How a Master of Financial Economics Can Prep You for a Career in Finance
A career in finance can be extremely rewarding, and graduates have a number of different avenues available to achieve this goal. Ohio University’s online Master of Financial Economics program offers a unique opportunity for finance students to combine a background of business and economic concepts with an in-depth training and knowledge of financial principles and investment management. Getting an MFE has substantial benefits for graduate students and it can help them to achieve their financial career goals.
Why an MFE is the Best Choice for Finance Professionals
When compared to other programs that focus on economics or business administration, an MFE provides a unique opportunity by combining the important aspects of these fields and adding a specialization in finance. While an MBA prepares students to manage and run a business, an MFE prepares students to excel in the financial services field, interacting between the financial markets and economic environments.
MBA programs can be beneficial because they focus on the broader picture, providing students with an understanding of an array of business-related areas. An MFE provides a more specialized path for professionals entering the financial sector. The financial economics focus combines business and economics backgrounds with critical insight into key areas such as data analytics, economics theories, accounting principles, business strategies, investment banking and analysis, finance policy and regulations and computational economics.
Additionally, the MFE made available through Ohio University’s online program is endorsed by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, providing courses emphasizing the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standard Practices. Since a common goal of graduates entering the finance field is to attain the Chartered Financial Analyst credential, signifying competency in financial realms such as accounting, finance management, securities, analysis and accounting, the MFE program has the added benefit of preparing graduates for the CFA exam.
Finance Careers for MFE Graduates
Financial analysts evaluate historical and current financial data, economic trends, and the performance of stocks and bonds to give valuable information to individuals and companies about when to invest and what type of investments will be most beneficial. There is a wide range of businesses that hire financial analysts, including banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds and securities firms. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analysts earned a median annual wage of $81,760 in May 2016.
Brokers are responsible for finding clients and advising them on the most suitable investments based on the client’s financial abilities and needs. They sell commodities and securities directly to clients. Brokers earn a competitive salary with opportunities for commissions that increase as they gain more clients.
Investment bankers have many duties including underwriting, which involves coordinating investors with businesses in need of additional financial resources to run or expand their business. They also facilitate IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. The median annual wage in May 2016 for investment bankers was $67,310 with opportunities to earn substantial bonuses throughout their careers.
Portfolio managers focus on the development, implementation, and management of investment strategies for private clients. They can work with individuals or corporate entities looking to invest. They are also called wealth managers, asset managers, investment managers, or financial advisors. In the U.S., portfolio managers earn an average starting salary of $50,889, which increases to an average of $148,226 with senior experience.
Hedge Fund Manager
Managing a hedge fund is a viable career option for MFE graduates. It is their responsibility to make decisions about the investments in a hedge fund by developing competitive investment and risk management strategies. It is one of the most highly paid positions in any industry with some of the highest grossing hedge fund managers earning almost $4 billion annually.
Chief Financial Officer
One of the most senior executive positions MFE graduates can achieve is the chief financial officer or CFO of an organization. They are responsible for planning, implementing, and directing the fiscal functions and performance of a corporation while managing all members of the financial team. They earn high-salaries, averaging at $181,210, with the potential for large bonuses and profit sharing opportunities.
Graduates who earn an MFE will have the tools for careers within multiple areas of the financial sector. The MFE program provides a link between the economic and financial sectors, boosting the skills of professionals for forecasting economic trends and investment opportunities. Acquiring the training and education that comes with an MFE can prepare graduates to excel in a variety of careers in finance.