Top Online Finance Degree Programs and Industry Salary 2024/2025

An online finance degree offers students a thorough understanding of banking, trading, and economics. Finance is the study, acquisition, and management of money and investments. The field includes banking, credit, debt, and capital markets activities, which are all driven by economic principles and practices.

Online Finance degree

This job sector is experiencing a 7% growth rate, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of positions will grow by 591,800 between 2018 and 2028.

Online Finance Degree Courses

Programs for a bachelor of science in finance are a mix of business classes and finance-specific courses. The curriculums are designed to introduce students to theoretical concepts that influence financial decisions and policies as well as practical skills that can be applied to future employment settings. Here is a sample of common classes for this degree:

  • Business Law: Many federal laws regulate the workings of the U.S. business and financial systems, and this class can give you an overview of them. The curriculum may also touch on local and international regulations. You may learn about contracts, employment law, torts, and other legal issues.
  • Business Communication: This class can help you become more proficient at communicating with supervisors, coworkers, clients, shareholders, and others through memos, videoconferencing, email, and presentations. Your course may particularly focus on writing business reports. These skills can help you put your best foot forward, command attention, and persuade others with your words.
  • Ethics in Finance: Unethical dealings have been the downfall of many business people and companies. To help you avoid that trap, this class covers ethical decision-making in business. You may discuss making above-board choices, cultivating an ethical workplace environment, operating within the boundaries of the law, and protecting the environment through sustainable practices.
  • Economic Analysis: Understanding how to evaluate economic data can help you make solid business choices. Courses in economic analysis talk about both microeconomics and macroeconomics. You may get to explore various software applications that can be useful when performing financial analyses.
  • Financial Accounting: This foundational class is designed to be an introduction to the basics of accounting. You and your classmates can study why careful accounting is important to the success of an organization. In addition to these theoretical ideas, you can also acquire practical skills for keeping track of financial records.
  • Global Finance: Business dealings are often conducted across international markets. This course can help you prepare for working with people from other countries and performing transactions outside of your home country. In addition to learning about worldwide financial regulations, exchange rates, and international trade, you may also practice demonstrating cultural sensitivity when working in diverse settings.
  • Introduction to Real Estate: Your online degree in finance may lead you to a career in real estate, so this course is designed to introduce you to some of the real estate concepts you may need to know. Topics covered may include appraisals, contracts, loans, and market analysis.
  • Management of Investment Portfolios:Earning a financial advisor degree may lead to a job in managing financial assets and investments for others. This course addresses important topics that you’ll need to understand before taking on that responsibility, such as risk management, stocks, diversification, and asset selection.

Keep in mind that course selections can vary among finance schools. If your finance degree has a particular concentration or area of focus, you will take additional classes that are specific to that field of study.

Some online finance bachelor’s degree programs also require students to complete internships or other hands-on experiences in addition to the regular coursework.


Many career paths are available to people who have a bachelor’s degree in finance. With your bachelor’s degree, you may be able to get a finance job in a variety of areas including banking, insurance, taxation, accounting, and risk management.

Finance is a diverse field, so starting a finance program won’t lock you into any one job. You can explore several options and pursue the type of career that most appeals to you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some possible financial career paths and their correlating salaries include:

Careers Descriptions Annual Median Salaries
Actuary Use statistical data to evaluate risk and make recommendations for insurance companies or other businesses $108,350
Personal Financial Advisor Work one-on-one with clients to help them plan for their futures and make sound investments $87,850
Financial Analyst Study financial data and economic trends to determine the best course of action for investments or business decisions $81,590
Financial Examiner Monitor the practices of financial institutions to ensure legal compliance and consumer protections $81,090
Budget Analyst Help set an organization’s budget and see that the plans are followed $76,540
Accountant Maintain financial records, prepare tax forms, and take care of other responsibilities to keep track of income and expenses for organizations or individual clients $71,550
Auditor Evaluate financial statements to look for errors and to ensure that an organization’s practices are legal and ethical $71,550
Insurance Underwriter Determine whether an insurance company should offer policies to applicants $70,020
Loan Officer Work with commercial or individual clients who are applying for loans to evaluate whether they are good candidates for borrowing money $63,270
Real Estate Appraiser Evaluate and compare the value of commercial or residential real properties $57,010
Real Estate Agent Negotiate the buying and selling of houses and other properties $50,730

The above salaries are median figures for the entire country. Salaries can vary significantly based on geographic location, experience, and education. Having an  online MBA in finance or even an  online Phd in finance, can likely cause a boost to the average annual salary.

