Associate’s Degree in Finance

An Associate’s degree in finance can provide you with a foundational understanding of money management concepts and a solid grasp on subject areas like assets, liabilities and risk management. This degree can open up numerous entry-level jobs and can also be used as a stepping stone for a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related concentration. If you want to learn more about an associate’s degree in finance and what you can do with it, the following guide would be of great use to you.

Opportunities with an Associate’s Degree in Finance

An Associate’s Degree in Finance can lead to professional practice within various branches of finance such as financial planning, commercial banking, investment banking, insurance, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital and corporate finance. Pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Finance is usually the first step towards a highly rewarding career in this field, with most students opting to go for bachelor’s or master’s degrees later on.

Students who intend to look for jobs right after their Associate’s Degree in Finance can apply for entry-level positions, typically in assisting roles to more established financial professionals. Job opportunities would include clerical or menial roles in the finance sector, such as bookkeeping. Students are advised to take up such opportunities and gradually work their way up.

How long does it take to get an Associate’s Degree in Finance?

An Associate’s Degree in Finance would typically take two years to complete, with full time study. Some students may prefer to complete this degree in a part-time study format, in which case it would take longer. A typical Associate’s Degree in Finance would require the completion of 60 credits, though this requirement may vary from institute to institute.

How much does an Associate’s Degree in Finance cost?

The tuition cost for an Associate’s Degree in Finance would vary from institute to institute. Private colleges would typically charge a higher amount than public institutes. In addition to that, fee structures might also vary for online or traditional on-campus programs. Students who receive financial aid, scholarships or academic grants might have the entire cost or part of their tuition fees covered. A typical associate degree at a public university costs around $9,690 per annum, as per 2020 statistics from US News.

Should I Get an Associate’s Degree in Finance?

If you have a notable interest in number crunching, accounting, financial institutions and the business world, an Associate’s Degree in Finance might be a good start for you. This degree is the quickest way to enter the field of finance and potentially the cheapest too. It would certainly cost less than a bachelor’s degree in finance and can be finished in merely two years. Graduates of this program can enter the job market with a basic skill set and gradually work their way up the corporate ladder.

In addition to offering a quick entry into the job market, an Associate’s Degree in Finance can also serve as a foundation for further studies. Graduates of this degree often end up enrolling in a Bachelor’s in Finance or Accounting to enhance their career prospects.

What can I expect from an Associate’s Degree in Finance?

Students who wish to make a career in the field of finance need to have strong critical thinking and analytical skills. In addition to that, having a solid knowledge of different software and good communication skills can lead to success in this field.

Students enrolling in an Associate’s Degree in Finance should expect to spend 2 years of time completing this program. This translates to around 60 credits in most programs. Some schools also offer accelerated programs that can be completed in less than the standard 2-year period.

An Associate’s Degree in Finance would expose students to a variety of subject areas in the field of finance, such as investment planning, banking, corporate finance, international finance, computer applications in finance and security analysis. Furthermore, some students may also be required to complete a capstone project. Please note that program requirements would vary from college to college, therefore, it is advisable to get in touch with the relevant admission boards well in time.

How to choose an Associate’s Degree in Finance program?

Choosing the right Associate’s Degree in Finance program can be a tough task, since so many factors need to be taken into account. Aspiring finance majors should consider the cost of the program, location of the campus, career placement options available, faculty credentials, notable alumni and campus facilities. In addition to that, students ought to have a detailed look at the curriculum, transferrable credits and further education options as well.

Transferrable credits are an important aspect to take into account when looking for an associate’s degree, since most students end up going for higher education after completing the associate’s degree. Ideally you should look for a program that has credits which fulfill the requirements for the first two years of an undergraduate degree.

Another important factor to consider when selecting an Associate’s Degree in Finance is the accreditation of the program. Please note that students enrolled in programs that are not accredited might not be eligible for federal grants and student loans. Read on to learn more about the importance of accreditation.

Accreditation for Associate’s Degree in Finance Programs

Associate’s Degrees in Finance are typically accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Both these organizations are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and offer associate-level program accreditation in accounting and business-related subjects.

Accreditation is an important concern when looking for a degree at any level. It is sort of a basic quality standard that any good school should meet. Needless to say, students are advised to steer clear of schools that are not accredited by a credible organization.

How can I get into an Associate’s Degree in Finance Program?

In order to get into an Associate’s Degree in Finance, students ideally need to have at least a high school diploma or a GED. Students with a strong performance in mathematics or related subjects might be preferred by some institutes. However, please note that for a complete list of admission requirements, students should visit the official websites of the colleges they intend to apply to or speak to a representative in the admissions office.

What can I do with an Associate’s Degree in Finance?

An associate degree in finance can lead to a number of exciting career paths. Most graduates end up in entry level positions such as clerks, assistants to accountants, bookkeepers and finance assistants. These entry-level jobs can eventually lead to higher positions.

After completing an Associate’s Degree in Finance, students can also opt to go for a bachelor’s degree in finance, which is an advanced level degree required by most employers.

Potential Career Paths with an Associate’s Degree in Finance

After completing an Associate’s Degree in Finance, students can go for any of the following employment options:

  • Financial Clerk:  These professionals govern different aspects of financial transactions in businesses by keeping records of a company’s money. They are involved in record keeping, helping customers and carrying out basic financial transactions.
  • Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper maintains records of a company’s financial transactions, such as the purchases, sales revenue and expenses. They record this data in general ledgers, which are then used to produce the balance sheet.
  • Account Resolution Specialist: These professionals typically work to resolve client disputes by investigating claims and analyzing relevant documents. They are also required to have a solid understanding of regulatory policies and labor laws.
  • Billing Specialist: This is an administrative level job which requires the management of the billing process, most often for an insurance firm or a medical facility.

How much money can I make with an Associate’s Degree in Finance?

The amount of money you make after the successful completion of an Associate’s Degree in Finance depends on your choice of employment. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for business and financial occupations was $72,250 in May 2020, which is significantly higher than average for all occupations, $41,950. However, please note that these estimates also include jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree.

What is the Job Outlook for Careers in Finance?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in business and finance are expected to grow by 5% in the years from 2019 to 2029. This rate of growth is much faster than the average growth for all occupations, and is expected to add a total of around 476,200 new jobs in the field. This high demand for finance careers will be driven by globalization, complex tax regulations and a growing economy. In addition to that, an increase in the usage of market research and data analytics to understand consumer behavior will also help generate a higher demand for those with an understanding of the financial markets.

What are some of the popular education paths after Associate’s Degree in Finance?

Students who have completed an Associate’s Degree in Finance can go for a Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business management, economics and forensic accounting.