Today with our ever changing economies and political conditions, there are not a lot of career options that provide the stability and opportunities as a profession in finance would. In fact, while we in the Middle East are in the midst of drastic change caused by the political agenda's of the Gulf countries, financial degree programs are more popular than ever.
What is a Degree in Finance, exactly?
Often confused with a generic degree in the field of accounting, a degree in finance is actually tailored to focus on much more than basic accounting in a corporate setting. The discipline of financial accounting is the management of revenues and payable(s) of a corporate entity, it is also management of the investment portfolio of the organization, the assets and liabilities. This pertinent financial information serves decision makers such as banks, stockholders, suppliers, and government agencies with key highlights on the corporate entity.
Even though a financial analyst will take care of a company's current investments and expenses, they will investigate the trends of the company fro its financial history. This is done to gain an understanding of the risk tolerance and build a sound financial strategy for the future of the organization based on the trends. Institutions and investors rely on this highly developed skills of finance professionals to provide options that assure continued growth of their investments alongside financial viability.
What doors will a Finance Degree open?
In the last twenty years, the world of finance has seen exponential growth in job opportunities and this is why Universities that offer finance courses assure career stability.
On of the major advantages of a financial degree is the long-term flexibility it provides in terms of career options. If you are currently employed in a position that assess investment options and risk for a small to medium sized entity, there is nothing stopping you from continuing the same activities for a large organization and upgrading your potential. It is true as the size of a business grows there are more complexities that financial analysts needs to address.
Listed below are some of the various positions (and the responsibilities involved with the respective position) available to a professional with a postgraduate degree in finance:
- Finance Manager: Directing financial reporting, cash management, and investments for a business in any sector or field.
- Commercial Banker: In this role, you will help businesses expand by drafting customized financial solutions to reduce their costs such as wire transfers, FOREX and lending or borrowing.
- Investment Banker: This is an ever growing field of finance and highly lucrative in terms of commissions earned. Your will assist business in planning financial investments, trade stocks, bonds and securities, control assets and provide generalized financial advice.
- Insurance Banker: Focused on helping your clients minimize losses in unforeseen events or catastrophes.
- Corporate Financier: You would provide guidance and insight into corporate structuring including acquisitions and mergers, entity establishments and flow of funds between entities for cash management.
- Money Manager: These managers work for clients that hold stocks and bonds on the buying side of the stock exchange.
- Financial Planner: Similar to the role of a commercial banker, a financial planner can assist individuals as well. You would build plans for customers (or clients) that build their wealth while minimizing their risks involved. With customers the focus is on a goal such as education, retirement and so on.
- Financial Consulting: As a consultant you would be involved in providing advice on creating shareholder value, improving securities and positioning as well as business valuation and economic forecasting.
- Real Estate: This lucrative industry provides a wealth of opportunities for anybody in any stream, however for finance professionals it is especially useful as it includes working in title insurance, construction, properly management, real estate valuation and appraisal, mortgage banking, brokerage and leasing.
So as you can see from above there are a variety of paths for someone with a finance degree. The foundation gained would help any professional establish a career in banks, corporate settings or even as an entrepreneur!