Professional Organizations for Those with a Business Finance Degree

For those who love numbers and money matters, finance can be an exciting field. Connecting with others who have similar passions can help drive your professional growth. To learn from other financial experts through journals, conferences, classes and online forums, join an industry organization.

  • American Finance association: AFA is dedicated to conducting research on financial matters and disseminating information among finance professionals and the general public. The organization publishes a journal and holds an annual meeting.
  • Association for financial professionals: AFP represents professionals who work in finance and treasury positions. In addition to putting out publications and holding events, the organization offers certification programs for treasury professionals, financial planners, and financial analysts.
  • Institute of management accountant: Finance professionals who work in the business world can benefit from membership in IMA. This group runs certification programs, offers career tools, provides ethical guidance, publishes books and journals, and distributes information through classes and webinars.
  • The National association for personal financial advisor: NAPFA brings together personal financial advisors who are committed to providing the best possible counsel to their clients. To join, you must use a fee-only payment structure for charging your clients — no commissions allowed.
  • National society of  accountants: NSA membership is intended for financial professionals who work in small accounting firms. The group advocates for accountants and tax professionals, provides educational support for members, holds annual meetings, and conducts surveys to gather industry information.

Membership in a financial professional organization usually offers multiple perks. In addition to the benefits listed above, your membership fees may also grant you access to discounts, journal subscriptions, continuing education classes, job listings, advocacy, discussion boards, and local or national gatherings.

Certification and Licensure Following a Finance Degree Online

Clients and employers want to know that the people they hire are competent financial professionals. Industry certifications and licenses can help you demonstrate that you are an expert who understands financial matters and can be trusted to handle their money. See the listed financial certifications as you may want to pursue one or more of the following.

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFA charterholders earn this highly regarded distinction through study, four or more years of professional experience and a satisfactory score on the CFA Program exam. This certification for financial analysts is offered by the CFA Institute.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): With enough education and experience as a financial planner, you can take the exam to receive this certification from the CFP Board. To qualify, you must also subscribe to a code of ethics.
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA): Internal auditors can take an exam to receive CIA credentials from The Institute of Internal Auditors. Applicants must also present character references who can testify to their ethical professional conduct.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants grants CPA status to applicants who earn around 150 credit hours of education in accounting, gain professional experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA, and pass a rigorous exam. Exact licensure requirements vary between states. The Uniform CPA Exam consists of four parts that you can take over 1.5 years.
  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM): To advance your risk management career and earn the respect of banks and corporations, you can take a two-part exam in pursuit of FRM certification from the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Professional experience is required.

Studying for these financial certifications takes work and determination, but the potential career advancement makes the effort worthwhile.

Accreditation for Online Finance Degrees

All schools that you consider for your online finance degree should be regionally accredited. This is a distinction that can be granted only by one of the country’s official regional accrediting bodies. These organizations evaluate schools on their overall academic quality as well as additional criteria, such as their organizational structure and their leadership.

If you attend a regionally accredited school, whether brick-and-mortar or online, you can have confidence that you are going to receive a reputable education. You’ll find it easier to transfer your credits elsewhere, get into grad school, or find a good job. Overall, regionally accredited schools ensure your education investments and bachelor’s degree get recognized.

AACSB Online Finance Degrees

If you want to enroll in one of the best finance programs, look for a school that is approved by AACSB International. This industry-specific organization grants programmatic accreditation to business and accounting degree programs.

AACSB accreditation signifies that a program meets the highest standards of business or accounting excellence.

Financial Aid for a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

No matter which finance program you are planning on studying, you may be able to get tuition assistance from the government, your school or private sources. Filling out the Free application for federal student aids.  should be your starting point for the financial assistance process.

