The online Masters in Investment Management and Financial Analysis is a graduate level program with curriculum geared towards the investment decision making process. This degree will also help graduates prepare for the CFA exam since many of the courses contain material from the CFA Program’s Study Sessions.
For example, Creighton University offers the Master’s in Investment Management and Financial Analysis degree, and requires around 33 credit hours consisting of approximately nine core courses and two electives.
The core courses are all similar to what you’ll see in the CFA Program, including Financial Statement Analysis, Equity Analysis, Portfolio Management, Fixed Income and Derivatives and Professional Ethics.
Creighton University is also one of 36 universities that is a university partner of the CFA Institute but the only one with a fully online, specialized finance master’s degree. Creighton’s core courses pull material found in the Study Sessions for all three levels of the CFA Exam.1
What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with a Master’s in Investment Management and Financial Analysis?
Many employers in investment management will appreciate a Masters in Investment Management and Financial Analysis. Financial institutions, banks, corporate finance departments and consulting firms are common employers. Investment Management skills are highly coveted by asset managers including pension funds, private equity funds, endowments, and family offices.
Specific jobs in Investment Management include financial analyst, finance manager, portfolio manager, investment consultant, public accountant or financial planner. Financial advisors covering family offices will greatly benefit from this degree since they will learn advanced techniques for assembling investment portfolios for accredited investors where many product offerings are more complex in nature.
This degree is tailor-made for an aspiring analyst. Financial Analysts will use all the tools in this program when valuing securities and reviewing financial statements.
Financial analyst’s median compensation is $76,950 according to the BLS.2 Analysts move on to become finance managers or portfolio managers with some years of experience and the pay becomes well in excess of $100,000.
For professionals seeking higher-level jobs in investment management, a graduate degree or advanced designation is becoming standard.
How do I Choose the Right Online Master’s in Investment Management Program?
You might consider a program that changes its curriculum, to keep pace with the fast-changes in the financial landscape. In step with the CFA Program, top schools will change parts of their curriculum every year for their Masters in Investment Management and Financial Analysis degrees. This is important since new alternative products are coming to market continuously that need to be understood and analyzed.
As a consequence of recent market volatility, many risk-mitigating products have sprung up. Alternative ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) have many new offerings that mimic hedge fund strategies, including long/short funds and risk arbitrage.
There is also strong demand for ‘smart beta’ funds, which screen their holdings for certain fundamental factors trying to achieve positive risk-adjusted returns. Collateralized Loan Obligations, CLOs are back en vogue in today’s hunt for yield. These are pools of leveraged loans that have been securitized (combined) into an investable vehicle for mostly institutional investors. Other products including capped and inverse floaters have also become popular with all the talk of rising interest rates.
All Master’s degrees are not equal, a strong brand and reputation make a huge difference with employers in finance. You want the school to have respected accreditations and a recognizable brand. A school with this combination should have a strong alumni network that may be useful when pursuing specific jobs or when switching careers. The vast majority of jobs are secured through networking, so a strong alumni network helps put you in the best position to land a job in finance.
Whichever program you choose, a Master’s degree in Investment Management and Financial Analysis is a well-respected degree that will provide you with the tools necessary for a career in finance and investment management.