Education, especially financial education, is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy. An advanced finance degree, for most finance majors, will help with career advancement and future earnings potential. It’s never too early to start planning for your future. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Salary Survey found that those with finance degrees have one of the highest starting salaries of any college majors with an average starting salary of $57,300. This is the average salary, but there is a myriad of ways to generate more value for yourself, things you can accomplish before and after graduation. Here are five ways for finance majors to advance the impact and value of their degrees.
1. Summer Internships Equal Major Finance Advancement
Summer finance internships set you apart from your finance major peers. An internship will make you much more marketable to potential employers upon graduation. In addition to the more typical finance internship opportunities like banks, insurance companies, and corporate finance departments, looking for unique and outside the box positions can lead to diverse and potentially more rewarding avenues of study. For instance, a summer finance internship in a STEM related field will broaden your perspective of business and add to your overall marketability.
2. Double Majors and Minors to Succeed
Finance majors who work towards and complete a second major or minor in a complimentary or unique area of study can reap the benefits of more financial success and increased job prospects. For instance, students who double major in finance and accounting will add tremendous value to your education and to your earning potential upon graduation. Accounting knowledge is critical to finance degree advancement and all finance programs will incorporate accounting study, but student who take enough accounting hours for a second major will outshine their contemporaries. Alternatively, finance students may want to add a second major or minor in a unrelated field. For instance, if a finance major is your primary objective but you have a passion for oceanography or architecture, adding a second major or minor in one of these fields will allow you to specialize your education and help you find a position that uses your finance degree as well as in a field you love.
3. Keys to the Kingdom – Networking
Another way to advance and increase the value of your degree is by networking with other finance students, professionals and alumni of your college or university. By attending all the career fairs and career networking events can help you land a full-time job for when you graduate. If you can find full-time work prior to graduating, you will reduce a large amount of stress. Spend time in your college’s or university’s career services office and take full advantage of all of the services they provide. Through their various services you can greatly enhance your knowledge of the job market, enhance your resume writing skills and improve your job interview skills.
4. Join Social and Finance Related Clubs
Joining clubs or other student social activity groups is a great idea for finance majors. Many colleges and universities have student investing clubs where finance majors can get real world investing experience. Other social clubs can help you gain valuable money managing experience through fundraisers. Additionally, joining fun clubs will also allow you to meet other students outside of your major and provide additional opportunities for networking.
5. Advanced Degrees and Professional Certifications
Upon completion of your finance major, you can seek additional education and professional certifications. You can augment your finance degree with professional certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Series 7 or Series 63 Exams that allow for the sale of financial securities. These exams will allow finance career advancement and give you the opportunity to earn more. Another option would be to return to business school for an MBA or possibly a tax or an accounting master’s degree. Both of these options would significantly increase your earnings potential and would open many more doors to career advancement.
Related Resource: Finance Degree Online: 15 Best Deals
These five ways of advancing your finance major and degree will help you build the knowledge base and skills necessary to achieve your education and financial goals.