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Finance - Overview


Finance programs prepare people to manage money for people and institutions. Students learn to manage stock, bond, and security holdings. They also learn to prepare budgets, make loans, and keep records.

Finance is the branch of business that deals with how funds are raised and invested. Every business organization is concerned with raising money. Some sell shares of stock to earn money. Once they earn money, businesses are then concerned with how those funds are invested in staff, equipment, raw materials, or perhaps even in stocks and bonds issued by other companies. The company needs to be responsible to the people who invest in it. In addition, the company expects to be successful in what it invests in.

Most colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in finance. A smaller number offer a master's degree. In these programs you learn the different ways to raise and invest funds. You also learn how to analyze financial statements. These reports explain a business's fund-raising methods and investments. In addition, you learn how laws and factors in the economy affect investments. You are also likely to specialize in a field. Corporate finance, stocks and bonds, insurance, and real estate are common specialties.

A bachelor's degree is good preparation for entry-level jobs. Some students improve their job prospects by earning a master's degree. In these additional two years of studying you may specialize in a field of finance. Or if you have some work experience in this field, you may want a master's in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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