The federal government or your state government may give you grants or low-interest loans. You may also be eligible for the Federal Work-Study Program.

Schools sometimes grant scholarships to their most-qualified applicants. Other scholarship sources may include industry organizations, special-interest groups, local clubs, corporations, and community businesses.

You can also speak to your school’s financial aid department about setting up a payment plan. Receiving any type of financial assistance towards your degree and credits can make a big impact.

Questions Related to Earning a Finance Degree

See are our quick answers to the most frequently asked questions in regards to earning a bachelor’s in finance, the difficulty behind the curriculum, and the transfer of credits.

What’s the Difference Between Finance and Accounting?

There is a good deal of overlap between finance and accounting departments since both deal with money matters. In general, though, accounting has to do with records of financial transactions that have already happened, while finance focuses on analyzing past data to make decisions for the future.

Even still, you may be able to work an accounting job with a financial analyst degree as both programs share similar fundamentals and principles.

What’s the Difference Between a BA in Finance vs BS in Finance?

Whether you pursue a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in finance, you can receive a similar foundation for your financial career.

Both finance programs usually require the same number of credits to receive your bachelor’s, however, the curriculum and coursework will be slightly different. With a BA in finance, your bachelor’s program may involve more liberal arts electives. In a BS in finance program, you may focus more on other technical skills, including math and science.

Both programs share the same principles, and depending on the institution, you may even be able to transfer your credits between finance programs.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s in Finance?

It usually takes students four years, or 120 credits, to get a bachelor’s in finance.

However, depending on the school’s policy, you may be able to test out of classes by achieving high scores in order to reduce the number of credits needed. You may also be able to take accelerated courses that will allow you to earn your credits at a faster pace, granted you pass the courses with high enough scores.

Are There Any Online Finance Degree Masters Programs?

Yes, several universities offer online finance degree masters programs.

After earning your undergraduate degree, you now might want to advance to a master’s program in finance. Fortunately, many graduate financial degrees are now being offered through online business degree  classes. Just make sure to consider only schools that have regional accreditation. In addition, remember that some of the best finance degrees are from AACSB-accredited schools.

Are There Any Accelerated Finance Degree Online Programs?

Getting your financial advisor degree doesn’t have to take four full years. Many colleges offer online classes that are worth the same amount of credits, but follow a fast-track schedule. Courses are typically offered year-round, and each one may be less than 10 weeks long. The topics and coursework cover the same material, but tend to be at a much faster pace.

To get the best financial deal for your education investments, you may want to consider taking online accelerated programs. These programs may help you earn the same number of credits for your bachelor’s degree in just a few years, rather than the typical four years.

How Hard is a Finance Degree?

Earning your financial management degree will probably be challenging at times, but your hard work can pay off in the form of increased knowledge in several financial areas including money, business, economics, decision-making, and data analysis. In addition, your coursework and studies can prepare you to conquer a wide variety of jobs or career paths you might choose.

And although college always requires dedication and attention, you may find that the flexibility of online finance degrees can make studies more feasible for your busy schedule.

How Do I Know if a Finance Degree is the Best Degree For Me?

Whether you are planning on obtaining an online bachelor’s degree, or a traditional degree, it can be quite difficult to choose which degree is right for you. If you have any of the following traits or skills, a finance degree may be the best fit for you.

  • Are a natural problem solver
  • Have high emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Are exceptionally organized and self-manageable
  • Are an analytical thinker

These are just a few characteristics of a finance student, and even if you have just one, or several of these traits, then planning to study finance just might be the best fit for you.

What is the Best Minor to Compliment a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance?

While electives can broaden your education, a minor excels at being able to provide a more in-depth study. By accommodating students with a greater financial acumen, a minor can supplement a finance degree and enable students to add significant value to their finance degree and financial career.

Some of the best minors to compliment a bachelor’s in finance may include accounting, economics, math, business, and foreign language.

In addition, adding a minor to your studies may not even affect your tuition costs. Check with your financial advisor to learn more about this potential opportunity.



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