Finance is the field of study that refers to the science of funds and banking. There are many different types of people that study this field. Many people are in this field for the job security it offers, as well as the opportunities it opens up for career development. Other people are interested in financing simply because they enjoy thinking about and studying different financial topics.
In finance, students learn how to manage money by using financial instruments such as bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. They also learn how to make economic decisions based on their research and current knowledge of the economy and financial markets. Some people are particularly interested in finance as an accountant, and others in accounting just because they are involved with the day to day accounting activities of banks and other financial institutions. Finance is an area of study that also includes a lot of math, however. Students that want to major in finance are required to take additional classes in math.
There are several career paths available in the field of finance. One path, which many enter with college classes, is the financial accounting and risk management field of study. Students specialize in either accounting or risk management; usually they do not choose just one of those paths. Other career paths in finance include international business, corporate finance, investment banking, private equity, and government finance. A number of colleges and universities offer finance degrees, as well as a number of related courses that allow those already in the field to further their knowledge of the subject.
The career paths in finance all involve banking; however, there are many other aspects of finance that affect the overall economy and the way people live their lives every day. Some of the more general subjects that students choose to study include interest rates, savings and loans, investment and capital budgeting, the credit cycle, the role of financial institutions in society, economic growth and inflation, public finance, and the impact of global finance on the United States. These are all subjects that will have a significant impact on the way people live their lives, as well as the way politicians decide how to fund the country and regulate private businesses. Each of these topics and many others are the focus of many courses across the disciplines of banking, finance, and accounting. All finance degrees require core courses in statistics, decision sciences, and mathematics, as well as courses in global management and risk management.
This main article is intended to introduce prospective students to the world of finance and to introduce students to some of the more popular programs and degrees available today. Finance is a very broad area, but there are four major areas that all finance professionals should specialize in: investment banking, corporate finance, investment banking and venture capital, and financial planning. The subjects and courses required for each of these areas of expertise vary by area, but all involve the study of banks and the impact of banking on the global economy. Students who wish to enter one or more of the fields detailed in the main article are encouraged to read the main article, as it provides an introduction to a number of different career options that may prove interesting to them. If students feel that finance is not for them, that is fine – there are plenty of other majors in the finance department that allow students to specialize in a specific area of the field.
The main article is a general introduction to the field of finance, with some examples of specific degree programs listed below. Students interested in working in finance should consider each of the following programs carefully before applying to any one of them. These programs focus on the financial economics of corporations, risk management, and corporate finance.