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What can you do with a finance degree?


With the ever-evolving nature of the global economy, a degree in finance offers lucrative, exciting and rewarding career opportunities across a range of industries. 

A finance degree equips graduates with a strong foundation in financial management, analysis, and decision-making skills that are highly sought after by organisations worldwide. As a broad field of study, prospective students might question what they can do with a finance degree and how this qualification can unlock their professional potential.

In this guide from the University of Wolverhampton, we take a look at the diverse range of career paths available to finance graduates and explore the exciting prospects awaiting those who choose to pursue this field of study.

Table of contents

  • What do you study during a finance degree?
  • What are the different types of finance degrees?
  • How long does a finance degree last?
  • Are finance degrees accredited by the relevant bodies?
  • What skills do you gain during a finance degree?
  • What careers can you do with a finance degree?
  • Finance career options
  • Careers where finance would be useful
  • Studying finance: final thoughts

What do you study during a finance degree?

When studying a finance degree, students will explore various areas of finance and accounting to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for success in the field. 

The curriculum will typically cover financial management, investments, risk management, financial markets and institutions, corporate finance, and international finance. These areas are essential for understanding how money flows within an organisation and how it can be effectively managed to achieve business objectives.

Some of the key areas of study covered during a finance degree include business law, which helps students fully comprehend the laws that are applicable in the world of accounting, digital accounting, to introduce students to computerised accounting techniques, and advanced financial reporting, which comprehensively covers the mix of conceptual and practical accounting issues.

What careers can you do with a finance degree?

Whether your interest lies in small or large businesses, managing multiple accounts or working directly in the bank sector, a finance and accounting programme provides you with a strong foundation in financial principles and practices. 

A study by Prospects (2022) shows that 67.1% of finance graduates were in full-time employment, with 5.2% going on to further study, and 15.5% working whilst studying. With more than 58% working as finance professionals, over half of graduates went on to work directly in the field, whilst 18% were employed in administrative occupations in finance.

Finance graduates can pursue a variety of career paths, including:

  • chartered accountants
  • chartered management accountants
  • company secretaries
  • external auditors
  • stockbrokers
  • forensic accountants

Chartered accountant

Chartered accountants possess specialised knowledge and skills in various areas of accounting, taxation, auditing, and financial management. They are responsible for providing expert advice and services to organisations and individuals regarding financial matters. 

One of the primary roles of a chartered accountant is to ensure that financial statements are accurate and comply with relevant legal requirements. They meticulously examine financial records, such as income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and tax returns to verify their accuracy. 

Chartered accountants also help businesses prepare budgets, analyse costs and revenues, evaluate investment opportunities, and make strategic decisions based on financial data.

Chartered management accountant (CMA)

A chartered management accountant, also known as a CMA, is a specialised professional who possesses expertise in both accounting and management. 

This designation is awarded to individuals who have completed rigorous education and training, as well as passed the necessary examinations to demonstrate their competence in these fields. As such, CMAs are highly skilled professionals who play a crucial role in organisations by providing strategic financial advice and analysis.


A stockbroker is a licensed professional who facilitates the buying and selling of securities on behalf of individual or institutional clients. These professionals are typically employed by brokerage firms, investment banks, or financial planning agencies.

Stockbrokers engage in various activities to assist their clients in making informed investment decisions. Firstly, they conduct thorough research and analysis to identify potential investment opportunities and assess the risks associated with different stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. 

They closely monitor market trends and keep up-to-date with relevant news that may impact investments. Based on their research findings, stockbrokers provide tailored recommendations to their clients regarding which securities to buy or sell.

Forensic accountant

Forensic accounting is a specialised field that combines the disciplines of accounting, investigation, and law. A forensic accountant plays a crucial role in identifying financial irregularities and providing expert analysis for legal proceedings. These professionals are often called upon to assist in cases involving fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and other financial crimes. 

The primary task of a forensic accountant is to uncover evidence of financial misconduct through meticulous examination of records and transactions. They apply their knowledge of accounting principles and techniques to identify inconsistencies or discrepancies that may indicate fraudulent activities. 

Additionally, they use their expertise to trace the flow of funds, scrutinise documents for signs of manipulation or tampering, and assess the overall financial integrity of an organisation or individual.

External auditor

An external auditor is a professional who assesses the financial records and operations of an organisation from an independent standpoint. They are typically employed by accounting firms or work as freelancers hired by businesses to provide an unbiased evaluation of their financial statements. This review allows them to identify any errors or inconsistencies in the financial reporting process.

The primary objective of an external auditor is to ensure that the financial information presented in these statements is accurate, reliable, and complies with relevant accounting standards.

Careers where finance would be useful

Due to the nature of a finance and accounting degree, there are also plenty of career opportunities that although are not directly related to finance, are applicable to the degree. Some of these potential careers include:

  • data analyst
  • economist
  • management consultant
  • arbitrator

Data analyst

Data analysis is a critical component of decision-making processes in various fields, making the role of data analysts indispensable. An individual functioning as a data analyst possesses a unique skill set that enables them to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of complex data. 

