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A master’s in finance degree is one of a new breed of specialized degrees that provides a popular alternative to traditional MBA degrees. Long the gold standard of graduate business degrees, the MBA is facing serious competition from a growing number of master’s degrees that focus on key areas of business administration such as finance, accounting, and human resource management, in contrast to the general multifaceted business approach of an MBA curriculum.

Unique Advantages of Specialized Degrees

  • Faster track to career advancement—46% of online students recently surveyed said their main motivation for enrolling was to advance their current career by acquiring higher-level skills and knowledge.* Specialized master’s degrees like the online Master’s in Finance degree from Walden University offer a concentrated 30-credit curriculum of 10 financial courses—compared with 3–5 financial courses in a broader online MBA curriculum of 36 or more credits. Students can complete the master’s in finance faster than an MBA, in as little as 20 months.
  • Practical job skills—Students want to learn practical and timely business skills that can be used immediately in their jobs to improve their performance, solve problems, and enhance their value to current and future employers.
  • Improve in-demand business skills – A master’s in finance degree, for example, provides valuable, advanced credentials in a specialized discipline that is experiencing explosive growth.

Special Features of Online MS in Finance Program

Walden’s MS in Finance degree program aligns with industry needs to help you advance your career as a financial planner, manager, or analyst by providing a fully integrated set of high-level skills needed by most—if not all—businesses throughout the world.

MS in Finance students choose from three specialization options, each addressing different competencies students need to succeed in their chosen area of finance:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
    The objective is to teach students the research and analytical skills that will help clients assess risk and make informed investment decisions. Specifically, this master’s in finance track helps prepare students to sit for the CFA® exam through targeted coursework and a capstone simulation experience in which students answer past exam questions. CFA applicants must pass three difficult exams, each lasting 6 hours. When students pass the exam, they become official Chartered Financial Analysts, a professional designation recognized internationally.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)
    The objective is to teach students the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to advise clients and managers on decisions about investments, insurance, retirement, and estate planning. This track helps prepare students to sit for the CFP® exam through targeted coursework and a capstone simulation experience with past exam questions. When students pass the exam, they become official Certified Financial Planners, a professional designation recognized internationally.
  • Finance for the Professional (Self-Designed)
    The objective is to prepare students for advancement in their organization through a program tailored to meet their unique goals. Core coursework explores best practices in corporate financial management and analysis, business risk assessment, and investment strategies that transcend international borders.

Dramatic Job Market Growth for Finance Professionals

The demand for financial professionals is outstripping the supply, said Dr. Roberto Castaneda, program director for Walden University’s new MS in Finance program. “It’s almost as if finance is a hidden diamond in the rough,” he explained. “Never before has demand for a profession increased exponentially like the finance profession.”

The job market for finance professionals is booming; for example, demand for financial analysts is projected to grow 16% through the year 2022. Castaneda outlined three main factors driving the robust growth:

  1. Growth of international companies as well as domestic companies that want to export their products. More companies need finance professionals who work easily in a global marketplace. Financial professionals have an in-demand skill set that transcends borders.
  2. Aging of baby boomers means that a very large segment of the population will need the sound advice of a financial planner to prepare for and enjoy a successful retirement.
  3. Whether the stock market goes up or down, the financial professional can help maintain sustainability.

Walden University, an accredited institution offering online degree programs, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for 45 years. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates online at Walden.

Explore Walden University's online MS in Finance degree program and position yourself for success. Earn your online business degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your life and schedule.


*CollegeAtlas.org, “41 Facts About Online Students.” On the Internet at www.collegeatlas.org/41-surprising-facts-about-online-students.html.

†Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable.

‡U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Analysts, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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