What Is an MBA in Financial Management?

Osmand Vitez

A master’s degree allows an individual to hone his or her skills and focus on a specific topic of study or future career path. The MBA in financial management typically prepares an individual for a career as an accounting or financial manager or a position in a financial services firm. Classes tend to focus on topics such as financial management, futures, swaps and options, and more. In most cases, this degree takes two years or less, depending on the number of credits, degree concentration, and educational institution. An MBA in financial management may be a popular degree for an accountant or a financial analyst.

Because the duties of financial managers differ among organizations, it's wise to pick an MBA program geared toward your specific interests.
Because the duties of financial managers differ among organizations, it's wise to pick an MBA program geared toward your specific interests.

Like many types of master degrees, an MBA in financial management has a certain number of courses that make up the core of the degree. In reality, the concentration that is the financial management portion may only be 12 to 15 credits out of the degree’s entire 40 to 50 credits. Core courses represent classes such as general management, human resources, accounting, ethics, or similar course work. The purpose of these courses is to prepare an individual for a managerial position, which is typically why one attempts to earn an MBA in financial management. They lay the groundwork for the remaining concentration courses in the degree program.

The degree concentration is generally where the real courses lie for an MBA program. Educational institutions typically have the right to create programs they deem suitable for MBAs in financial management. In some cases, a degree may have an individual focus based on the educational institution; for example, an institution may focus more on investments rather than managerial financial management. Having a specific type of MBA in financial management — such as one that focuses on investments, financial futures, and related banking activities — can create a positive tone for an educational institution’s overall MBA program. Individuals should pay particular attention to the school’s reputation as it can affect future job prospects.

An MBA in financial management may not require very much writing or other standard procedures in its program. The focus tends to be on case studies that involve real-world scenarios and completion of financial problems or scenarios. Some programs may require a final thesis or written project in an obvious finance or financial area. The purpose of these study types and projects is to develop the theories one needs to understand the business world. How to make a sound decision based on financial information may also be a focus of an MBA in financial management.

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