Finance is a broad term encompassing all things related to the study, formation, and management of monetary funds and investments. The field includes many different subtopics including market, business, government, international, investment, personal, financial, and other. It is also used as a verb, meaning “to manage or handle finances.” In fact, finance is the most important subject any student must learn in order to become a successful investor.
There are three main areas of study that students must focus on during their four-year degree: human capital, business, and financial management. Within these three main areas, there are numerous subtopics that students can choose to specialize in. Finance is the most important area because it affects all other subtopics such as human capital, business, and government. Therefore, finance is a core class in all three major areas.
Human capital encompasses all aspects of a person’s ability to earn an income. Business operations and growth are directly related to the financial systems of businesses and the overall health of the economy. Government policies and regulations directly affect the debt levels of governments and the interest rates they charge. Students in this area must be able to analyze, predict, evaluate, and control the use of credit and implement policies that will keep debt at manageable levels.
The study of finances is directly related to the understanding, evaluation, and implementation of financial systems. This area of study requires the ability to solve problems and create efficient methods for doing so. In the United States, students learn about the theory and practice of banking, developing systems for financing businesses, analyzing financial markets, and creating risk management programs. All of these topics are directly related to the way finance science provides a foundation for management. In fact, these disciplines are often interrelated with each other.
Finally, students learn about financial activities by looking into the larger economic framework. Finance affects nearly every aspect of business, from technology to marketing to manufacturing. Therefore, a true understanding of international business is necessary for students pursuing a career in the field of finance. International finance is the study of how different nations, industries, currencies, and banks influence each other and how their activities impact the market and individual countries. Studying international finance helps students develop the skills necessary for effective management of international resources and funding. Many of these skills can be applied directly to any company’s internal and external finance management.
Finance graduates can pursue careers in banking, insurance, investment, or other related fields. A degree in finance also allows students to enter the business world. Chief financial officers, treasurers, CFOs, and other executive-level positions require a strong understanding of financial systems. Graduates with majors in finance can also become teachers, consultants, or work in other capacities in the financial industry.