What is finance?
Finance encompasses all decisions that involve money for individuals, businesses, and public entities. Personal finance includes all individual or household financial management including personal asset management, credit card debt management, saving for retirement, budgeting for household expenses, and more. Corporate finance involves the management of assets, liabilities, debt, and revenue for a business. Professionals in corporate finance are experts in key areas of finance such as risk management, budgeting, financial analysis, and decision-making. Public finance has several components, including the management of tax revenue, issuance of public debt, budget planning, and more.
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Finance course curriculum
Whether the goal is to achieve financial freedom, understand how to allocate assets for retirement, or kickstart a career in banking, online courses and tutorials can help individuals hone their financial capabilities. There are a wide variety of introductory and advanced courses varying in length, rigor, and focus. Some dive deep into financial concepts such as portfolio management, credit scores, savings accounts, purchasing a house, and interest rates. Other courses provide an overview of accounting, the stock market, share price and price targets, equities and bonds, net present value, short-term financing, financial statements, and balance sheets.
Learners who want to combine their business acumen with their math skills can enroll in courses that teach them how to use financial tools in a management context. They will learn to incorporate the time value of money to value assets, gain an understanding of behavioral finance, and develop the skills for capital budgeting for a project. There are also professional certificate programs designed for people working in the field. These programs can cover topics like financial decision-making, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, mortgage-backed securities, and more.
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Jobs in finance
Some common jobs for individuals with a finance background include financial planner, financial analyst, financial compliance associate, investment banker, accountant, economist, budget analyst, auditor, mortgage broker, chief financial officer (CFO), and much more.
Financial management is a key part of business operations. Financial analysts manage the day-to-day financial operations at a company, learning valuable skills along the way. Job duties can include preparing operating budgets, forecasting monthly expenses, managing payroll, analyzing monthly financial reports, and preparing invoices to send to clients.
Many finance positions require a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Those pursuing senior leadership roles often earn a master’s degree or supplement their undergraduate education with online courses and certificate programs, which gives them an opportunity for specialized learning. Many top executives in the field, like CFOs, have an advanced degree. A CFO might earn an MBA or master’s in accounting and complete online finance courses throughout their career. A CFO oversees all financial aspects of a business, providing strategic insight into major decisions and managing relationships with senior executives, lenders, investors, board members, and other stakeholders.
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