Interested in a finance career? An online degree or postgraduate course could be the ideal preparation. Discover how to start and what your options are.
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.
A financial expert manages assets to create wealth for investors or companies. The discipline centres on fund raising and investment activities. A robust calculation by a professional in this field will consider the time between an investment and the future payoff, along with associated risks.
If you're new to university study, you can major in Finance as part of a 3-year Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Commerce. Double majors are also possible, such as Accounting and Finance.
For university graduates, consider a Master of Applied Finance online degree. If you're new to the field or business studies, you can start with a 4-subject Graduate Certificate in Finance.
Let's explore the best degree options for a career in finance in Australia, including business degrees with a major in finance, accounting, economics, or analytics.
For many future professionals, a double major in Accounting and Finance is the best option for undergraduate studies. Competition for top jobs in the financial sector can be intense, making an accounting qualification a good backup strategy.
If you don't want to be an accountant, majoring in Finance is an obvious choice. The rest of your business or commerce program can be made up of electives in areas of interest or intended specialisation.
You can also complement financial studies with a major or minor in another field. Economics is a popular option as it gives you insight into the economy and markets. Business Analytics is helpful for future analytical roles and for using data in assessment and decision-making capacities.
A Bachelor of Accounting and Finance combines two highly relevant fields in business, allowing graduates to develop expertise in both financial reporting and analysis.
The double major can make graduates more versatile and employable than those with a straight Finance major. You are able to gain the job security from becoming a qualified accountant.
Job opportunities include roles that follow an accounting degree such as financial accountant, tax accountant, and auditor, as well as positions such as financial analyst, investment banker, and portfolio manager.
A Bachelor of Finance degree is commonly known as Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) or Bachelor of Business (Finance) in Australia.
A finance major is normally available in 3-year undergraduate business programs. Students gain general business training and financial skills. To qualify for the major, core subjects and relevant electives must be completed.
The program of study provides a platform for an interesting and lucrative career. It opens up potential careers in banking, financial analysis, portfolio management, insurance, trading, and advisory services.
Economics and Finance is a popular combination for majors and minors among undergraduate students. A bachelor degree in these fields gives you access to a greater range of jobs when you graduate.
Economics and finance are complementary disciplines. Economists need to understand finance and financial systems. These impact on 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.
Here is an example of subjects to qualify for an Economics and Finance double major in the Deakin University Bachelor of Commerce.
|Core subjects (all students)||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 Bachelor of Business Analytics and Finance combines financial and analytical skills nicely. Graduates are prepared for roles in financial analysis, investment management, and business analysis.
Graduates with this double major have a competitive edge in the job market with strong analytical and business skills. A business analytics major is particularly valuable for roles that require data-driven decision-making.
Job opportunities include financial analyst, investment analyst, business analyst, data analyst, risk analyst, and portfolio manager.
Here are example subjects to qualify for a Business Analytics and Finance double major at the UNE business school.
|Core subjects (all students)||Business Analytics subjects||Finance subjects|
|Business Ethics||Analytics for Business Research||Banking and Finance|
|Business Statistics||Benefit-Cost Analysis||Corporate Finance|
|Communication for Business||Efficiency and Productivity Analysis||Financial Statement Analysis|
|Fundamentals of Marketing||Introductory Econometrics||Fundamentals of Personal Finance|
|Introduction to Financial Accounting||Introduction to Business Analytics||International Financial Management|
|Introductory Microeconomics||Business Decision Making||Principles of Taxation Law|
|Responsible Management Practices||International Business||Security Analysis & Portfolio Management|
|Strategic Planning and Sustainability||Risk Management in Agribusiness||Small Business Finance|
A Bachelor of Finance and Financial Planning combines core finance subjects with training in planning, offering a more holistic approach to the industry.
Graduates can work as financial planners, financial advisors, wealth managers, investment analysts, or risk analysts, among other roles.
