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How an M.B.A. Can Advance Your Career in Financial Services

Asset management. Investment banking. Insurance underwriting. Risk management. An M.B.A. with a concentration in finance can open the doors to many different career paths in the financial services sector. M.B.A. graduates who demonstrate skills in budget management, analytical work and financial planning are valued both by small financial firms as well top Wall Street institutions.

Salary and Growth Potential - Both Strong for M.B.A. Grads

In an article written for CNBC, Noah Schwarz, senior partner at Korn Ferry—the world’s largest provider of executive talent strategy and consulting—had this to say about the connection between Wall Street and the M.B.A.: “Right now, Korn Ferry is conducting an executive search for a senior-level investment banker at one of the premier firms. In reviewing the pool of possible candidates, only two of the top 25 candidates do not hold an M.B.A.” This anecdote is strengthened by a report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that determined that of the 14,000 M.B.A. graduates who were employed in 2015, the highest percentage – 19 percent – were employed in the finance or accounting fields.

These trends are projected to continue. In the GMAC’s recent 2016 End-of-Year Poll of Employers, 79 percent of the 140 companies surveyed said they plan to hire M.B.A. graduates in 2017, up from 68 percent the previous year. If you have questions about M.B.A. salaries, you should know that careers in financial services can be lucrative. Payscale currently shows the following median salaries:

  • Finance managers -- $86,152 
  • Portfolio managers -- $82,600 
  • Corporate controller -- $91,743
  • Credit risk management analysts -- $64,654 
  • Finance directors -- $107,106

Career Options in Finance with an M.B.A.

Some of the top jobs in the financial sector include:

  • Actuary: Insurance companies employ actuaries to analyze risk. They use statistics, financial theory and trend analysis to evaluate the probability of events, determine risk/reward and how certain events may affect a company’s financial picture.
  • Asset manager: Asset managers work with clients – both individual investors and institutional investors – to evaluate their portfolios, study investment trends and buy, sell and trade stocks, bonds and other investments to help meet long-term financial goals.
  • Auditor: An auditor‘s role is similar to an independent accountant. Auditors gather and analyze all aspects of an organization’s records to ensure that its financial picture is sound and moving in the right direction.
  • Commercial banking/loan officer: Commercial bankers work with businesses and corporations and generally handle the biggest accounts in the banking industry. They oversee loans, credit and payment compliance.
  • Financial analyst: Financial analysts develop financial plans, reports, and projections to help individual investors and public and private organizations determine if they are on track to meet their short and long-term goals.
  • Financial manager: Financial managers—sometimes called controllers, finance officers and treasurers—are responsible for the long-term financial health of an organization. They keep an eye on the organization’s financial workings and deliver financial reports to help decision-makers develop sound financial strategies.
  • Financial planners:  Financial planners work in a similar capacity as financial managers, except these professionals work with individuals instead of organizations to help them achieve personal financial goals such as paying for college or funding retirement.
  • Investment banker: Investment bankers advise organizations that need to raise debt or equity capital to acquire, merge with or sell other companies. They also protect their clients by ensuring regulatory concerns are addressed.
  • Research analyst: Research analysts monitor market trends, stay abreast of regulatory changes and report back to company decision makers. They tend to specialize in a specific area of research.
  • Risk management: Risk managers are trained to identify, analyze and mitigate possible vulnerabilities – risks – that could affect a company’s reputation, safety and financial picture, either internally or to the public.
  • Strategy consulting: Strategy consultants work across industries to support an organization’s growth. They typically work closely with an organization’s executives to address prioritized concerns.
  • Tax consultant: As specialists in tax law and compliance, tax consultants advise, research and protect their clients, working with them to develop the most attractive tax situation for an organization and its shareholders.

An online M.B.A. from Seton Hall University's nationally-recognized School of Business supports your academic and ethical development while giving you hands-on experience and specialization opportunities. Prepare to advance in your current role or to build a promising career in an entirely new industry. Contact an Admissions Advisor at (844) 823-1198 to learn more or Request More Information.