Data analysts employ their expertise in statistical analysis, programming languages, and data visualisation tools to transform raw information into meaningful patterns and trends.


An economist is a professional who studies economic systems, analyses data, and provides insights into various aspects of the economy. They are experts in understanding how individuals, businesses, and governments make decisions regarding the allocation of resources. Economists employ various tools and methodologies to study economic phenomena and provide recommendations for policy-making.

Management consultant

Management consultants are professionals who provide objective advice and expertise to organisations on various aspects of their operations. They possess deep knowledge in areas such as strategy, organisation design, change management, and process improvement. 

Management consultants typically work with both public and private sector clients across diverse industries. Their primary objective is to help organisations identify problem areas and develop effective solutions to enhance their performance. 

They achieve this by conducting rigorous analysis, using specialised tools and frameworks, gathering data through interviews or surveys, benchmarking against industry best practices, and engaging stakeholders at all levels.


An arbitrator is a neutral third party appointed to resolve disputes between two or more parties. Unlike a judge in a court of law, an arbitrator does not represent any particular side and is chosen by mutual agreement or according to specific contractual provisions. 

The primary role of an arbitrator is to conduct arbitration proceedings that allow the disputing parties to present their cases and provide evidence fairly and impartially. This involves hearing arguments from both sides, examining documents and witnesses, and ultimately making a binding decision known as an arbitral award.

What are the different types of finance degrees?

Finance degrees can be studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Whilst undergraduate degrees are more suited to those just starting out in their academic studies, a postgraduate degree in finance can further your academic and professional prospects. 

Below are the undergraduate and postgraduate finance degrees offered at the University of Wolverhampton:

BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance

The BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree at the University of Wolverhampton is a comprehensive programme designed to equip students with a strong foundation in both finance and accounting principles. With a focus on practical skills development, this degree offers students the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of financial management, investment analysis, and financial reporting. 

MSc Finance and Accounting

The MSc Finance and Accounting offers students a comprehensive and rigorous programme that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills in the field of finance and accounting. This postgraduate degree is designed to equip students with an in-depth and furthered understanding of financial management, investment analysis, financial reporting, and advanced accounting techniques. 

MBA Finance

The MBA Finance degree at the University of Wolverhampton offers a comprehensive and rigorous programme designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the complex field of finance. 

This programme is tailored for individuals seeking to enhance their expertise in financial management, investment analysis, risk assessment, and strategic decision-making. With its strong emphasis on practical applications, graduates from this programme are well-prepared to tackle real-world challenges faced by finance professionals.

How long does a finance degree last?

It typically takes three years to complete an undergraduate finance degree if studying full-time, or six years if studying part-time. Some accounting degrees also offer the opportunity for a sandwich placement or a foundation year, bringing the course to four years in length.

After completion of your undergraduate programme, students are then able to study a MSc (Masters of Science) in Finance and Accounting. Pursuing an MSc in Finance and Accounting is a logical step for those interested in advancing their career prospects in the finance industry. 

Are finance degrees accredited by the relevant bodies?

When pursuing a finance degree, final-year students can take advantage of an accelerated path to membership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This membership offers numerous benefits to accounting and finance students, including improved career prospects, discounted fees, and access to the global ACCA community. By joining, you will receive practical assistance with your studies and future career.

These accountancy qualifications have international recognition, allowing successful students to pursue rewarding accounting careers on a global scale.

What skills do you gain during a finance degree?

A finance degree equips individuals with a useful array of skills that are crucial in today's dynamic business environment. The knowledge gained provides a deep understanding of financial analysis and decision-making, which ultimately prepares students for the business world once they have finished the programme.

Through rigorous coursework, students will learn how to analyse financial statements, evaluate investment opportunities, and make informed decisions regarding capital budgeting and financing activities. This analytical proficiency provides them with the ability to interpret complex financial data and derive meaningful insights critical for effective decision-making. 

Importantly, a finance degree also offers comprehensive knowledge of financial markets and instruments. Students acquire the expertise necessary to assess risks associated with various investments and develop strategies to optimise returns while managing these risks effectively. The knowledge gained throughout an accounting degree can empower graduates to navigate the intricacies of global markets confidently.

Some of the valuable skills you can gain during a finance degree:

  • Financial reporting
  • Budgeting and forecasting skills
  • Professional communication skills
  • Risk management
  • Analytical knowledge
  • Project management skills
  • Analytical problem solving

Studying finance: final thoughts

Studying finance can be a rewarding and interesting career path for those who have an analytical mindset. Whether it is working in investment banking, financial planning, or corporate finance, the opportunities in this field are vast. However, it is important to note that success in finance requires continuous learning and staying updated with the latest trends and regulations. 

So, if you have a passion for numbers and are willing to put in the effort, studying a finance degree could be your ticket to a successful and fulfilling career.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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