Students considering a graduate-level education in finance should consider the many ways that they can opt to specialize a Master's in Finance and make their degree even more valuable to a future career in this field. The finance world is exceedingly broad, and the right concentration or specialization can help graduates narrow their focus to specific skills and trends in areas like investment banking, corporate finance, investment, accounting, statistics, or other fields. When considering a specialization, keep in mind the most popular and in-demand areas within the financial industry as a whole.
Within the business community, few professionals are paid better than accountants and finance experts. Those students who opt to combine these two skills, by bringing advanced accounting education into their finance degree program, will be met with a robust job market and even better salaries. Better yet, they'll have the skills they need to make sensible and ethical finance decisions, account for them properly in a company's books, and work directly with large teams of financial professionals and accountants in a corporate setting. This versatility is a key way to keep up with changes in the economy and the evolution of the corporate world toward one that values multi-sector proficiency.
Corporate accountants document financial transactions, but corporate finance managers are the ones who actually analyze, recommend, and execute those transactions. As a result, professionals in this role are met with lots of responsibility and a typically excellent compensation structure. Studies in corporate finance can also prepare finance grads for careers in "C-Suite" executive leadership, priming them for advancement into the Chief Financial Officer role within their organization or another company. Corporate finance represents perhaps the most popular concentration for today's graduate-level finance students, with many setting their sights on senior-level management positions immediately after graduation.
The second-most popular concentration for graduate-level finance students is investment, where they learn how to become investment bankers, hedge fund managers, and financial advisors. These positions are some of the most exciting and best paid in the finance world, and in the wider business community. Most investment students will have the opportunity to work in an actual investment internship during their time in the program. They'll also learn the skills necessary to pass certification exams within this industry, including FINRA Series 6, Series 67, and Series 73, for ethical and analytical investment advising in a wide variety of settings.
Financial transactions are about skills and analysis, not gambling and good luck. That's where a specialization in statistics comes in quite handy. Many students choose this quantitative concentration as a way to boost their overall mathematical and analytical skills, according to Forbes. These skills help financial professionals determine whether investments are sound or risky, recommended for their clients or simply not worth pursuing. The analytical component allows financial professionals to analyze long-term trends as they consider the sound nature of their decision-making in any professional capacity.
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Excellent Ways to Add Value to a Degree in Finance
The Master of Science in Finance is one of the most popular degrees at today's biggest business schools. To get the most out of this program, students will need to choose a concentration that helps them prepare for the workplace after graduation. Luckily, there are many interesting ways to specialize a Master's in Finance, from courses in statistics to seminars in investment and sound corporate financial decision-making.