A degree in finance may be a good choice if you're strong with numbers and enjoy taking a deep dive into investing. Finance careers start with your education. From there, anything is possible depending on your talents, preferences and work ethic.
In a nutshell, a finance career is about managing assets to create wealth for investors or companies. The discipline examines how individuals, businesses and institutions raise funds and implement investment strategies. A robust financial calculation considers the time between an investment and the future payoff, along with associated risks.
A Bachelor of Finance degree may be called a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), Bachelor of Business (Finance), or similar. You major in Finance as part of an undergraduate business program, gaining general business training as well as financial skills. To qualify for a finance major, you need to do certain core subjects and take enough finance electives.
With a finance bachelor's degree, you have a platform for an interesting and lucrative career. A 3-year Bachelor of Finance opens up potential careers in banking, financial analysis, portfolio management, financial planning, insurance, trading, and advisory services. 100% online finance degrees are available from Australian universities.
Finance and Economics is a popular combination of majors for undergraduate students. A bachelor degree in finance and economics gives you access to a greater range of jobs when you graduate.
Economics and finance are also complementary business disciplines. Economists need to understand finance and financial systems. These impact such economic considerations as firm performance, macroeconomics, international trade, etc. Likewise, finance professionals, when making investment recommendations, should understand economic principles and patterns at both macro and micro levels.
If the business or commerce program you choose doesn't explicitly offer a Finance and Economics major, you still may be able to construct one yourself. Note that you'll probably have to exhaust all, or almost all, your elective choices on finance and economics subjects.
Here's an example of a self-constructed Economics and Finance major for the Deakin University Bachelor of Commerce.
|Core subjects||Finance subjects||Economics subjects|
|Business Analytics||Ethics for Financial Professionals||Competition and Industry|
|Economic Principles||Money and Capital Markets||The Global Economy|
|Fundamentals of Finance||Business Finance||Economic Strategy for Business|
|Law for Commerce||Equities and Investment Analysis||National Economic Policy|
|Management||International Finance and Investment||Economic Policy and Practice|
|Marketing Fundamentals||Derivative and Fixed Income Securities||Choice, Strategies and Dilemmas|
|Professional Insight||Corporate Finance||Labour and Health Economics|
|Accounting for Decision Making||Analytical Methods in Economics and Finance||Econometrics for Economics and Finance|
A Graduate Certificate in Finance is a 4-subject postgraduate course that's often embedded within a longer masters degree. Many students study part-time while working full-time, completing a subject every 2 months.
You don't necessarily need a finance degree or even a business degree to gain entry. Often, the course is the introductory part of a masters program, making it ideal for people looking to switch into a finance career.
Whatever your professional background, you may be able to find a good course for you. Specialisations include applied finance and financial technology... READ MORE
The ultimate degree for financial training is a Master of Finance. Whether you're an experienced financial professional or looking to break into the field, the program can set you up for career success.
A Masters in Finance is typically a 12-subject course. With accelerated online programs, you're able to work full-time and study part-time. By completing a subject every 2 months, you can earn a masters in just on 2 years.
You can specialise in different fields within the masters degree, such as analytics, applied finance, FinTech, or management and leadership... READ MORE
A Master of Applied Finance is a hands-on Master of Finance. The degree emphasises practical learning, avoiding theory without obvious real-world applicability.
A MAF's curriculum may align closely with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) test. Likely topics include Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternative Investments, and Portfolio Management.
A graduate certificate course provides program access if you lack a financial background... READ MORE
A Master of Financial Technology is for people familiar with the finance industry who are interested in innovation.
The purpose of a Masters in FinTech is to teach you how to conceive technology solutions and harness resources to achieve digital transformation. FinTech is a rapidly growing sector with unmet demand for skilled professionals who understand both finance and technology.
