your search for schools.
Pursuing a degree in finance opens up opportunities for entrepreneurship and cross-sector employment. You’ll also better understand your personal finances and will have the respect of your peers and superiors.
For more information to help you prepare for a career, see our articles: Examples of Long-Term Career Goals and Personal Accomplishment Examples for Resume (Summary of Accomplishments).