Home-based or small business finance can be confusing, particularly if you’re not a finance expert. Nearly every large business has become multinational, via multi-national headquarters, international operations, corporate divisions, board members, managers, corporate finance leaders, investors, joint ventures, outsourcing, employee ratios, public offices, subsidiary structure, partnership interests, capital assets, finance resources, and/or joint interests. The international finance and business economics focus is designed specifically to prepare students for an influential and successful role within an increasingly integrated finance community. In essence, this program prepares students to “play in the big leagues”, assuming multiple roles simultaneously while maintaining personal accountability. The program is demanding yet rewarding, with a challenging curriculum and theory assignments; as well as extensive professional practice experiences and networking opportunities to gain industry insight.
Students pursuing finance degrees at traditional schools and colleges will find that these programs are similar to those at law schools, business schools, and other accredited business programs. Finance curriculum at these schools usually involves core courses in business law, taxation, business mathematics, advanced business finance, economics, and other closely related subjects. Finance programs at home colleges and universities typically emphasize business finance courses in their general education programs, though some may offer courses in accounting, economics, or other specialized areas.
The breadth of finance courses is broadening by specialization. For example, some programs now require students to focus on international finance, business economics, or government finance. As you likely have guessed, there is also a wide range of concentrations within the field. Some programs emphasize market studies, investment banking, insurance, investment management, portfolio performance, financial markets, money markets, and other closely related topics. A handful of programs even provide students with an opportunity to specialize in a specific area.
Accounting is a popular choice for business degree programs in finance. While accounting graduates are often familiar with U.S. business accounting standards such as the IRS and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), a good accounting education will also teach students a variety of other important business topics as well. For example, good courses in finance will include methods for analyzing and valuing the different components of business assets, as well as techniques for measuring the market value of those assets. Knowing how to interpret accounting reports can be helpful to managers when they are being responsible for financial matters. Business management professionals who specialize in accounting may even be able to open up whole new lines of business opportunities because they are capable of evaluating the value of different businesses.
Business education programs are also very likely to teach students about modern financial theories. A good finance education program should offer courses about macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic growth, business finance, the environment, personal finance, and consumption patterns. Modern financial theories are not just about what has happened in the last five years. There are many theories out there that have been developed over the course of the last couple hundred years that are still very relevant to today’s business world. Business students should be prepared to learn about these theories in a serious business learning environment.
If a student plans on going straight from high school into a career in finance, then taking the SAT or ACT (AMC) can help. The SAT, or Academic Test for Graduates, is required for all students who wish to enter college courses that require a high school diploma. Taking this test can also lead to better career options, since most colleges consider the SAT to be a “business-ready” course. On the other hand, the ACT scores will be used to determine if a student has the academic skills necessary for a successful career in finance. The higher a student’s ACT score, the more likely it is that he or she will enjoy a high-paying career in finance.
A very strong college course list and strong grades can go far in a job search. In addition, the right major can also play a large role in landing a good job in finance. Many business majors include finance as one of the many subjects taught throughout the curriculum. Some business programs even have dedicated finance departments that study a particular aspect of business. Taking courses such as Introduction to Finance can help a business major to get a solid understanding of how the business world works.
Graduates of college with solid backgrounds in business will be well equipped to start out on their own careers. However, if human resources are not included in a college student’s major, then there are a number of excellent online programs that can help the interested student find employment in finance. Job seekers with strong interpersonal skills and a sense of finance know how to use technology to their advantage in an online program. Those who do not have computer experience can learn basic computer applications and apply these concepts to business related tasks that need effective business skills.