Spotlight: The University of Scranton’s Online Master of Science in Finance (MSF)
— and the Careers It Prepares You For.
Innovation in technology has made many aspects of our lives easier. But it has also created significant shifts in the workforce.
Jobs are changing rapidly, which means that occupations that are profitable today might not even exist in coming years. Now more than ever, it is essential for those entering the workforce to consider seeking careers that are expected to grow in coming years.
An MSF degree from The University of Scranton will allow grads to pursue many career paths that show promise for future growth. While there are countless options, let’s take a closer look at just five of the career paths available to folks with an MSF degree.
Why We Love the MSF from The University of Scranton
Students interested in an MSF degree have many options available to them — but the program offered at The University of Scranton has some unique features that make it an excellent choice.
- 100% Online. For instance, The University of Scranton offers an online MSF. Students no longer have to choose between going to school or working full time. They can do both.
- CFA Certification. Students who complete this degree will also be able to pursue a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. This credential is not necessary for all financial analyst jobs, but it does provide additional credibility, making graduates more competitive in the job market.
- AACSB-Accredited. It also gives students across the country the opportunity to get an education from a high-quality program. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) also accredits The University of Scranton’s program, indicating the business community highly regards it.
Furthermore, The University of Scranton emphasizes ethical practice in finance. Students learn the importance of putting investors first, regulating markets, and practicing transparency. This curriculum will prepare students with the soft skills employers look for in financial experts.
Careers for the MSF Degree Graduate
Graduates with specialized training in finance can pursue careers in several industries including business, government, and non-profits. In many cases, professionals may choose to pursue an MSF degree to get a promotion at a job they already have.
Those with an entrepreneurial mindset may choose to pursue the MSF so they can start their own business. Working as a consultant or starting your own firm can be a good option.
Here we break it down to our favorite five paths that Scranton prepares you for:
1. Personal Financial Advisor
Financial advisors help people make decisions about their finances, including investing, long-term goals like childcare, education, buying a home, and retirement. A financial advisor can help people create a monthly budget, invest in the stock market, and develop a savings plan. These positions are in high demand because the financial marketplace is a bit too complicated for the average person.
That said, individuals are not the only clients that hire financial advisors. Small business owners often bring in advisors to help them make long-term plans. Financial advisors also may find opportunities assisting government or non-profit clients.
An MSF is not required for entry-level advisor positions. Inf fact, many MSF students may already be working as advisors. That said, earning the Master’s can open up opportunities for higher pay or leadership positions.
2. Financial Analyst
Jobs that call for frequent interaction and communication with other people aren’t for everyone. Financial analysts prefer independent work that allows them to dig into the numbers.
A bank, government agency, or corporation may hire a financial analyst. Their primary responsibility is to do economic research. Based on their findings, they make recommendations to the organization.
Financial analysts do this work by collecting economic data. They then interpret trends using statistical analysis.
In addition to looking at the current state, financial analysts also predict the future. Not by looking into a crystal ball, of course, but by drawing on their financial knowledge.
These professionals analyze current market trends, helping them to identify potential challenges the organization might face. They then must prepare for the financial status of the organization.
A graduate with an MSF will be able to position themselves for a financial analyst position with bigger clients and more responsibilities.
3. Finance & Insurance Professionals
The American economy spends millions of dollars each year in insurance including automobile, health, and home. Furthermore, both individuals and businesses must purchase insurance to protect their interests.
To make a profit, insurance companies must evaluate risk. Based on this risk, they then determine how much to charge clients based on the likelihood they will need a payout.
Graduates with an MSF degree can help insurance companies determine the financial risk of investments, allowing the company to maximize their profit. The training in statistics and probability can also help companies learn how to set rates for customers.
Recent graduates who are interested in getting into the insurance space can enter the field as underwriters. Underwriters review applications for insurance and evaluate them for risk. They then make recommendations on how much to charge the applicant, or whether to reject them.
4. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Agent
If you are extroverted in the workplace, you may enjoy being a sales agent for securities, commodities, and financial services.
These individuals connect buyers and sellers with financial products. They also help them make investment decisions based on current markets. They may also help businesses find investors or conduct trades.
This job essentially requires in-depth knowledge of the stock market. They help their clients make money based on investments.
Do you dream of working for a hedge fund someday? The experience you get as a financial services sales agent could help you develop the expertise to make you competitive in this field. Finance experts at hedge funds could make as much as $300,000 a year, making it a very profitable, albeit exclusive, field.
5. Financial Manager
The financial manager of any organization is often called a CFO, or Chief Financial Officer. The CFO’s responsibility is to develop the organization’s financial goals. They then monitor progress toward those goals and develop plans to achieve them.
A financial manager will develop budgets for the organization, and manage all its financial reports. It is also their responsibility to make contact with other financial professionals including auditors, accountants, bankers, and investors.
The financial manager for an organization will also supervise the rest of the finance team. They will assign responsibilities to these employees. Financial managers also help senior leadership make financial decisions.
A financial manager is a senior level position. So, unless you already have experience when you enter your degree program, you may not be ready for this position right after you graduate. That said, each of the other four jobs discussed here could provide a good experience for someone interested in this path.
What MSF Students Learn
A Master of Finance student will gain a depth of useful knowledge in topics related to finance. These topics include accounting, statistics, economics, and investing.
In an undergraduate finance program, students interested in finance typically study it as a concentration in a general business program. This training gives students a broad understanding of business, with some specific focus on financial models, analytics, and investments.
An MSF degree is appropriate for professionals who already have this broad understanding of business principles, but want to gain a deeper understanding of finance and economics.
Start Working Toward Your MSF Degree Today
These are just five successful career paths that graduates with a Master of Finance can pursue. If you are looking for a field with a great outlook and flexible options, finance could be the perfect choice for you.
If you are ready to pursue your MSF degree, you will want to make sure to stay up to date on the latest news on career opportunities in finance. Sign up today to receive regular updates on Financial Career Options.