This major may be more attractive than a straight finance degree because it provides graduates with skills in both areas, making them more versatile in the job market. The planning aspect should appeal if you are interested in working with clients to create custom plans.
Here is an example of subjects to qualify for a Finance and Financial Planning double major in the Deakin Bachelor of Commerce.
|Core subjects (all students)||Finance courses||Financial Planning courses|
|Accounting for Decision Making||Analytical Methods in Economics & Finance||Advanced Financial Planning|
|Business Analytics||Business Finance||Client Behaviour and Decision Making|
|Economic Principles||Corporate Finance||Equities and Investment Analysis|
|Fundamentals of Finance||Derivative and Fixed Income Securities||Estate Planning and Insurance|
|Law for Commerce||Equities and Investment Analysis||Ethics for Financial Professionals|
|Management||Ethics for Financial Professionals||Financial Planning|
|Marketing Fundamentals||International Finance and Investment||Principles of Income Tax Law|
|Professional Insight||Money and Capital Markets||Superannuation Planning|
The academic requirement for becoming a financial planner is met by completing an approved program. An approved degree will qualify you to become a Certified Financial Planner in Australia and internationally. Industry-approved bachelor, graduate diploma and masters degrees are available by distance education.
Financial planning is offered as a major in Business and Commerce bachelor programs. In addition, masters are open to university graduates (any discipline) and to others via academic and professional pathways.
To be a good financial planner, you need interpersonal skills and maths ability. The most convenient way to achieve professional certification and create job opportunities is to study online for an accredited degree.
Whether you're looking to start a career in finance or already working in the industry, postgraduate courses can help you further your ambitions. But which master's degrees offer the best job prospects in this field?
While not a masters as such, we've ranked the Graduate Certificate in Finance at number one. The four-subject course is versatile and open to people from different backgrounds, including those without a formal business education. It is usually an introductory or specialised part of a master's program.
Masters in Finance programs are often flexible, allowing students to choose their area(s) of specialisation via elective selections. Applied Finance is a popular program that emphasises techniques over theory. Another option, particularly for those aspiring to be corporate leaders, is the MBA.
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 business degree to meet entry requirements. Often, the course is the introductory part of a masters program, making it ideal for people looking to switch careers.
Whatever your professional background, you may be able to find a good course for you. Specialisations include applied finance and financial technology... READ MORE
A Master of Applied Finance is a hands-on business masters. The program emphasises practical learning, avoiding theory without obvious real-world usefulness.
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
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, normally the program is worth the investment.
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, such as analytics, applied finance, FinTech, or management and leadership... 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
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) may serve your purposes better than a Master of Finance due to its broader focus on business strategy and management skills, which are valuable in executive roles.
MBA graduates are sought after for leadership positions in investment banking, management consulting, and private equity firms.
In Australia, job opportunities for MBA graduates include financial analyst, investment manager, risk analyst, financial controller, and treasury manager, among others... READ MORE
Jobs for financial professionals 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 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 masters helps you to be considered for top positions.
Careers in this field involve finding effective ways to manage an organisation's money – to create wealth and increase company value. Finance majors study how to plan, raise funds, make wise investments and control costs. Students 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 capital investments.
The best professionals in this field 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 do not ultimately work as a finance specialist, including in business management, marketing and logistics.
You can search sites like Seek Australia to find 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 are 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.
Finance can be studied as a major in an online accounting, or business and commerce bachelor's program. Typically, students do not have to choose a specific major until after their first year of study. In a 24-subject program, the curriculum usually consists of equal parts of (a) core subjects that all students must take, (b) finance electives, and (c) other electives.
The best Master of Finance online programs are designed just for distance 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 masters programs are also accelerated and part-time. They are 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 masters takes 2 years of part-time study.
Graduate certificates (4 subjects) and graduate diplomas (8 subjects) are usually embedded in Masters of Finance. You may, for example, start with a graduate certificate and, after completing this successfully, decide to complete a full masters. The programs are open to university graduates and experienced professionals.