Topics you may explore in a FinTech masters include decentralised finance, tech disruption in payments, tech disruption in borrowing, technical tools for FinTech, data management, and robo-advisory services... READ MORE
Jobs for finance professionals, who usually have finance or accounting degrees, are projected to grow in Australia by 11% annually to 2026. That's according to data from the National Skills Commission. The largest occupational categories are Financial Investment Advisers and Managers (69,000 projected jobs), Financial Brokers (48,000 jobs) and Financial Dealers (21,000 jobs).
Competition for specialist finance jobs in Australia is high. Bachelor students may be advantaged by combining finance with another major, such as economics or accounting. For university graduates, a master's degree helps you to be considered for top positions.
Careers in finance involve finding effective ways to manage an organization's money – to create wealth and increase the organization's value. Finance majors study how to plan, raise funds, make wise investments and control costs. Finance majors who want an edge over competitors should really take advanced mathematics, accounting, economics, psychology, communications and writing courses.
Financial expertise is needed in virtually all organisations, including public and non-profit entities. A job in the finance sector can be modest and include tasks such as data entry and producing simple sales reports using software. But, at the other end of the scale, you could be guiding multi-billion-dollar decisions around business activities or financial investments.
The best finance professionals are multi-talented, with excellent technical skills plus abilities in areas such as relationship building, communication, technology application, and inventiveness. And financial skills are useful even if you are not ultimately a finance specialist, including in business management, marketing and logistics.
You can search sites like Seek Australia to find Finance Graduate Programs. Multiple entry-level positions are available with organisations such as Viva Energy Australia, the Water Corporation, ACCIONA Australia, the Department of Finance, Westpac, NAB, and more.
According to Investopedia, some of the best entry-level jobs if you have a finance degree include financial analyst, investment banking analyst, financial planner and junior tax accountant. Wherever you start, promotion opportunities always exist. For instance, tax roles can lead to senior positions "such as controller (or comptroller), accounting manager, budget director, and even treasurer or chief financial officer (CFO)."
Some of the biggest employers of finance professionals are:
- commercial banking (administering savings products, credit lines, business loans and mortgages)
- corporate finance (managing a company's financial strategy, loans, spending and reporting)
- insurance (risk analysis, insurance policy development, claim auditing)
- investment banking (investment advice, wealth management and capital raising for companies and funds)
- private equity (assisting businesses raise capital for new ventures or ongoing activities).
With a 3-year Bachelor of Finance online, the program typically parallels an on-campus version of the same course. You'll be working to the same schedule as on-campus students, with 2-3 semesters per year and the same exams. You may also have the option to turn up to classes in person if and when you're available.
At a bachelor level, you can study finance as a major in an online accounting, business or commerce degree. Generally, you don't have to commit to a particular major or majors until after the first year of the program. Your 24-subject program will normally be equal parts of (a) core subjects for the degree (b) finance electives and (c) other electives.
The best Master of Finance online programs are designed just for online learners. Instead of semesters, you may study in teaching blocks of 6-8 weeks. You're able to complete an individual subject from start to end during each block. Assessment may be continuous, without any long exams.
Good online Master of Finance degrees are also accelerated and part-time. They're designed with working professionals in mind. You study right through the year. At a pace of one subject every couple of months, a 12 subject master's degree takes 2 years of part-time study.
Graduate certificates (4 subjects) and graduate diplomas (8 subjects) are usually embedded in Master of Finance programs. You may, for example, start with a graduate certificate and then decide to complete a full masters. Online master's programs are open to university graduates and experienced finance professionals.
The academic requirement for becoming a financial planner is met by completing an approved program. An online financial planning degree will qualify you to become a Certified Financial Planner in Australia and internationally. Industry-approved bachelor, graduate diploma and masters degrees are available online.
Financial planning is offered as a major in Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Commerce degrees. In addition, online masters programs are open to university graduates (any degree) and to others via academic and professional pathways.
To be a good financial planner, you need interpersonal skills and maths ability. Studying online for an accredited degree is the most convenient way to achieve professional certification and create job opportunities.