What is an Online Master of Finance Degree?

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Student working towards an online degree

The online Master of Science in Finance degree program from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business provides graduates with ideal preparation for a career in the financial industry. For those with a background in finance, accounting, law, or business studies, the MSF program delivers the academic rigor and professional experience that future employers will expect from their most promising candidates.

What is a Master of Science in Finance degree?

A Master of Science in Finance is a graduate degree focused on the quantitative, analytical study of finance as a practice. Like so many professional areas, the study of finance has changed significantly in just the past few years. Thanks to the rapid pace of technological innovation, financial professionals now have a plethora of opportunities to make a valuable contribution to the world. But new technology and traditions also present a risk to those who don’t learn in-demand skills or stay up to date with their industry.

The online MSF degree program from Northeastern University helps fill the gaps between the latest innovations in finance and time-tested fundamentals of business and economics. The high level of flexibility offered under the MSF program from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business makes it easy for students from many backgrounds to adapt quickly to this new reality.

Bridging the modern financial skills gap

The blistering pace of technological innovation in the modern age has served as a benefit to society in countless ways. But within certain segments of the economy, it has created new problems and risks. The financial industry is among the most susceptible fields to disruptive innovation, and that has businesses worried.

According to a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, around 75 percent of executives in the financial industry consider the limited availability of skills related to financial technology as a significant threat to future growth. Furthermore, PwC reported that around 20 percent of respondents agreed that technology has completely reshaped competition in their industry over the past five years, while almost 30 percent said this would remain a key concern over the next five years.

How is technology changing the financial industry in such a way that its biggest names are sounding alarm bells? According to PwC, a new emphasis on data analytics is among the key drivers of this trend. Some of the most significant advances in tech over the past five years have changed how businesses use data. That includes the systems and processes behind collecting it, storing it, analyzing it, and acting on findings to enable growth. For those who lack at least a basic knowledge of how this all relates to finance, job prospects in the industry look increasingly dim.

Other in-demand skills for financial professionals

The takeaway from these recent surveys is not necessarily that all financial professionals must be better at writing code than writing an investment prospectus. In fact, tech-fueled disruption has arguably increased the value of so-called “soft skills” among financial professionals. Another survey of chief financial officers from EY found that candidates who demonstrated leadership and team-building qualities were among the most in-demand in today’s finance job market. After all, even the best data analytics software has yet to replace a person who can understand how these programs work and use them to lead the company forward.

Technological change notwithstanding, careers in the financial industry are expected to show much more growth than average over the next few years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook from 2016 to 2026 for these occupations in the financial services sector is particularly strong:

  • Actuaries: Employment expected to grow by 22 percent between 2016 and 2026.
  • Personal financial advisors: Projected to grow by 15 percent.
  • Management analysts and consultants: Projected to grow by 14 percent.

This shows that the financial sector will likely draw considerable strength from new technology. However, this will only be true if job candidates can show that they possess the right mixture of skills and experience required of these positions. This is a problem that can only be solved through a high-quality academic program that gives graduates what they need to hit the ground running in their chosen field.

More about the online MSF program

The online MSF program from Northeastern University helps students develop their knowledge on both sides of the equation: the technological aspect coupled with leadership. The program’s coursework is designed by experts in the modern world of finance and focuses on hands-on experience. Coursework covers the fundamentals of the theory behind finance and economics, while integrating the same digital tools found in the best investment firms today.

This model has won acclaim from several organizations for its success in bringing students in line with the expectations of financial employers. The online MSF degree program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), as well as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This is just a sample of the recognition that the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University has received for excellence in business graduate education.

A Master of Science degree program needs to be attuned to the demands of the modern workforce. In finance, that requires an even more delicate balance between analytical knowledge and leadership talent. The online Master of Science in Finance degree from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business satisfies these dual roles in a way that’s easy to fit into an already demanding schedule. Speak with an advisor today to learn more about the online MSF program and what the degree can do for your career.

 

Recommended Readings:

Infographic: Key to Business Valuation

What the future of finance may look like

 

Sources:

PwC Finance Study

McKinsey Skills Gap Study

BLS.gov occupation data

BLS.gov data – advisors

Northeastern University’s Online MSF Program