You enjoy working with numbers and conquering complex challenges, and you’re interested in pursuing a high-level career in finance … but you have a full-time job, and the thought of adding graduate school to your schedule is daunting.
Good news: It is possible to earn a master’s degree in finance online. Better yet, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts significant growth in this lucrative field over the next several years: By 2029, employment opportunities for financial managers will increase by 15%,1 for example, and opportunities for actuaries will increase by 18%.2
Read on to explore the Online Master of Science in Finance: its personal and professional advantages, expected requirements for academic admission, and the essential traits of the best programs.
How Does a Master of Science in Finance Differ from a Master of Business Administration?
Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Finance (MSF) programs prepare students for leadership positions in finance. The essential difference between them is that MBA programs provide a wider education in business, with general business courses, while MSF programs focus squarely on finance, providing deep knowledge of practical financial skills. MSF programs may take less time to complete than MBA programs.3
Advantages of Earning an Online MSF
You may not think you have the time to pursue an advanced degree, but an Online Master of Science in Finance program can make it possible. As a student, you’ll be able to:
- Attend classes from home or any other off-campus location
- Benefit from optimal flexibility with a self-paced program
- Leverage technology to network with many professionals worldwide
- Gain broader insight into global business
- Learn new technical skills
- Save money on tuition and commuting costs
- Earn an advanced degree with no GMAT/GRE required
An Online MSF empowers you to advance your career without disrupting your professional and personal life.
Enhanced Career Potential
Professionals with master’s degrees, especially in business and financial fields, tend to earn more than those with bachelor’s degrees.4 For those with the necessary skills and credentials, top-earning positions in finance include:
Plan and manage accounting, banking, investments, insurance, securities and other financial activities for an office or department. Median salary: $151,510.5
Create financial reports and direct investments, in addition to developing plans for a company’s long-term financial goals. Median salary: $134,180.6
Analyze a company’s financial costs of risk and uncertainty, using financial theory, mathematics and statistics. Median salary: $111,030.7
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Controller
Both part of an organization’s executive team. A CFO manages the company’s finances, from financial planning to cash flow. A controller reports to the CFO and handles all budgeting, accounting and financial transactions. Median salary for each: $108,680.8
Online MSF Program Admission Requirements
Online MSF programs usually require that new students hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. They may also expect a certain amount of professional work experience or demonstrable business acuity. Most programs will require a personal essay and letters of recommendation, and some will require GMAT or GRE scores.
Finding the Best Online Master of Science in Finance Program
Your graduate education is an important investment—of your resources and in your future—so be meticulous as you research programs. The internet is full of ads styled as articles, promoting ‘best of’ lists of graduate programs. They can be helpful up to a point, but you need specific answers to some key questions:
- Does the program offer a rigorous, varied curriculum?
- Are the online programs taught by knowledgeable, experienced professionals?
- Is the business school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business?
- Does the program have a history of successful outcomes for its graduates?
- Is the business school highly rated and widely recognized?
Your Career Deserves the Finest Education
Master the skills you need to navigate global challenges while recognizing opportunities and assessing risk.
Guided by the exceptional faculty of industry experts in William & Mary’s Online Master of Science in Finance program, you will become fluent in principled value creation; financial modeling, analysis and decision-making; global financial strategy; and effective communication of complex financial information and strategies. Complete your studies entirely online.
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business is ranked the #1 Best Business School for Learning by Bloomberg,9 #1 in Career Outcomes by Poets & Quants10 and #5 Best Business Professors by The Princeton Review.11 For more information, reach out to one of our Admissions Advisors today.
1. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
2. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm
3. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/011415/mba-vs-masters-finance.asp
4. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Business
5. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
6. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
7. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm
8. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm
9. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from bloomberg.com/business-schools/2018#ranking=2
10. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from poetsandquants.com/2020/11/09/the-best-online-mba-programs-of-2021/2/
11. Retrieved on June 15, 2021, from princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings?rankings=best-professors