April 27, 2021  |  Purdue University Global

Earning an MBA in finance may enhance your career opportunities and qualify you for leadership positions.* Opportunities in the finance field are growing, too—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in business and financial operations will increase faster than the average for all occupations between 2019 and 2029.

“Business finance is critical, and for people who want to understand the general financial workings of a business or company, earning an MBA with a concentration in finance can be very helpful,” says Geoffrey VanderPal, DBA, of the Purdue University Global School of Business and Information Technology.

“It is a pretty diverse field,” says Ilene Ringler, DM, faculty member at Purdue Global. “In fact, there are specialties in the finance curriculum because finance itself needs specialists, just like medicine does.”

Ringler and VanderPal sat down to discuss why this degree may be helpful and what you can do with it. Here are 7 career outcomes that are possible with a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance:

1. Financial Manager

The BLS projects strong growth in financial manager positions—about 15% from 2019 to 2029. Financial managers are looked upon to maintain the financial health of an organization.

Among their top duties are:

  • Analyzing market trends to maximize profits and find expansion opportunities
  • Helping management make financial decisions
  • Monitoring financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Preparing business activity reports, financial statements, and forecasts
  • Reviewing financial reports and seeking ways to reduce costs
  • Supervising employees who do budgeting and financial reporting

Companies deploy financial managers in many different positions. Among the types of roles financial managers can fill include:

  • Cash managers
  • Controllers
  • Credit managers
  • Finance officers
  • Insurance managers
  • Risk managers
  • Treasurers

Financial managers are employed in the following industries, according to the BLS:

Employers Percentage
Finance and insurance 30%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 14%
Management of companies and enterprises 11%
Government 7%
Manufacturing 6%

2. Budget Analyst

The BLS projection for budget analyst job growth from 2019 to 2029 is about the same as the average for all jobs. This growth is expected to hold steady because of a constant need for organizations to manage their funds.

Typical duties for budget analysts include:

  • Combining program and department budgets into a consolidated organizational budget
  • Estimating future financial needs
  • Explaining funding requests to others in the organization, to legislators, and to the public
  • Helping top managers analyze proposals and find alternatives if projections are unsatisfactory
  • Informing program managers of the availability of funds and their status
  • Monitoring organizational spending to keep it within budget
  • Reviewing managers’ requests and proposals for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with laws and regulations
  • Working with program and project managers to develop the organization’s budget

Budget analysts are employed in a wide-range of industries. Here are the top employers of budget analysts, according to the BLS:

Employers Percentage
Federal government 22%
State, local, and private educational services 13%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 11%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 11%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 11%

3. Credit Analyst

According to BLS, the job market for credit analysts is shrinking. It predicts a 5% decline in positions from 2019 to 2029.

Among the duties for credit analysts are:

  • Analyzing financial statements and credit data to discover the degree of risk in lending money or extending credit
  • Completing loan applications, summaries of loan requests, and credit analyses, and submitting these for approval to loan committees
  • Inspecting financial data, such as income growth, market share and quality of management, to determine expected profitability of loans
  • Preparing reports that include the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money
  • Using computer programs to generate financial ratios to evaluate customers' financial status

Companies use a variety of job titles for the credit analyst role. Among the titles, according to O*Net Online, are:

  • Municipal fixed income analyst
  • Credit risk analyst
  • Credit representative
  • Credit officer
  • Credit and collections analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Credit administrator

Credit analysts are employed by many industries. Below are some of the top employers and the number of jobs they offer, according to the BLS:

Industry Employment
Credit intermediation and related activities 30,180
Nondepository credit intermediation 13,010
Management of companies and enterprises 9,710
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 5,900
Business support services 1,060

4. Financial Analyst

The BLS projects that employment of financial analysts will grow faster than average from 2019 to 2029. Financial analysts give guidance to individuals and businesses making investment decisions.

Financial analyst tasks include:

  • Assessing the strength of the management team
  • Evaluating current and historical financial data
  • Examining a company’s financial statements to determine its value
  • Meeting with company officials to gain better insight into its prospects
  • Preparing written reports
  • Recommending individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Studying business and economic trends

The BLS reports that financial analysts also go by other titles:

  • Fund managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Ratings analysts
  • Risk analysts

Financial analysts are employed mainly in business professions. Here are the top employers of financial analysts, according to the BLS:

Employers Percentage
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 18%
Credit intermediation and related activities 15%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 12%
Management of companies and enterprises 11%
Insurance carriers and related activities 6%

5. Personal Financial Advisor

The BLS projects job growth that is about as fast as average among personal financial advisors between 2019 to 2029. These professionals give advice to individuals to help them manage their finances and plan for their financial future.

