What Can I Do with a MBA in Finance?

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - April 23, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you want to get an MBA, it is important to choose your concentration with care. Professionals who choose the most in-demand specialities can enjoy excellent career and salary growth over the years. Traditionally, finance is a good choice for many MBA students. Finance is recognized as the biggest MBA job sector, with approximately 22% of all MBA jobs, according to some surveys.

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With an MBA in finance, you will be well qualified for many high-paying positions that will probably be more numerous as the US economy continues to expand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the business and financial sectors of the economy will see 10% growth through 2026, which is faster than average. All together, we can expect 773,000 jobs in these areas in that time.

If you are considering your MBA in finance, below is more information about the types of job opportunities you can enjoy with this in demand degree.

#1 Financial Manager

Financial managers are in charge of the overall financial health of an organization. They are in charge of making financial reports, directing various investment activities, and coming up with new and effective strategies to enhance the long term financial outlook for the company.

As technology has evolved in the last decade, the role of the financial manager has changed to a degree. It no longer takes as long as it once did to produce financial reports, so financial managers with an MBA will probably spend more of their time on data analysis and studying how to help the company make more money.

Most financial managers also do many tasks that are specific to the industry they work in. For instance, a financial manager in a government agency will be an expert in government appropriations and budgeting, while healthcare financial managers must be knowledgeable about healthcare finance matters. All financial managers must know a lot about tax laws and regulations that affect their specific industry.

Financial managers are in strong demand in the US today. Employment in the field is going to rise by a healthy 19% by 2026, which is much faster than average. But you can expect this growth to vary widely by industry. Services that are offered by financial managers, such as planning, directing and coordinating investments, should continue to grow in demand as the economy gets healthier and expands. MBAs who want to see the strongest demand in this field may want to specialize in cash management and risk management, as these jobs are in very high demand:

  • Cash manager: Controls and monitors how cash flows into and out of the company to meet all investment and business needs. For instance, they must be able to project cash flow to determine if the company will have enough cash to meet current expenses.
  • Risk manager: Controls the financial risk a company experiences by using advanced strategies to limit or offset the chance of financial loss or exposure to excessive risk.

Financial managers earn a median salary of $125,000 per year, according to BLS. The top 10% earn more than $200,000 per year.

Suggested degrees to get include:

Additional job titles to consider include:

#2 Financial Analyst

A financial analyst offers detailed guidance to companies and private individuals who must make investment decisions. They are responsible largely for assessing the performance of stocks, bonds and various other types of investments.

Financial analysts generally work as either buy side or sell side analysts. A buy side analyst is responsible for developing investment strategies for companies with millions or billions of dollars to invest. These are institutional investors, and may include hedge funds, insurance organizations, money management companies and non profit organizations with large endowments, such as major universities. Sell side analysts work with financial services agents who offer stocks and bonds for sale.

After you earn your MBA in finance and work in this field, you may want to earn your Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which can help to advance you in the field.

Jobs for financial analysts will rise by 11% through 2026, which is faster than average. It is anticipated that job growth will continue to grow as the economy gathers strength.

The median salary is $84,300, with the top 10% earning more than $165,000 per year.

Suggested degrees to get include:

Additional job titles to consider:

#3 Investment Banker

Investment bankers help their clients to invest and grow capital through smart purchases of equity and debt. They also offer detailed advice and assistance during various types of financial transitions, such as mergers and acquisitions. Investment bankers with an MBA in finance background are responsible for making sure all vital paperwork is completed properly and also ensuring that government regulations are followed during complex financial transactions.

The median salary for investment bankers in 2015 was $71,000 but highly skilled investment bankers can increase their income dramatically after several years in the business. It is not unusual for experienced investment bankers to make more than $200,000 per year.

Suggest degrees to get include:

Additional job titles to consider:

#4 Financial Advisor

Financial advisors provide financial advice to individuals for the most part, instead of to financial institutions. These finance professionals play a critical part in helping families to plan for college tuition, retirement and building wealth over the years. Financial advisors look out for the best interests of their clients by suggesting solid investment opportunities and creating long term financial plans. This is an excellent job for MBA in finance professionals who want to earn a good income while also helping people achieve their financial goals.

Many financial advisors begin earning in the $50,000 to $55,000 range, but later in their career it is possible to earn more than $100,000 per year. Much of their earnings come from commissions so it is possible to earn a higher income than this. BLS reports the median salary in the field is $90,600.

This profession is expected to grow dramatically in popularity in the next decade, with 15% growth expected. The major driver of job growth is simply the aging US population. As more baby boomers are retiring, more will be looking for financial advice from financial advisors. Also, it is expected that longer lifespans will cause people to need more financial guidance as they age.

Suggested degrees to get include:

#5 Market Research Analyst

These marketing research professionals help clients to determine who their clients are, what they want to buy and the price they are willing to pay. These analysts reach their conclusions with tools such as statistical analysis, focus groups and surveys, and financial software.

Market research analysts also generate reports on recent sales trends and consumer demographics and trends. Market research analysts must be skilled in presenting findings to their clients in a way that is easy to understand. This process of analyzing and collecting data is both quantifiable and logical, but determining why the target audience is attracted to a certain product requires a level of emotional intelligence that some professionals may not have.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for marketing research analysts will grow by 23% through 2026, which will net 136,000 new jobs.

The median salary in this field is $62,500, with the top 25% earning $88,200 per year.

Professionals armed with an MBA in finance will find many tantalizing job possibilities and strong MBA salary opportunities in the coming years, some of which have been highlighted above.

Note that while having strong quantitative and analytical skills are important for succeeding in a business finance career, you also will need to have excellent interpersonal skills. As your finance career progresses with your MBA, it also is important to remember to learn how to develop strong interpersonal relationships with clients, stakeholders and co-workers. It is the ability to develop relationships and get along with others that usually separates true business leaders from lower level managers.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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