With the rising power and importance of multinational corporations, the spread of globalization, and the increased interest among a large segment of the population for investment opportunities (much of it aimed toward retirement security), financial expertise is becoming more important in the workplace, particularly for mid- and upper-level management.
The vaunted MBAs of two decades ago provide information that is often too general to meet the needs of today’s internationally oriented finance industry, and so colleges and universities have responded with more targeted degree programs. The programs cover financial theory and analysis, as well as team building and management skills, and are designed for practical application in the banking, investment, and insurance industries. The world of corporate financial decision making, which is geared toward maximizing company value and shareholder returns, is finding value in the new degree programs, as are governmental agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. These agencies, charged with making financial decisions and crafting policy, look for new hires who have a solid understanding of finance.
The best of the graduate finance programs utilize the expertise of financiers with practical experience in the field. No ivory-tower academics here; the faculty includes industry leaders who often also participate in curriculum development.
The finance industry is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. today, which means that that’s where the jobs are, and will be, for some time to come. College graduates entering the workforce with solid knowledge of finance will find themselves at an advantage over colleagues with no financial background. Both collage graduates and those already in the workforce should take a serious look at one of these graduate finance degrees; one of these targeted degrees may put them on the fast track to success.