VanderPal, who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner, says someone with an MBA in finance might need more courses to earn a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) certification.

“With an MBA in finance, you take 3 or 4 classes in finance,” VanderPal says. “Someone who wishes to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM  professional may find a Master of Science in Finance a better fit.§

There is a wide range of tasks that a personal financial advisor is expected to perform, including:

  • Answering questions and educating clients about investment options and potential risks
  • Explaining the types of financial services provided to potential clients
  • Helping clients plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement
  • Meeting with clients in person to discuss their financial goals
  • Monitoring clients’ accounts and determine whether changes are needed to improve financial performance
  • Recommending investments to clients or select investments on their behalf
  • Researching investment opportunities
  • Advising clients in insurance and risk
  • Assisting with estate planning and tax planning
Employers Percentage
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 58%
Self-employed workers 19%
Credit intermediation and related activities 13%
Insurance carriers and related activities 4%
Management of companies and enterprises 2%

6. Loan Officer

The BLS projects the growth in loan officer positions at about 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is about average for all professions. Loan officers authorize, evaluate, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.

Among the duties typically performed by a loan officer are:

  • Contacting individuals or companies to inquire whether if they need a loan
  • Explaining different types of loans and the terms of each type to applicants
  • Gathering, verifying, and analyzing an applicant’s financial information, such as income level and credit rating
  • Making decisions on loan applications or referring them to management
  • Meeting with loan applicants to answer questions and gather personal information
  • Reviewing loan agreements to ensure they comply with state and federal regulations

There are various types of loan officers in the industry, including:

  • Commercial loan officers
  • Consumer loan officers
  • Loan collection officers
  • Loan underwriters
  • Mortgage loan officers

Although the majority of loan officers work in credit, there are a few other fields for these professionals, according to the BLS:

Employers Percentage
Credit intermediation and related activities 83%
Management of companies and enterprises 5%
Automobile dealers 4%

7. Financial Specialists, All Other

Outside the areas outlined, financial specialists in other areas show a growth of up to 7% from 2019 to 2029, according to O*Net Online.

Financial specialists can fill many roles and titles. Among these are:

  • Accountants and auditors
  • Appraisers and assessors of real estate
  • Credit counselors
  • Financial examiners
  • Insurance underwriters
  • Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents
  • Tax preparers

Financial analysts with other specialties are employed mainly in these industries, according to O*Net Online:

Employers Percentage
Finance and insurance 39%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 12%
Management of companies and enterprises 11%
Other industries including government and educational services 38%

Networking Is a Vital Part of Career Exploration

The faculty in the MBA program are quick to remind those pursuing a degree that networking is a key part of choosing a career path.

“There are so many specialties within finance, and it could be advantageous for people to educate themselves in some of those areas.” VanderPal says. “See if there's something that interests you. Then talk to people in those roles.”

Ringler agrees. “As part of your career search, you should be networking to find out how these jobs really play out in different companies,” she says. “Don't make a choice without having all the data you need.”

She says Purdue Global’s Career Services has helpful videos and tools for this purpose.

“An MBA with an emphasis in finance can be very useful and set students apart in their careers,” VanderPal says.

>> Learn 8 Reasons to Get an Online MBA With Purdue Global

Earn an Online MBA With a Concentration in Finance at Purdue Global

An online MBA at Purdue Global is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills to become a more effective leader and more valued employee in your current career. With a concentration in finance, you’ll bolster your credentials.

To learn more about Purdue Global’s MBA program with a concentration in finance, reach out today.

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About the Author

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.


NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Prior experience may be necessary for leadership positions. Certain finance positions may require further certification and/or licensing by individual states. The MBA program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information.

National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual growth.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S. Purdue Global does not certify individuals to use these marks. CFP certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational requirement, have met its ethics, experience, and examination requirements.

§Purdue University Global's Master of Science in Finance with the financial planning concentration is a CFP Board-Registered Program in financial planning education and meets the specific criteria for educating individuals who wish to fulfill the education component for obtaining CFP® certification. After successfully completing the Master of Science in Finance, you must register for and complete FP 107: Financial Plan Development, provided by Kaplan Professional, if you wish to meet all education requirements necessary to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.