What Could an MBA Do for A Career in Finance?

What Could an MBA Do for A Career in Finance? main image

The career possibilities associated with an MBA are vast. Whether you’re looking to switch careers, substantially boost your salary, or gain a position at C-suite level, an MBA is a great way to get the ball rolling.

An MBA with a finance specialization provides you with a number of professional options in this field. In fact, an MBA in finance is one of the most popular specializations associated with the degree.

Undertaking an MBA in finance could prep you for roles in corporate finance, commercial banking, financial planning, investment banking, and other important business sectors.

A finance program is the perfect study choice for business professionals hoping to expand their knowledge, skills, networks, marketability and career options.

Finance MBA lowdown

Finance MBAs usually start in the same way as other MBAs, with core courses encompassing a number business disciplines.

As students work their way through the core MBA courses, they will then take concentration courses. In finance concentrations — depending on the program — students will often take three to five courses in subjects including:

  • Corporate restructuring
  • International markets
  • Corporate budgeting
  • Investment analysis
  • Advanced financial management
  • Corporate finance
  • Portfolio strategy and analysis
  • Derivatives
  • International finance

Benefits of an MBA in finance

A finance MBA is designed to provide specialized learning in financial functions. Students will learn about economics, leaderships, statistics, strategy and marketing.

An MBA in finance program may cover such areas as:

  • Market trading and volatility
  • Futures and options
  • Stock market analysis
  • Financial instruments
  • Bankruptcy
  • Investment banking
  • Risk management

As you can see from the wide variety of electives at business schools, there are many financial roles you can prepare for through your MBA.

By undertaking teamwork assignments, you will sharpen skills, as well as make critical self-analysis to assess your strengths and weakness. Participants will also tackle complex financial challenges faced by organizations due to cut-throat competition and globalization.

Dynamic job opportunities

An MBA in finance opens up employment opportunities at banks, corporate sectors, and financial institutions, especially as the program gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience via role-playing, projects and internships, as well as management simulations.

There is a constant demand for finance MBA graduates in reputable investment banks, business houses and financial firms. Career opportunities include:

  • Chief financial officer
  • Credit manager
  • Cash manager
  • Banker
  • Financial analyst
  • Management consultant
  • Risk and insurance manager
  • Executive officer

Salary hikes

One of the driving factors encouraging people to pursue a career in finance is the high salary. With an MBA in finance, the boost to your earnings is substantial – expect a possible 35 to 40 percent pay rise from your pre-MBA salary.

After five years of service under your belt, this could climb higher, reaching 60-70 percent more than your pre-MBA earnings.

However, it’s not just the paycheck that’s a benefit. There are many different perks associated with a career in finance, from expense allowances and stock options to club membership and vacation packages.

What are finance companies looking for?

Finance companies aren’t necessarily looking for any unusual technical skills. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate aptitude in financial statement analysis, accounting, valuation, project management, storyboarding, to name a few, but all of these are widely taught on MBA in finance degrees.

‘EQ’ (emotional intelligence) competencies are highly regarded and sought-after skills. Finance organizations are not too dissimilar from other industries and want their MBA talent to possess the ability to work effectively across functions and teams, manage difficult situations, and communicate effectively to different audiences.

Of course, these skills will be developed throughout the MBA, but the value of a summer internship at a financial firm can’t be under-appreciated. There, an MBA student will be able to improve this set of skills and make themselves more desirable in financial roles post-graduation. 


The top recruiters for MBA finance graduates include:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Bain & Co
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Lehman Brothers
  • JP Morgan
  • Barclays
  • Deutsche Bank
  • McKinsey

As ever, these companies offer financial positions all over the world, giving you the opportunity to travel if this is something that may interest you in the future.

The lowdown

An MBA in finance provides you with numerous professional options. Students pursuing this concentration will gain access to top-tier internship opportunities while still at school, and generally command higher salaries and better job positions post-graduation.

Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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