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Why Earn an MBA in Finance?

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As you contemplate advancing into leadership by developing your skills in a postgraduate business program, you need to know you are making the strongest possible investment in yourself. You must assess your growth and compensation potential as well as your likely career trajectory. You also want many options in a broad field without limitations. Given these objectives, a specialized finance MBA could be the ideal academic path for you.

A Relentlessly High-growth Field

The broad field of finance, including banking, financial services and wealth management, is expected to produce extraordinary job growth across a variety of positions for the foreseeable future. The accounting firm Deloitte reports, “Economic fundamentals are strong, the regulatory climate is favorable, and transformation technologies are more readily accessible, powerful, and economical than ever before.”

Retail banks are benefitting from loan growth and tax cuts, and investment in online lending platforms is substantial. Across the globe, the environment for mergers and acquisitions is highly favorable, driven by regulatory divergence and technology infrastructure developments. The industry is embracing a mobile-centric customer experience, with banks deploying a variety of strategies to meet changing demands. Banks are becoming even more active in technology by launching stand-alone digital banks, or through partnerships that include with non-banks. Leaders with a specialized education in finance, supplemented by broad business training, are needed to help firms capitalize on these trends.

Global corporate lending is also trending upward, with America leading the way—driven in part by relaxed credit standards. Leveraged loans are becoming more borrower friendly, and this market is expected to surpass $1 trillion soon.

Investment banking is also on the rise, with global mergers and acquisitions activity increasing 36% between 2017 and 2018. U.S. banks are dominant in global M&A. A shift in power to the buy side favors large institutions, which continue to hire MBA graduates at a rapid pace.

Deloitte also reports that wealth management continues to be a high-performing business for banks, driven by the strong recent stock market, fee-based relationships and favorable demographic shifts.

Excellent Compensation Prospects

The GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey of 2018 reports that MBA graduates now earn nearly $1 million in cumulative base salary in the 10 years after graduation, and that does not include bonuses, commissions and other forms of compensation. Even better, the high levels of compensation are spread across a wide range of fields, businesses and positions.

To provide a few examples, U.S. News & World Report ranks personal financial advisor at No. 6 in Best Business Jobs and No. 22 in Best Paying Jobs in all fields. This position manages the wealth of clients and counsels them on financial decision-making. U.S. News reports the median salary at $88,890, with 40,400 current jobs in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% job growth in this field between 2018 and 2028.

For those who aspire to leadership, the average finance manager salary is $122,578, with a range between $93,601 and $154,574, according to Salary.com (December 2019). Salaries do vary by location, company and exact title. This position manages the daily financial activities of an organization in accounting, insurance, tax and budgeting. The BLS projects 16% job growth in this field between 2018 and 2028.

Another popular career option for MBA finance graduates is financial analyst. These professionals provide investment guidance to both businesses and individuals, and evaluate the performance of stocks, bonds and other investments. Job growth is projected at 6% between 2018 and 2028. Salary.com identifies the median salary for financial analyst III (MBA graduate with 3-4+ years experience) as $86,972.

These are just three examples of opportunities for specialized finance MBA graduates. Southern Oregon University graduates are finding opportunities across the financial industry, with many top employers, and their career possibilities are nearly limitless.

Learn more about SOU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Finance program.

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