A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an excellent path to pursue for those looking to advance professionally in just about any industry. An MBA education prepares students for leadership positions and gives them the chance to specialize in different areas of business. These concentrations provide the specific training and rigorous opportunities to gain the skills needed to excel.
An MBA in Finance can be an excellent way to prepare for positions within financial institutions or the financial departments of businesses in other industries. If you are asking yourself, “What can I do with an MBA in finance?”, here is what you need to know.
What Is an MBA in Finance?
A finance MBA covers the core coursework of an MBA to help prepare students to lead teams and businesses, but it also includes rigorous coursework related to business finances, so that students emerge ready to excel in business money matters.
What Can You Do with a Finance Degree?
Pursuing your MBA in finance can open countless windows of opportunity for motivated professionals. This degree offers insight into business leadership from a financial perspective, providing a number of professional advantages that will help those interested in advancing their careers. Here are the advantages of an MBA in finance:
Broad Understanding of Business and Finance
The MBA in Finance curriculum will provide students with tremendous insight into the roles of finance, budgeting, and investment in business success. The coursework will help students better understand how to plan for a business’s financial future and use budgeting and investments to shape the growth of an organization.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Those with both business leadership skills and financial understanding can also find a number of opportunities for career advancement. These professionals will be highly desirable in C-suites and finance departments. It will also help professionals demonstrate their worth in other managerial roles because they will better understand effective budgeting and planning.
Increased Earning Potential
As graduates move up in their careers, they will also increase their earning potential. MBAs can help students secure more leadership positions which, in turn, increases earning potential.
The insight gained through studying a financial concentration with an MBA program will present great chances for networking. Students will meet people through their classes with whom they can engage in exciting discussions about finance and business. They will also be able to network with others in the financial sectors and business leadership areas, broadening their potential connections.
Flexibility and Versatility
The MBA program with a financial concentration provides in-depth coursework in areas related to business leadership and finance, which gives the student a rigorous background in a few different areas. This can offer flexibility in their career path. Graduates might wish to work specifically in the financial sector or look for positions that deal with the finances of a particular business.
Global Career Opportunities
Financial leadership is valuable worldwide, meaning that those with this degree background can pursue potential jobs with international businesses. When the financial coursework includes work in international financial management, like the program at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), that can position professionals even more firmly for potential international positions.
What Does an MBA in Finance Cover? Critical Skills Learned in a Finance MBA
Those studying for a financial MBA will quickly discover that the coursework encourages them to develop a number of critical skills that will benefit them throughout their career. Here are a few of the most prominent skills that prospective students should expect to nurture.
Financial analysis helps professionals better understand how budgeting and financing projects work in the modern business world. They need to know how investment works, how to analyze risk, and how to reduce risk as much as possible. Financial analysis skills will empower students to better understand the financial markets and the competing priorities for their organization, so they can make the best possible decisions for the financial future of their organizations.
Every business needs to maintain careful books that let them see how money flows throughout the organization. This includes the rate of income for the business and how that money is used to nurture business development and financial programs. Professionals with accounting skills can help manage those books, understand budgeting strategies, and make sure the business’s finances are analyzed optimally.
With quantitative analysis, students learn how to use data to gain insight into complex fields, such as financial markets. They will learn how to make predictions about markets and risks so that they can optimize business decisions.
Investments are an important component of building business finances. Organizations will want to hire professionals who can help them manage their investments and maximize their returns. Coursework in a financial MBA will include insight into the theory of investment and how to maximize portfolios. This will help graduates improve the services they can offer businesses after graduation.
Finance is closely tied to risk. Businesses need to learn how to finance different projects and control as much risk as possible within the business markets. Training and education that helps professionals better manage all the risks associated with business investment will help these new graduates perform better in their positions.
Corporate finance requires professionals who understand concepts like capital budgeting, cash flow estimation, and corporate valuation. Coursework in these areas will prepare emerging MBAs to take on these responsibilities within the corporate environment.
Financial Modeling and Forecasting
Businesses need to understand the current state of the financial markets and want an analysis that helps them predict what the markets will likely do in the future. Forecasting is a valuable skill that students will learn as they dig deeper into the state of financial markets and how data can be used to predict change. Graduates will have the skills they need to build valuable forecasting models and help guide their companies.
Finance professionals also need to understand how all the different markets interact and what these interactions mean for businesses in the future. Studying economics, including the global markets, prepares MBA graduates to understand local and international markets and how shifts will impact their own businesses.
Financial software has also become increasingly important for companies today, as these programs can make it easier for businesses to track investments, budgets, and cash flow. However, knowing how to use these systems effectively and maximize their potential is also valuable to the business. The experience that MBA graduates gain during their financial concentration coursework will ensure they know how to operate these systems effectively.
Taxes can be a challenge for any business to effectively navigate. There are different types of taxes that can impact businesses, from regulatory taxes to capital gains taxes on investments. Businesses need to know how to navigate taxes to minimize their tax burden and maximize the amount invested in the organization. Professionals with a financial concentration will have insight their companies can use to achieve these goals.
Choosing the Right MBA in Finance Program for You
If you know that an MBA with a financial concentration fits your goals and aspirations, then your next step is just to determine which program fits you. Let’s explore some of the most important traits to examine as you look at different schools and programs.
To begin, make sure your school is fully accredited. You want your finance degree and all your hard work to be recognized. Accreditation tells all potential employers the program has met industry standards, and that by completing it, you have the applicable knowledge base and credentials for the job.
Next, look at the curriculum offered by the school. Your desired school should include coursework that prepares you for all the different skills you want to have as an MBA with a financial concentration. Look at the skills outlined above to ensure that the courses offered will cover these important areas. If the curriculum doesn’t touch upon investments, for example, you know that the program will not prepare you for the jobs you would like to pursue.
Next, look at the faculty. When you go through an MBA program, professors with real-world work experience play an important role in mentoring you. They are focused on helping you understand the topics to translate your education into opportunity. Look at the faculty members listed and see how well they have performed in their own careers, so you can see if their credentials and experiences will position them well to mentor you.
You do not want to overlook the cost. Quality MBA programs can offer you a good ROI, but you need to balance the cost of the program with what you can afford. Looking for the most affordable, quality program can be an excellent way to balance the necessary costs and the education you need to excel.
Career services can also play an important role in your post-graduation career. Finding a school with a helpful career services department can be an excellent resource for you. Those in the career services department can help you prepare your applications and resume to find a great position after graduation. See what types of services are offered in the career services department.
Alumni networks are also great opportunities to build a professional network and find opportunities. Alumni know the work you put into securing your degree, which can help them feel confident recommending you to others or bringing you into their own organization. See how robust the alumni network is at your desired school.
Online schools also greatly increase the flexibility available to students. Many schools, like UTC, allow students to take courses for an online finance degree. When choosing a program, this type of learning flexibility can help you take courses on your schedule.
Find a program with a reputation that will serve you well in the global job market. Businesses often look at the degree posted and the school that awarded it. Finding a program with a reputation for quality can help you get even further.
Look also at the placement opportunities the program offers. People on the faculty might have connections at businesses that can help you secure a desired position.
Do not forget to also consider the location of the school, particularly if you will attend classes in person. Make sure the school is convenient enough that it won’t be a hardship driving to campus a few times per week.
Online vs. Traditional MBA in Finance Programs at UTC
UTC makes it easy for business school graduates and other professionals to pursue their desired degrees online or on campus. Those interested in the finance program at UTC can take classes in person or through an online portal, according to their preferences.Whether you want to earn a finance degree online or in person, pursuing the degree program that will help you excel in your chosen career path has never been easier. See what UTC has to offer.