Salary Potential and Career Options – Forbes Advisor

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A master of business administration (MBA) in finance combines general business management courses and specialized finance-specific courses. Earning an MBA in finance can lead to diverse career opportunities and professional advancement in the financial sector. Read on to learn about what to expect when enrolling in an MBA finance program.

Admission Requirements for an MBA in Finance

Admission requirements for an MBA in finance vary among programs. To qualify for enrollment, students generally need a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, statistics or a related field. Applicants must also meet a minimum GPA and submit sufficient GMAT scores, letters of recommendation or references and an admissions essay or personal statement.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA Options

Many MBA programs offer part-time and full-time options to their students. Part-time enrollment provides more flexibility regarding school-life balance. This type of enrollment suits students who work full time, have established careers or are seeking a career change. Some part-time programs allow students to take classes in the evenings or on weekends to work around their schedules.

Full-time enrollment is ideal for students with less professional experience. This option may qualify students for more scholarships and graduate assistantships than part-time enrollment. Most students can enroll in a master’s program full time immediately after earning their bachelor’s. Full-time students tend to have a more demanding workload than part-time learners, as full-time enrollment typically involves a busier class schedule.

MBA in Finance Courses

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance courses examine key concepts and principles of financial theory, providing students with the framework and tools they need to analyze corporate financial decisions. Course topics include business valuation methods, mergers and acquisitions, equity capital and debt capital raising. Additionally, learners study corporate financial policy and capital structure. Students develop skills for analyzing financial risk and making corporate investment decisions.

Global Economy

Courses on the global economy offer insight into how economic environments vary for businesses worldwide. These classes analyze the interactions between economic systems, institutions and social dimensions in the global economy. Students survey the key components and stages of international economic development. They also examine economic theory to understand the impact of government policies and how financial markets operate.

Course topics include economic forecasting, economic growth, inflation and deflation, capital flows, international trade and foreign exchange rates. Students may also explore national income determinants and the development of stabilization policies.


Macroeconomics courses examine economic theories, principles and concepts regarding the global economy’s performance. Students gain an understanding of how to measure national economic variables through aggregate supply-and-demand analysis. Key topics often include monetary and fiscal policy, trade and production, income distributions, employment, gross domestic product and business cycles.

Investment Management

Investment management courses examine the theories, concepts and strategies underlying firm investment decisions and the management of investment portfolios. Course topics include portfolio optimization, asset allocation, diversification, mutual funds and performance evaluation. Students develop an understanding of global financial markets and what impacts financial behaviors at the micro and macro levels.

Career Options for an MBA in Finance Graduate

Finance Manager

Median Annual Salary: $131,710 per year
Job Growth (2020-2030): 17%
Job Description: Financial managers help private and public organizations implement and manage financial goals, distribute financial resources and oversee budgets. These professionals evaluate financial information, strategize ways to reduce financial risk, prepare financial reports and offer financial advice to help businesses make good financial decisions.

Financial Analyst

Salary: $81,410 per year
Job Growth: 6%
Job Description: Financial analysts analyze organizations’ past and current financial data and approximate future revenues and expenditures. They use data-driven insight to forecast the return on investment for business ventures and various stocks, write financial reports and gather data to inform their clients on their investment decisions.

Personal Finance Advisor

Salary: $94,170 per year
Job Growth: 5%
Job Description: Personal finance advisors assess individuals’ financial needs and guide their decisions on various financial matters, including investments, insurance and tax laws. These professionals help their clients determine short- and long-term goals.

Budget Analyst

Salary: $79,940 per year
Job Growth: 5%
Job Description: Budget analysts assess budget proposals, request funding, evaluate spending needs and conduct cost-benefit analyses to maximize companies’ profits. They help determine the most efficient way to allocate funding and resources across an organization’s various departments and programs. They oversee budget reports, manage the status and availability of funds and forecast future financial needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About an MBA in Finance

Is an MBA useful for finance?

Many graduate programs in business administration provide students with the opportunity to choose a concentration, including finance. The coursework for an MBA in finance includes several courses related to finance.

What is the highest-paying job for graduates with an MBA in finance?

The highest-paying job for graduates with an MBA in finance is an investment banker. However, several factors impact salary potential, including professional experience and location.

What can you do with an MBA in finance?

An MBA in finance can lead to various career pathways. Students acquire knowledge and skills transferable to many fields and industries. Potential positions include chief financial officer, director of finance, certified public accountant, investment banker, corporate strategist and financial controller.

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