Doctorate in Finance

A Doctorate in Finance is the ideal educational credential for those who want to focus on the research and teaching side of finance. In addition to that, it can open up a variety of career choices that involve high-speed trading, complex derivative investments and a highly comprehensive understanding of the technicalities of financial markets. Students in this program are exposed to a lot of practical training, fieldwork and teaching experiences, in addition to the core and elective courses. If you want to learn about a Doctorate in Finance and what kind of opportunities it can create for you, the following guide would be very useful.

Opportunities with a Doctorate in Finance Degree

Finance is a multidisciplinary field with countless opportunities in different business sectors. Students can explore options as a researcher, teacher or a full-time resource in the government or private sectors. International organizations like the World Bank, World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund would also have career opportunities for those with a Doctorate in Finance. Popular career choices after completing a Doctorate in Finance include becoming a finance consultant, securities and commodities specialist, economist, budget analyst, chief financial officer or a professor.

How long does it take to earn a Doctorate in Finance Degree?

A Doctorate in Finance Degree can take around 3 to 7 years to complete, depending on a number of factors. The first few years would equip students with a theoretical knowledge base, while the latter years would be spent in getting practical experience through industrial projects.

How much does a Doctorate in Finance cost?

The cost of a Doctorate in Finance would depend on the type of degree, university chosen and whether there is any financial aid or student loan available. In addition to that, this cost would be dependent on whether the program is in an online format or is a traditional on-campus degree. Online programs typically tend to cost less than their on-campus counterparts. Another aspect that may affect the program’s cost would be whether the institute offering it is a private university or a public one. Private universities are usually more costly than public universities.

According to US News, graduate schools in the US may cost more than $100,000, while certain doctorate programs are even more expensive than that. Most students enrolled in doctoral level programs end up depending on financial aid or student loans. However, the level of earnings of a PhD degree is also significantly higher than a master’s or bachelor’s program, so the high cost is usually balanced off. According to US Census Bureau data, the median earnings of those with a doctoral degree were $113,578, while those who had a professional degree earned $127,487 in 2019.

Is a Doctorate in Finance worth it?

Enrolling in a PhD in Finance is a substantial time and money investment. So, before you sign up for a program, it is important to understand whether a Doctorate in Finance is useful for your career or not. Students looking into Doctorate in Finance programs should have a clear sight of what they want from their career, and should make sure that the degree they enroll in leads towards that goal.

If you are interested in research and teaching positions, getting a Doctorate in Finance would certainly be beneficial for you. Other positions graduates of this program can opt for include financial consulting, corporate policy making and investment research.

Getting a Doctorate in Finance can also increase the salary and job outlook significantly, especially for teaching and research occupations. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and finance-related occupations are projected to grow by 5% in the years from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for other occupations.

What can I expect from a Doctorate in Finance?

Students can expect to spend around 3 to 7 years of full-time study while enrolled in a Doctorate in Finance program. This roughly translates into 60 to 120 credit hours, depending on the institutional requirements and regional and state requirements.

Once enrolled in a Doctorate in Finance, students will have to study a variety of courses in finance, including core, specialized and elective courses. The course structure during a PhD would be largely guided by the student’s research topic, future research interests and objective of study. Common courses students may come across during a Doctorate in Finance would include International Macroeconomics and Finance, Asset Pricing, Venture Capital, Actuarial Science, Market Design, Financial Markets in the Macro economy, Corporate Governance and Statistical Analysis etc. In addition to the coursework, students will also be required to complete a dissertation.

How to choose a Doctorate in Finance program?

When looking for a Doctorate in Finance that is right for you, there are several important considerations you need to take into account. The most important aspect to consider would be the length of the program and its format. Most Doctorate in Finance programs would take around 3 to 7 years to complete, which can be a significant time investment. Therefore, it is important to identify your goals early on and make the most of your effort.

Doctorate in Finance programs selected should ideally have a strong business school and a sturdy computational studies and sciences department. Institutes that are strong in these areas are likely to be able to provide students with a platform for success in finance research and studies.

As for the format, students will have to determine whether they want to go for an online degree, on-campus or a hybrid program. Students can also complete their Doctorate in Finance in a part-time study format, especially in cases where they are studying along with a job.

Applicants to a PhD in Finance should also consider the reputation of the institute, faculty credentials and notable alumni. Getting a PhD from a reputable institute is important, therefore students should spend a significant amount of time researching for the best schools.

Another important aspect of the selection process is accreditation. Continue reading to learn about the importance of accreditation in detail.

Accreditation for Doctorate in Finance programs

Accreditation is an absolute must for any program you enroll in, whether it is at the bachelor’s level or doctoral. This is a stamp of quality awarded by an external organization, signifying that the program meets a certain quality criteria. Organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Department of Education are those students should look for under accreditations. In addition to that, for degrees in business and finance, students should consider accreditations by CHEA-recognized specialty organizations such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

How to get into a Doctorate in Finance program?

Admission requirements for a Doctorate in Finance would vary from institute to institute. Students will be required to meet certain eligibility criteria before applying. This would include a minimum GPA criteria, along with at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related subject. Those with a master’s degree in finance or a business related subject might have better chances for admission.

In addition to the above, students will be required to submit their official transcripts for any college and university attended, several letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, an updated CV, application forms and application fee.

What can I do with a Doctorate in Finance?

With a Doctorate in Finance students can go for careers in economics, finance, financial engineering, hard sciences and business, among many other areas. Popular career paths for graduates of a Doctorate in Finance include the following:

  • Financial Analysts:  These professionals provide guidance to businesses and individuals about using money intelligently, to make profits. They assess performance of different kinds of investments, including stocks and bonds. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earned an annual median wage of $83,660 in 2020
  • Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists: This is a grouped occupational category that takes into account statistics for several different financial occupations. As per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in these occupations made an annual median income of $83,660 in 2020.
  • Postsecondary Teachers: These professionals must have a Doctorate in Finance in order to teach the subject at a postsecondary level. They perform duties such as developing lesson plans, planning assignments, assessing student progress and advising students regarding improvement opportunities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postsecondary Teachers made an annual median income of $80,790 in 2020.

How much money can I make with a Doctorate in Finance?

The amount of money you make with a Doctorate in Finance depends on the exact career path you choose, as identified in the section above. However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies a joint category of business and finance occupations, which offered an average median salary of $72,250 in 2020. The job growth for this occupational category was 5%, which is higher than the average for all occupations.