Choosing a Master of Science in Finance Online Program for 2024

Online Master of Science in Finance (MS in Finance) programs offer flexible and affordable options for working professionals looking to further their careers in the financial sector.

Why Pursue an MS in Finance?

Earning an MS in Finance is a smart career move that can help you gain key financial skills and position yourself for higher levels of responsibility. Some of the top reasons to consider an advanced finance degree include:

Increased Career Opportunities

An MS in Finance demonstrates your commitment to advancing your knowledge and ability in the field. It opens the door to more senior roles such as financial analyst, portfolio manager, investment banker, and chief financial officer. Many employers now prefer or require a master’s degree for top management positions.

Specialized Technical Skills

You will learn advanced quantitative methods, financial modeling, investment strategies, risk management, and more. The curriculum ensures you have expertise in valuation, portfolio theory, derivatives, econometrics, and other specialized techniques used in professional finance roles.

Career Pivot or Upgrade

For those with an unrelated undergraduate major, an online MS in Finance is a straightforward way to switch careers to finance. It can also help professionals upgrade from roles like accounting to high-level finance roles. The degree substantiates your qualifications and competence.

Salary Boost

On average, finance professionals with a master’s degree earn 16% more than those with only a bachelor’s. Specialized skills translate to greater career mobility and higher compensation over the long run.

Flexible Learning

Online programs cater to working professionals by offering flexible part-time or self-paced formats. You can learn on your own schedule without disrupting your career or relocating for campus-based study. This accessibility makes an advanced finance degree very practical.

Choosing the Right Online Program

With so many options available, it’s important to select an accredited online MS in Finance program that fits your specific needs, schedule, and career goals. Here are some key factors to consider:

Program Accreditation

Look for accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which is the top global accrediting body for business programs. This ensures a rigorous, high-quality curriculum on par with top campus-based programs.

Program Format and Flexibility

Part-time, fully online programs offer maximum flexibility for working professionals. Consider course load expectations and whether the self-paced option works best for your schedule. Synchronous sessions may be required depending on the program.

Specializations and Concentrations

Typical areas include corporate finance, investments, financial risk management, fintech, and quantitative finance. Select one that aligns with your interests and long-term career aspirations. Specialized skills are valuable selling points to future employers.

Cost and Financial Aid

Tuition varies significantly so research costs fully. Consider factors like accreditation, career services support, and reputation. Some schools offer need-based scholarships and employer tuition reimbursement could help cover costs.

Admission Requirements

Generally a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a relevant undergraduate major are required, along with GRE/GMAT scores and letters of recommendation. Work experience can strengthen your application if grades are marginal.

Career Support and Outcomes

Check employment reports on post-graduation outcomes like securing a job in your field or advancing in your current role. On-campus career coaches and networking events aid job placement even for online students.

A Deeper Look at 6 Top-Ranked Online MS in Finance Programs for 2024

Let’s dive deeper into 6 highly-rated online MS in Finance programs that stand out based on accreditation, outcomes, and flexibility for working professionals:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Program Format: Fully online, 30 credit hours, can complete in 2 years part-time
  • Cost: $27,000 in-state tuition (includes fees), financial aid available
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, 2 years work experience recommended
  • Specializations: Corporate Finance, Investments, Financial Data Analytics
  • Career Support: Career coaching, networking events, 90% employed within 3 months of graduation

Taking a deeper look, the University of Illinois is a top-10 public university with a rigorous curriculum taught by award-winning faculty. The program is completely self-paced, allowing you to balance work, life, and studies effectively. Specializations are in high demand, and career support rivals on-campus outcomes.

University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

  • Program Format: Fully online, no set time limit, 30-36 credits
  • Cost: $49,000 out-of-state tuition, loans and limited scholarships offered
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, GMAT/GRE required, two recommendation letters
  • Specializations: Investments, Corporate Finance, Fintech Innovation
  • Career Support: Lifetime access to Ross career services, alumni network spanning 100 countries

The University of Michigan’s Ross School is consistently ranked among the top 3 business schools globally. Their online MS in Finance allows self-paced progress toward a highly specialized degree. World-class faculty, lifelong career support, and a prestigious brand give graduates a major competitive edge. The high cost may be worth it for ambitious finance professionals.

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

  • Program Format: Fully online, 30-36 credit hours, 2-3 years typical
  • Cost: $27,000 in-state tuition, financial aid available including employer reimbursement support
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, two years work experience, letters of rec, personal statement
  • Specializations: Corporate Finance, Investments, Financial Risk Management
  • Career Support: Emphasis on career coaching, networking mixers, dedicated peer mentoring program

Students praise the flexible self-paced curriculum and hands-on business community of the Kelley School online program. Personalized career coaching aids the already strong 90% six-month post-grad employment rate. Flexible course loads fit conveniently into busy schedules, and its affordability earns high marks.

University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business

  • Program Format: Fully online, 30 credit hours, 2 years typical
  • Cost: $22,000 in-state tuition, scholarships offered including $3,000 Florida resident scholarship
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, GMAT/GRE, references
  • Specializations: Corporate Finance, Investments, Financial Technology
  • Career Support: Corporate partnerships, online career fairs, alumni network across USA

The University of Florida is a highly rated public university and their affordability and reputation are big selling points. Coursework has a practical emphasis, and electives allow customization. Career support includes access to corporate recruiters seeking skilled candidates from this well-known program.

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

  • Program Format: Fully online, 30 credits, two year average
  • Cost: $24,000 in-state tuition, financial aid options available
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, two years experience, GMAT/GRE, resume
  • Specializations: Corporate Finance, Investments, Financial Data & Analytics
  • Career Support: Alumni network, career coaching, networking events across North America

UNC’s flexibility, affordability and distinguished AACSB business school ranking make this program worth considering. Courses connect theory to real-world application, and a strong alumni community aids career support. Charlotte and Raleigh campus visits complement the online experience.

Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business

  • Program Format: Fully online, 10-16 month accelerated program
  • Cost: $43,000 tuition, scholarships up to $10,000
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Admission: Minimum 3.0 GPA, 2-5 years professional experience, resume, essays
  • Specializations: Financial Data & Analytics, Investment Strategies, FinTech Security
  • Career Support: Career coaches, alumni network, virtual industry networking events

Bentley’s accelerated format fits concisely into busy schedules in just 1-1.5 years. Rigorous instruction by practitioner faculty and in-demand specializations prepare students to excel in high-level roles. Personalized career support from enrollment to graduation aids the already 95% employment rate.

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