Research
At WMU, I plan to major in Finance. I have always loved numbers and doing jobs with money, so right now I see this major as a good fit for me. To plan for my college career, I have looked into the requirements that I need to fulfill to get this major. To start, it requires 24 credit hours. 12 of those hours are in required courses and the other 12 are elective courses in which I have multiple to choose from. The four required courses are Introduction to Financial Markets, Business Finance, Computer Applications in Finance, and Investment Analysis. Most of the prerequisites for these classes are either already required to get into the BBA program, such as ACTY 2100 and STAT 2160, or they are one of the other required classes (FIN 3200).

Within this department in the Haworth College of Business, there are four minors that are an option to students. They are finance, general business, insurance, law, and real estate. There are many career fields that you can go into with a finance degree, such as, investment banking, commercial banking, corporate finance, money management, real estate, insurance, and personal financial planning.
One field that I am interested in is corporate finance. Some job titles in this field are treasurer, financial analyst, credit manager, cash manager, benefits officer, real estate officer, investor relations officer, and controller. Jobs in this field are relatively stable and most times you will work in teams. Some of the responsibilities you would have is to find money to run and grow the business, make acquisitions, plan the financial future of the corporation, and manage the cash on hand. The starting salary for this type of career, with a bachelor’s degree, is $35,000-$50,000.
Another field in finance is commercial banking. This field has far more people working in it as compared to other parts of the financial services industry. The one bad thing about this field is that it is not known for high salaries. The starting salaries in this field ranges from $40,000-$60,000. Different types of jobs that you can have are a credit analyst, loan officer, branch manager, trust officer, and mortgage banker.
Real estate is also a part of the financial field. Within the United States, there are more than seven million people that have a job in this field. It is hard to get an estimate on your salary because it varies greatly depending on what you do within the field. Also, many people have a real estate license but they do not do anything with it. Some jobs that you may have within real estate are a residential real estate agent/broker, commercial real estate sales, real estate appraisal, property management, real estate advisory, investment banking, development and construction, and a real estate entrepreneur.

Another route that you can go with a finance major is into insurance. This is a trillion dollar business that employs more than 3 million people in the United States alone. Within insurance, you can go into actuary, be an agent or broker, a claims adjuster, service representative, loss control specialist, risk manager, and an underwriter. A typical salary is this field ranged depending on the job. It could be as low as $40,000, but could also be as high as about $400,000 as a senior in the industry. Being a senior doesn’t just mean a senior citizen, but the longer you are in the company and the higher up you get, the more you can get paid, as with any job.

As with on campus opportunities to get into, or prepare yourself, for the financial field, there are two registered student organizations that go with this major. They are The Financial Management Association (FMA) and the Financial Services Club (FSC). The Financial Services Club primarily focuses on careers in financial services such as personal financial planning, insurance, and banking. The Financial Management Association is a great organization because it is nationally recognized and employers know about it. This club would look good on your resume. The FSC would look good also, but it is not nationally known. It is just a finance club on Western Michigan University’s campus. Other colleges have different names for their finance clubs.

Sources:

Academics. (n.d.). Retrieved from Western Michigan University: http://www.wmich.edu/finance/academics/

Welcome to Careers-in-Finance.com. (2011). Retrieved from Careers -in- Finance: http://www.careers-in-finance.com

Finance and Commercial Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from Western Michigan University: http://www.wmich.edu/finance

Nich, C. (n.d.). Guide to College Majors in Finance. Retrieved from World Wide Learn: http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online-education-guide/business/finance-major.htm