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Is Finance a Hard Major?

A finance major holding a blue pen, pointing at the bar chart for one of his finance classes in college.

Anything that represents money management and fund acquisition involves the study of finance. Banking, leverage, debt, credit capital markets, money, and investments. Ring any bells?

If so, you may be knowledgeable or even interested in getting a finance degree, and you may wonder if it is a hard major to pursue. 

What is Finance?

Money does not make the world go round. But it is what makes finance major go-round. Finance deals with the management of money and activities involving it.

And if you major in finance, you will come across three types: personal, corporate, and public finance

Personal Finance

Managing your monetary resources in terms of income, savings, investments, expenses, and assets as an individual are personal finance. This type of finance is specific to your needs, short or long term, and it strives to make intelligent investment decisions to sustain you with no financial constraints or bad debts. 

Corporate Finance

Running a company or a business is not an effortless task, and you will need to keep track of all your financial activities to sustain and manage your business. You will deal with investments, funding, capital budgeting, risk, and tax management in corporate finance and use them for business growth. 

Public Finance

Public finance is also Government finance. Like us, the government also needs its resources allocated to different parts of the economy. This finance type tracks the revenue flowing in and out of the federal, state, and local institutions to help ensure the economy remains stable and prevent the market’s failure.

Is Finance a Hard Major?

Personally, I’m not particularly eager to use the term “hard” when describing any college major as it carries a negative connotation that can be misunderstood. Like any degree program, taking finance as your major can be challenging. But it is not entirely impossible. 

You will need to commit several years of sustained effort to learn quickly. Showing mastery of what you learn in class will make your major more bearable. However, if your accounting, mathematical and financial skills are lacking, it will take extra effort to major in finance.

A finance major sitting on the couch with a laptop in front of her, smiling after figuring out a difficult math problem for her college class.

What Makes Finance a Hard Major?

Finance can and will only be a hard major if you are not interested in the course. But if you’re asking what makes finance a somewhat demanding major, then there are a couple of things. 

Finance typically does not involve complex math as they are a mix of economics and accounting. But some can focus more on economics, making the finance degree more challenging. 

Majoring in finance will need you to be well-organized, detail-oriented, good at communicating, and knowledgeable or skilled in mathematics and statistics, which can be a handful at times.

Finance vs. Accounting: Is Finance Major Harder Than Accounting?

The two majors have something to do with business and numbers, but which is more complex between finance and accounting? Finance majors learn how to collaborate with businesses to improve operations and performance through planning, investing, solving problems, and budgeting. 

Accounting majors learn to record business transactions, keep account ledgers and prepare tax returns concerning the revenue flowing in and out of business. The two majors differ in their day-to-day dealings and focus.  

For some, Accounting is a more complex subject than finance as it is more involved with strict sets of rules in arithmetic and the reasoning that finance requires an understanding of Economics and Accounting. But I believe that it all depends on your interests and skills. 

Why Choose Finance Instead of Other Business Majors

Finance is a field with a higher growth rate than other business and related majors. Career-wise, financial degrees focus on creating a budget, reports, and spending analysis, advising clients, and managing finances.

With a degree in finance, you focus on financial management so you won’t often get pulled in different directions in your work. Plus, finance majors learn how to handle their personal financial spending, which is a plus. 

A group of business majors collaborating on a project for one of their college classes.

Reasons Why You Should Major in Finance

Every major has its advantages, and I’m not saying that finance is a special major. But there are just students who are more inclined to get this degree than others. Here’s why you should major in finance.

Job Opportunities

With finance being a growing field, you get to have job security with the constant need for your expertise. You can undertake many jobs from corporate and international financial management, investment and financial planning services, or in brokerage firms, credit unions, and banks. 

Financial Rewards

The economy we have today pushes us to depend on strategies and principles that support financial growth. In a world where everybody wants to put up their own business, be it small start-ups to more giant corporations, skills and knowledge in finance are well sought.

And they will pay top dollar for your expertise. Median salaries range between $81,000 and $129,000 yearly, depending on your finance job and experience. 

Financial Knowledge and Education

They say that the secret to being rich is financial knowledge. And what better way to get this knowledge than majoring in it. As a finance major, you will deal with courses and principles that teach you how money works.

Or how it should work. And when you master these concepts and apply them in your life, you will slowly work towards financial independence. It sounds like a dream. 

Growing Job Prospects

Globalization is a growing economy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field of finance will continue to prosper in the next ten years. The complex tax and regulatory environment of today will continue to demand finance degree holders.

Develop Personality Skills

It’s not all about numbers. A career in finance will require you to be outgoing and inquisitive, talking to people and making friendly conversations. 

What You Need to Study Finance

A finance major on her first job as a financial analyst, examining her reports at work.

If the question is what you just need to study finance, much like any major, you just need interest, money, commitment, and time. But if you ask about the things that would make you consider a career in the field, here’s a shortlist that will make a finance major much more bearable for you. 

  • You can engage in conversation, be it simple or complex, as financial discussions tend to get complicated. And the people who listen to you do not always know the finance jargon. 
  • Knowing what to do and when to do it is essential in studying finance. The initiative is something that can benefit you in the long run.
  • Don’t stop asking questions. Intelligent questions, that is. Being a curious person leads you to discover answers and the desire to learn. And in finance, it is a critical trait to help better the situation. 
  • If you do not like leaving a problem unsolved, consider majoring in finance, where you will involve yourself in negotiations and determination of solutions. And in finance, you cannot just say you’re losing money without thinking about how to get it back. 

Career Opportunities

When you get a degree in finance, you will most likely be inclined to join the business world where you help companies and individuals make guided and informed decisions regarding their financial situations. You can work as financial analysts, insurance managers, and personal advisors for corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses. 

Or you can further your studies and specialize in other branches of finance, such as corporate finance, quantitative finance, personal financial planning, finance and investment ,or banking and finance. 

You can also work in a quality assurance field as a financial examiner, where you will check if companies and banks comply with federal laws and regulations. Acquiring a certificate as a financial planner will allow you to work with other individuals as wealth managers, financial advisors, and planners.

Frequently Asked Questions

A finance graduate sitting at the conference table and in front of her laptop, hard at work on her job as a financial analyst.

Are finance majors happy? 

When asked if they were happy and satisfied with their chosen major, 261 finance students rated their satisfaction a 3.1 over 5. But happiness is more than just the statistics. Finance majors who like to be in the field are most likely to be happier than those not interested in the subject. 

Does finance involve a lot of math?

Much like Accounting, there is math in finance as the two subjects go hand in hand. However, only a basic understanding of mental arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, and statistics, and probability are needed for most finance jobs. 

Is a career in finance worth it?

A career in finance is something you can apply to your personal life. So I think I lean more on yes, a career in finance is worth it if, and only if you are interested in the field.

Conclusion

Most say that it does not matter how much you earn; what matters is how you spend it. Financial knowledge, which you can get in studying finance, is something you can benefit from long-term.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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