The In-Demand Field of Financial Management

What is a Financial Manager and How Do You Become One?

The goal of any business is to compete and succeed in the marketplace — but just because that’s the goal, doesn’t mean it’s always the reality. Instead, the threat of unforeseen financial challenges can make it difficult to keep a company debt-free, profitable, and productive, leading leadership to utilize one of the most important positions in the world of business: a financial manager.

Critical to an enterprise’s ability to achieve its mission, financial managers use their expertise in establishing a sound financial position to oversee the finances of major companies, agencies, and everything in between. Ranked #2 in best business jobs by U.S. News & World Report — and with an unemployment rate of only 2.9% — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 118,200 financial manager jobs will open up between 2020 and 2030, making it the perfect time to enter this lucrative field. And at the University of Cincinnati Online, we can get you on your path to becoming a successful financial manager with our Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, where you’ll gain specialized knowledge in investment management, corporate finance, and commercial banking.

What Does a Financial Manager Do?

Financial managers are responsible for the long-term financial goals and health of an organization. As they spend much of their time analyzing data and advising top executives on how to maximize profits, they must have knowledge of the topics, tax laws, and regulations that are specific to their industry. Typical financial manager responsibilities include:

  • Preparing financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts
  • Reviewing financial reports and seeking ways to reduce costs
  • Analyzing market trends to maximize profits
  • Monitoring financial details to ensure all legal requirements are met
  • Supervising employees who do financial reporting and budgeting
  • And helping leadership make financial decisions
How Do I Become a Financial Manager?

Becoming a financial manager is all about preparation. From undergraduate and postgraduate education to additional certifications, there are a few steps you need to take before you can obtain the position.

  • Step 1: Education
    Aspiring financial managers must first earn their bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as UC Online’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. This program is designed through feedback we receive from business leaders regarding the training they look for in managers, and provides you with the fundamental skills and modes of analysis that are critical to all careers in finance. Once completed, you’ll have the option to continue on to the Master of Science in Finance program, where you’ll gain distinction in one of four focus areas: corporate finance, investments, risk management, or real estate — all of which will help you stand out from the competition.
  • Step 2: Work Experience
    The road to becoming a financial manager doesn’t end right after graduation: you’ll need at least five years of work experience in another business or financial occupation to signify your advanced proficiency. Once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to enter the job market and obtain an entry-level position — in finance, business, or accounting — and work your way up the company ranks to a management role.Looking to bypass this step? Those with a master’s degree may be hired directly into a financial manager role, as their postgraduate education already provides the required experience.
  • Step 3: Certifications
    Hiring managers are always looking for reasons to hire someone — and when they see something that’s relevant to their industry, to their company, or to the specific position, it’s going to help make you a more attractive candidate. Professional certifications can demonstrate your preparedness, give you credibility, and increase your marketability and chances for company advancement. In the world of finance, there are three certificates that stand out:

    • The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) provides the knowledge required to deliver professional, competent, and ethical financial planning services to clients.
    • The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) provides a strong foundation in advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills.
    • The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) provides knowledge on tax and retirement planning, special needs advising, wealth management, and insurance.
What is the career outlook for a financial manager?

Because financial managers help establish a firm financial footing for all functions of an organization, almost any institution can benefit from employing them — which is why they’re able to pursue careers in a wide variety of enterprises and earn a higher annual wage. In 2020, financial managers made an annual salary of $134,180, with the best-paid 25% earning an average of $186,030, and the lowest-paid 25% earning an average of $95,770.

At UC Online, our students have gone on to create rewarding careers with major companies — such as Fifth Third Bank, Delta Air Lines, PNC, and Fund Evaluation Group — and our recent graduates have accepted jobs in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • Investment banking
  • Corporate finance
  • Wealth management
  • Financial risk management
  • Portfolio management
  • Lending
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Private equity
  • Equity analysis
  • Real estate development.
Why Should I Choose UCO for My Degree Completion?

No matter where you are in life, the University of Cincinnati Online will meet you there. We offer online finance programs of the same quality and integrity as our traditional courses, and the flexibility to complete them at a time and place that’s convenient for you. From day one, you’ll be immersed in an innovative and experience-based curriculum that will give you the skills you need to not just enter the field of finance, but to flourish in it.

Ready to Start Your Career as a Financial Manager?

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of financial managers — simply put, their expertise ensures an organization’s continued viability. Here at UC Online, our nationally ranked and financially competitive degree programs will prepare you for this in-demand field by training you to provide financial guidance and support to clients and colleagues so they can make sound business decisions.

Are you ready to learn more? Explore our online business programs to discover how you can achieve your goals with a finance degree from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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