Life decisions require a rational and systematic way of thinking where you might decide on what information is relevant or not. If learning how to make solid, rational decisions intrigue you, Finance is a field for you. At San Jose State University, three areas of financial decision-making are emphasized: corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions. Corporate finance courses are designed to prepare the student for financial analysis and planning as essential functions of a business enterprise. The investments area emphasizes the decision-making processes required to analyze the valuation of securities such as stocks or bonds and the principles of managing an investment portfolio. Financial institutions are studied both from an external viewpoint that emphasizes the function of money and capital markets, and from the internal perspective of a manager of a financial institution such as a commercial bank, savings and loan, mutual fund or life insurance company. The objective is to prepare students for careers such as financial officer of a corporation or a financial institution responsible for investment and financing decisions.
The curriculum requires students to take a course in each area – corporate finance, investments and financial institutions, and allows them to focus in one of the three areas of study. Additionally, the curriculum includes an awareness of the moral and ethical considerations involved; and incentives to grow and keep pace with ever-changing issues, conditions, forces and ideas.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report, financial positions are among the fastest growing occupations from 2006 to 2016. The field of finance can be very rewarding and, depending on the position, beginning annual compensation can range from low $50K to high $60K. The opportunities are diverse and the possibilities tremendous. Regardless of economic conditions – either strong or weak – a well-prepared analyst is a critical part of any organization and they will be sought after by firms. Successful business persons trained in finance could be promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or controller in a corporation. Others may follow their dreams to start their own businesses.
Career paths in Finance include positions as:
- Financial analyst
- Credit analyst in a financial institution; banks, credit union, etc.
- Investment analyst
- Fixed income analyst
- Financial planning/personal financial advisor
- Corporate treasury
- Risk analyst
- Research analyst
- Profit and Loss analyst
The career paths will be promising and opportunities unlimited for any SJSU student studying finance – corporate, institutions or investments.