Two businessmen shake hands as a female colleague looks on.Being an expert in finance can make you a valuable employee—but is it enough? Employers today can find skilled finance graduates to add up the numbers, but many are looking for something more.

One thing that sets successful companies apart is the quality of people they hire. The best companies are always looking for the next generation of managers and leaders and when it comes to finance. Many are looking for professionals who are just as comfortable with people as they are with numbers. Here are three qualities that differentiate finance applicants, marking them as the kind of employees smart companies grow with.

Analytical focus: Finance graduates who can demonstrate that they see the bigger picture and how the pieces fit together are the gold standard for applicants. In an increasingly fast-paced and complicated world, businesses want employees who can effectively solve problems based on an analysis of available data, trends, and company goals. For many second-career students especially, their previous position can be an asset if they demonstrate an ability to think critically and act judiciously.

Communication: For many firms, the role of finance is changing, calling for more interaction with other company teams and even customers. For some firms, finance specialists with keen analytical skills are even being sought for top management positions. To succeed in these roles, a finance graduate needs to be able to communicate succinctly, clearly, and effectively. Explaining complex data or demonstrating expected outcomes requires a command of not only language, but the soft skills of body language and listening. Applicants with such skills present far more possibilities for both assignments and advancement.

Collaboration: Companies are breaking down the silos, both for efficiency and to bring forth innovation. Finance candidates are more often being placed on teams where they must work with representatives from different fields. Strong candidates for hire must be comfortable giving and taking ideas and supporting the company across expertise areas. Building relationships while in school demonstrates a work-together attitude that is appealing to employers.

Walden University's MS in Finance program is designed to provide the skills that can set you apart. Earning this degree online can prepare you for the Chartered Financial Analyst®, Certified Financial Planner™, or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority exams, but it is designed to do so much more. Classes at Walden can help you to demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills while also employing communication strategies in a collaborative environment.

Whether you’re a prospective student considering a degree program or a business professional seeking to hire great employees, Walden University prepares graduates with the skills that employers demand.


Note on Certification
The MS in Finance with Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®)* Certification Emphasis is a specialized program with coursework that is aligned with the content covered in the competency-based CFP® exam. Walden enrollment advisors can provide general information relating to CFP® certification exam requirements; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee, however, that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain CFP® certification. For more information about the CFP® exam, students should visit www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements.

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”). Walden University’s MS in Finance program is not a CFP Board-Registered Program and is not in any way sponsored or endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with, CFP Board.

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