What can you do with a finance degree?

April 30, 2019

Although not everyone with a degree in finance will work on Wall Street, finance careers can be fast-paced and exciting in a variety of work environments. According to Greg Farfsing, PhD, core faculty member of Capella’s School of Business Finance Department, finance is a versatile field with interesting job opportunities in many industries.

We spoke with Farfsing further about the value of a degree in finance and the career options available to those who choose to pursue it.

Who should pursue a finance degree?

Anyone with a broad interest in business and a spark of interest in finance could be a good candidate. All the interconnecting aspects of business—economics, marketing, accounting, quantitative analysis, human resources, information technology, and finance—should ideally be of interest to someone considering a finance degree.
“In addition, the student would have in interest in the valuation of things; such as, the valuation of an individual financial security up through the valuation of an entire enterprise, or groups of enterprises,” Farfsing says.

Variety of career options

A degree in finance prepares graduates for a wide variety of challenging and fulfilling career opportunities in the primary areas of investments, financial management, financial institutions and markets, and international finance. Here are just a few of the possibilities available to graduates with a degree in finance.

Financial analyst

Financial analysts assist in the financial decision-making process of a company. Responsibilities may include:

  • Providing financial and analytical support
  • Cash reconciliations
  • Payment date accounting
  • Daily modeling, analysis, and reporting
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Providing timely, relevant, and accurate reporting and analysis of a division’s performance

Credit analyst

Credit analysts assess the financial position of firms or individuals as part of the decision-making process in lending. Responsibilities may include:

  • Gathering and analyzing credit data
  • Providing financial advice according to paying habits, financial history, and earnings information
  • Reading financial briefings
  • Developing statistical models for risk analysis
  • Completing and submitting loan applications

Business analyst

Business analysts review and document processes and systems to help create solutions to company-wide or departmental business problems. Responsibilities may include:

  • Performing analyses of current business processes
  • Creating and presenting workflow charts
  • Defining requirements and planning milestones for projects
  • Creating technical reports analyzing revenue and expense trends
  • Conducting or contributing to financial, product, and operational research


This is one of the more common careers associated with a degree in finance. Accountants prepare and examine financial records of individuals and/or businesses to ensure that all taxes and records are correct. Other responsibilities may include:

  • Organizing and maintaining clients’ financial records
  • Making best practice recommendations concerning finances
  • Auditing businesses and individuals
  • Analyzing tax records to ensure compliance with government rules

There is not one path to career development through a degree in finance. Use what you are interested in to help guide your decision. Look across industries to see what additional positions are available—there are many choices within corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits.

If the above career paths intrigue you, consider an online finance degree from Capella University.

To continue to expand your business knowledge, consider an online MBA, Self-Designed.

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