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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

Finance at WGU

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Are you looking to get a finance degree?

While WGU doesn't currently offer a bachelor's degree in finance, students who are looking to pursue financial careers can get the credentials and skills they need from other business degrees at WGU. Similar to other finance programs, the business degrees at WGU are geared to helping students gain skills that can prepare them for finance jobs, either entry-level or more advanced positions. Learn more about the ideal degree options if you're looking into a finance degree or financial career. 

Pathways to a finance career.

According to LinkedIn, there are over 48,000 finance job titles that require accounting or auditing skills. And there are over 121,000 jobs that require business development or management skills. So while a degree in finance can be a good option for some careers, many of the skills you may need for a finance career can be found in other programs. 


Bachelor of Science in Accounting

A bachelor's degree in accounting is considered the closest fit to a bachelor's degree in finance. Because accounting and finance are so closely related, much of the coursework and skills needed overlap, making either one a good fit for many careers. This program will go over many courses and skills that you will also find in a finance degree, including business core courses, financial accounting, financial management, spreadsheets, economics, and more.

Many financial careers are available to those who have an accounting bachelor's degree. Accounting programs help you learn about historical financial information, which can be used to inform future decisions. This is critical in financial careers.

Career options in finance for those with an accounting degree include:

  • Investment banker
  • Financial broker
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial auditor
  • Controller
  • CFO

Bachelor of Science in Business Management

A bachelor's degree in business management can be a great option for students looking to pursue a career in finance. This kind of program will give you a great overview of all things related to business, giving you important skills that can make you a great asset to an employer. In a business management program you'll cover a wide variety of topics, some directly related to finance including financial accounting, financial management, spreadsheets, economics, and more.

A business management degree helps you learn about different areas of business and how they all work together. This is important for financial professionals, as they may work with budgets of many different departments to help the organization run seamlessly.

Career options in finance for those with a business management degree include:

  • Budget analyst
  • Risk specialist
  • Financial planner
  • Business educator
  • Financial manager

Many finance positions will eventually call for a master's degree, typically an MBA or a Master's of Science in Accounting. These degree can be earned after getting any kind of bachelor's degree, but a background in finance is particularly helpful. If you're looking to make a career shift and you already have a bachelor's degree, an MBA or M.S. in accounting can be an ideal way to continue to move your career forward. This additional credential will help you learn more about finance, business operations, and important strategies for money. You'll also gain key management skills that can help you move up in leadership positions in the finance industry. 

Spreadsheet and calculator

$87,000

is the average annual salary for finance professionals.

Learn more about finance careers.

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Whether you already work in a financial industry or are hoping to make a move into that profession, a business degree is a huge asset. While you don't have to get a degree in finance, other business programs will help you gain important skills and credentials that can prepare you for an exciting future in a finance career. 

There are many lucrative and rewarding careers in the field of finance to consider. Most finance jobs see a salary well above the national average, and a bachelor's degree can be vital in helping you raise your salary. But before you choose one of these professions, it's important to understand what they actually do in their day-to-day work.

What do investment bankers do?

Investment bankers help clients raise money to finance their activities and expand their company. They act as advisors who help companies and governments raise capital for whatever they need.

What do financial brokers do?

 Financial brokers analyze public companies that offer stock to see if investing would be worth the risk. They advise their clients on the best investment strategies to help them succeed. Many financial brokers may also be Certified Financial Planners.

What do financial analysts do?

Financial analysts work for banks, insurance companies, and other businesses guiding investment strategies and reviewing financial markets. 

What does a financial auditor do?

Financial auditors review a company's financial statements, documents, data, and accounting entries. They are trained to ensure rules and regulations are being followed by an organization. 

What does a budget analyst do?

Budget analysts prepare budget reports, monitor spending, and help organizations plan their finances. 

What does a risk specialist do?

Risk specialists use their skills to identify potential risks to an organization that could hurt cash flow or raise insurance rates. 

Person using a tablet with a series of charts and graphs

12%

career growth is expected by 2025 in financial professions.

What does a financial planner do?

Financial planning focuses on working with individuals to help them understand their money, budgets, and wealth building. Sometimes called financial advisors, many professionals in the industry go on to become a Certified Financial Planner after earning a degree.

What does a business educator do?

A business degree can help you become a high school or college teacher focused on educating students about finances in real-world settings.

What does a financial manager do?

Financial managers are responsible for the long-term goals and financial health of an organization. They perform data analysis, advise other managers and executives, and do research for the best financial options for a company.

What does a controller do?

A controller is in charge of a company's accounting operations and they guide an organization on best financial decisions and practices.

What does a CFO do?

The chief financial officer is the senior executive in charge of all the financial plans and strategies for an organization.

Whatever financial career path you're interested in pursuing, a bachelor's degree will be important in helping you succeed. 

Why choose WGU?

Why should you choose a WGU accounting or business management degree over a finance degree somewhere else? There are several reasons a WGU degree is a great fit for students.

  • Low, flat-rate tuition means that you're charged the same amount per six-month term, regardless of how many classes you take. 
  • Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage, accelerating your program and graduating faster. Graduating faster also saves you money. 
  • We offer scholarships and financial aid to help with our already affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.
  • The coursework in our business programs is career-focused, meaning the skills you learn are meaningful and will translate directly to your work post graduation. But you don't have to take our word for it.
  • Happy employers
  • Happy grads

They're Prepared.

Blue colored circular bar graph that shows that 100% of employers that were surveyed felt that WGU grads were prepared for their jobs.

Employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They Perform.

Green colored circular bar graph that shows that 93% of employers that were surveyed rated WGU grads' job performance as very good or excellent.

Employers rated WGU graduates' job performance as very good or excellent.

They Wow.

Purple colored circular bar grap that shows that 94% of employers that were surveyed felt that WGU grads had exceeded their expectations.

Employers said their WGU graduates have exceeded their expectations.

They're Confident.

Blue double bar graph comparing how confident WGU grads were that their coursework related to their jobs WGU: 78%, U.S. avg: 68%

Graduates said the majority of their coursework was related to their jobs.

They're Working.

Green double bar graph comparing how many WGU grads are working full-time compared to grads from other universities. WGU: 88%, U.S. avg: 71%

Graduates are working full-time.

They're Satisfied.

Purple double bar graph comparing how many WGU grads felt satisfied that their degrees were worth paying for WGU: 91%, U.S. avg: 67%

Graduates said their degrees were worth the cost of their education.

Source: 2018 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers; 2018 Harris Poll Online survey of 1,374 new college graduates nationwide compared with survey of 1,147 WGU graduates; Gallup-Purdue Index 2018

Which degree should you choose?

Both a business management and accounting bachelor's degree at WGU can prepare you for a future career in finance. Choosing either degree is a great alternative to a finance degree program and can make sure you have training and credentials that will help you succeed.

Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,370 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting manager
  • Financial director
  • Vice president of finance and operations
  • Chief financial officer
  • Forensic accountant

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 68% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,370 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: 80% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,325 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Accounting – M.S.

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public...

Become better qualified to pursue a greater...

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public and private accounting positions:

  • Time: 76% of grads finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,325 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accountant
  • Accounting manager
  • Internal audit manager
  • Senior accountant
  • Other specialized finance roles

This MAcc program is designed to prepare you for the CPA exam and also the CMA or CIA exams.

Frequently asked questions about a finance career.

There are lots of things you can do with a finance, accounting, or business degree. You can pursue financial analyst, auditing, budgetary, and other financially focused positions all with the help of a bachelor's degree.

A finance degree could be a good option, but an accounting degree may be more specialized and a better fit for many job options in the financial industry.