POSTGRADUATE

How to level up in your financial career

SOURCE: ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP
A finance-related master’s degree could better position you for a promotion by helping you hone the right skills needed for the job you want.


By U2B Staff 

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If you’re in the finance industry and want to take your financial career up a notch, learning should never take a backseat. A career in finance can take on different trajectories, and they remain a good sector to be in. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, notes that the job outlook for financial managers is projected to grow 15% through 2029, or much faster than average for all occupations.

These individuals can work in many industries, including banks, investment firms and insurance companies. While the work can be stressful — and the hours long — it does come with a financial perk. The median pay for financial managers in 2020 was 134,180 US dollar per annum.

Whether you’re in insurance, investment banking to corporate finance and the financial services industry, the industry is ever-evolving, which means it’s essential to keep your knowledge and skills updated.

The job market is growing increasingly competitive, which means getting by with just a bachelor’s might not always be enough to set you apart from the competition.

A finance-related master’s degree could better position you for a promotion by helping you hone the right skills you need for the job you want. It could also help you stand out from others in the industry or open the door to a wider set of career opportunities. 

If you’re looking for new opportunities or responsibilities at work, these are some finance-related master’s degrees that could be useful for those looking to level up in their financial careers:

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Master’s in finance

A master’s in finance — or a master’s of finance — is the obvious choice for those interested in a career in finance. Depending on the programme and modules, it could also prepare you for a career in investment. 

The programme could expose you to modules on investments, financial reporting and analysis and corporate finance, among others. 

Upon graduating, the degree could lead you to financial careers in investment banks, financial institutions or even consultancies, to name a few.

MBA with a finance concentration

The benefits of pursuing an MBA are well documented.

The Association of MBAs notes that graduates have reported that their MBA helped them achieve a promotion, expand their area of expertise, change careers, equip them to start their own business and improve their business and professional network of contacts, to name a few.

You can find an MBA with a finance concentration, which can prepare you for financial careers in banking, corporate finance or other institutions within the sector.

There are also MBAs with specialisations in financial services and insurance if you work in these areas.

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Master’s in accounting

If you want to carve yourself a career in accounting, a master’s of accounting could be ideal.

Programmes in the field will help you learn advanced accounting knowledge, learn the theory and practice of accounting and develop other key skills essential to professional accountants.

Some programmes may also facilitate students’ preparation for professional accounting exams, such as the CIMA Professional Qualification or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.