Careers in finance have always enjoyed great popularity, whether that’s due to their generous salaries, their fast pace or the many exciting challenges jobs in finance often present. Whatever your reason for considering it is, you’ll need to know what to expect out of studying it before committing to this goal – and our guide is here to help!
1. What Can I Expect from Studying Finance?
A degree in finance is one of the most sought-after degrees for those pursuing a career in finance management, banking, economics or anything related to the financial and economic sector. Throughout your course you will learn to effectively manage and observe finance, finance management, macroeconomics, as well as modules covering business, accounting, economics and other related subjects.
However, not all universities offer finance as a stand-alone degree in their undergraduate programme, often offered instead as a joint-honours degree paired with accounting, business, marketing, international business or economics.
What you can expect from studying finance is a solid base in all things relating to business, money and numbers, as well as potentially background training in macroeconomics, IT, computing and various other computing and digital systems used today in the world of finance, banking and economics.
2. What Are My Job Opportunities?
A degree in finance is evidence not just of your capabilities in numbers and economics but also in management and business, which will form a core part of your degree. With a degree in finance, you are well-placed to pursue any number of career paths in the finance industry, whether it be economics, banking, accounting, or entry-level schemes in finance management.
What is also important to note is that the role of finance is in demand in almost every industry; whether it be a business or a public institution, almost every organisation employs those experienced in numbers and finance to organise their accounts and money. This means two things: one, that studying finance is a sensible degree choice concerning employment and earning potential, and two: that your options are not limited to one domain or industry: almost every organisation public or private needs financial oversight.
In addition, according to UCAS, 95% of finance graduates are in work or further study after six months, earning around £22k straight out of university, meaning that when it comes to future prospects, finance is one of the most reliable and dependable undergraduate degrees.
3. What Are the Entry Requirements?
The entry requirements for studying finance largely depend on which university you wish to take your course at. The entry requirements for Russell Group universities tend to be more demanding; the higher an institution ranks in the league tables the higher their entry requirements tend to be.
Most high-ranking universities will be looking for students with AAA (A-Levels) or AAAAB (Scottish Highers), however, there are universities whose entry requirements are lower, ranging from anything from CCC-ABB (A-Levels) or BBBB (Scottish Highers.) Your application will also take into account your personal statement and own experience.
As for specific subject entry requirements, most universities will look for a strong performance in mathematics at both GSCE/Standard Grade and AS/A Level. An ‘A’ in A-Level Maths might not always be required but it will display that you are at ease with numbers, which will play a large part of a degree in finance.
4. What’s So Good About Studying Finance?
Studying finance will give you a broad knowledge base in all things economic, and given that almost every organisation – whether private, public or within the voluntary sector – will deal with finances and have its own accounts, being financially educated means that you will never struggle to find job opportunities.
A degree in finance is also a great starting point for a more focalised career. Those who study broad, generalised courses in finance are then able to go on to take shorter, more specific courses in subjects directly related to finance and economics. These can include bookkeeping, taxation, various banking diplomas, financial services, wealth management, treasury courses and of course a postgraduate or master’s course in finance or its related subjects. Obtaining a qualification in one of these subjects when you already have a base in finance will be simpler and quicker, and the two qualifications together on your CV will give you a thorough, focalised and sought-after skillset.
5. What Should I Know Beforehand?
One of the most important things to know about studying finance is that your course will be intellectually demanding, especially when it comes to mathematics. You should have not only an aptitude with numeracy but an active interest in the subject and an interest in numbers, as well as an ability to think analytically and proactively. Working in the world of finance and economics will demand a level of intuition, analysis and scrutiny when it comes to money. Probability and numbers, and an overall aptitude for markets and economics – as well as genuine interest in the these – will be advantageous.
It is important to note also that a degree in finance will cover plenty of subject bases; accounting, business, IT – as well as demanding demonstration of your oral and written skills through coursework, group projects and presentations – meaning that your capabilities at all levels and in numerous domains will be tested and scrutinised. On the plus side, it is for these reasons that finance graduates are so highly sought after in the jobs market and so well-paid even at entry-level – but first you have to do the work.