Finance is a very interesting academic discipline and currently there is a great demand for financial experts in various segments. If you love financial aspects and money based dealings then finance will prove to be the right academic stream for you.
Many students say that finance is an elaborate field. Yes, this is absolutely true. But if you will understand the concepts with clarity then you will surely find this academic stream easy.
Finance can be pursued at graduate level and at post graduate level. If you want a doctorate qualification then you can think about doing PHD in finance. One very popular course is MBA in Finance and students across the globe are pursuing MBA degree in this academic discipline.
So, there is a lot to learn and explore in this educational discipline. It’s totally up to you that how far you want to go.
What is the exact meaning of finance?
Finance is actually the art of money management. In this academic stream you will deal with the aspects like assets, liabilities, investment decisions, risk, uncertainties and much more. The tasks like lending, saving, borrowing and budgeting are all covered in the domain of finance.
Nowadays there are separate finance departments in organizations and such a department handles all the financial activities of the business entity. There are various job positions in the finance department like finance head, finance manager, finance executives, trainees etc.
Without a finance department an organization won’t be able to take sound financial decisions and ultimately the company will have to bear losses. Thus, be it the government sector or private sector, finance department holds utmost importance in all sorts of entities.
The sub categories of finance
These are the sub categories related to finance –
- Corporate finance
Corporate finance is basically related to corporate entities. In this sub discipline you will get to study that how the funding is done from various sources and the formulation of optimal capital structure. In corporate finance the main focus of managers is to enhance the shareholders value and different financial tools are used to analyze as well as allocate financial resources.
In the field of corporate finance it is very important to balance the risks and profitability aspect. The main aim is to maximize the net income, assets and stock valuation. In order to be an expert in the field of corporate finance you must have in depth knowledge about various concepts like capital budgeting, business valuation, financial modeling, sources of capital, working capital management, financial risk management, financial instruments etc.
- Public finance
Public finance is a field concerning financial aspects of public entities. Thus, when finance aspect is related to government entities, states, sub national entities, municipalities, districts etc. then the term public finance is used. Public finance is a broad discipline in its own. In this field long term investment decisions are taken which are highly strategic in nature.
In public finance various decisions are taken. The examples are like estimating the expenditure needed to be done by a public sector enterprise, analyzing the sources of public revenue, the process of creating budgets, analyzing the debt insurance etc.
If you are interested in working in public sector then you can surely think of making a career in public finance.
- Personal finance
Personal finance involves the financial planning at the individual level. Thus when individuals plan for their short term and long term financial needs then all such aspects are covered under personal finance.
The various aspects of personal finance are like tax calculations and filing, planning for retirement, saving and investing in viable options, risk management through insurance, assessment of financial status, creating an estimate related to cash flows etc.
Nowadays there are specialized finance executives that help the people to deal with the matters of personal finance. Such kinds of job openings can be seen in the financial services sector.
- Behavioral finance
Behavioral finance is actually a branch of behavioral economics and in this field you will get to study that how people make different financial choices based on their individual behaviors. The different concepts in behavioral finance are like identification of the information structure, the characteristics of various market participants, the way investment decisions are taken, market outcomes etc.
- Social finance
Social finance is a specialized discipline that analyzes the investments made in charitable entities, social organizations and cooperative societies. The investments in such entities can be in the form of debt financing or equity financing. Such investments can yield both social as well as financial gains.
These are the main sub categories of finance. There is a lot to learn in all these branches and based on your interest you can make a career in any specific field of your choice.
The career choices based on finance
Many students think that the career options in the field of finance are limited. It is a wrong perception. There are innumerable choices in this field and you can pick any career that suits your interest.
Some of the career choices are like commercial banking, private banking, insurance services, financial audit, equity and financial market research, treasury, financial planning, financial analyst, investment banking, financial examiner etc. This is just a basic idea that what all career options are there in the field of finance. The truth is that there are many more career choices apart from these. Find out your specific interest and then pursue the right career.
When you are just beginning your career in the field of finance then try to get an internship or a trainee position in a reputed organization. The training period will help you to polish your skills and you will get a practical understanding that how things are handled in the actual business world.
Initially you may not get a heavy pay check for being a finance executive but with knowledge and experience the pay as well as the job position will improve. So, you should focus on learning and then everything would work in your favor.
You can also switch to different industries after gaining experience. For example if you have worked for few years in banking field then you can explore the insurance sector as well. There are lots of opportunities in different segments. Your experience will definitely count and you will get to learn a lot of new things. Experienced financial executives are known for getting the best pay packages in corporate world.
Topics that you will get to study in finance
You will get to study a lot of topics in finance. Some of the main topics are like time value of money, ratio analysis, risk management techniques, arbitrage, taxation, bond valuation, capital budgeting, cash management, derivative market, cost of capital, inventory management, forex, mergers, acquisitions, hedging, international flow of funds, valuation of stocks, credit management and much more.
This is a general idea that what kinds of topics are there in the discipline of finance. There are many more topics apart from these. Thus, you will have to put in a lot of hard work for understanding all such topics to the core.
The problems that you may face while pursuing a finance degree
Here is a discussion about certain problems that you might face while pursuing finance degree-
- Difficulty in getting admission
Lots of colleges conduct entrance exam for granting admission into finance based courses. It can be really tough to crack these examinations. There is a lot of competition and limited number of seats. So, if you are planning to get admission in a reputed college then prepare for the entrance test beforehand. It will surely help you to excel in the exams.
- Problem with the theory portion
After getting admission into finance course you will surely realize the fact that the theory portion is complicated. You may face difficulty while interpreting a lot of topics. In this case the best thing that you can do is pay attention during the lectures. Professors tend to discuss a lot of important stuff in lectures and by making notes you will be able to interpret the theory portion in a convenient manner.
- Problem with the practical portion
There are lots of practical questions, numerical questions and lengthy case studies in finance. If your mathematical reasoning is weak then you will surely face trouble with the practical portion. In this case the best solution is to practice as much as you can. Practicing will give you immense confidence and you will learn the art of solving the questions in a fast manner.
- Complicated assignments and homework
Many students think that they won’t get homework and assignments while pursuing higher studies. It is a wrong perception. You will get lots of assignments and homework while pursuing finance degree. Sometimes these academic tasks will prove to be really tough and you won’t be able to find the correct answers with much ease.
- Highly detailed projects
Finance projects can be highly detailed and the main thing is that they should be original. If you will copy paste the project report from some other source then entire work will get rejected. Thus, you will have to do a lot of research while drafting finance projects.
- Tough examinations
There is no doubt about the fact that finance examinations can be really tough. You can’t expect that your professors will give straight questions out of the textbooks or reference books. In order to solve the questions you must have utmost concept clarity.
These are some of the main problems that you may face while pursuing a finance degree. The reality is that these obstacles are not that big. If you will study on a regular basis then you won’t face any hurdles as such. So, try to attain concept clarity and practice the practical portion, by this way you will surely feel that finance is an easy academic discipline.
What should be done for attaining concept clarity?
There are various kinds of topics in finance. Some are simple and some may be really complex. While interpreting the simple topics you may not need any kind of professional help but understanding the complex topics on one’s own can be a big challenge. Thus, in order to get concept clarity related to complex topics, you must opt for professional help.
The reason why professional help is important is because a common man won’t be able to provide the right explanation for finance topics. So, if you will ask your parents or friends that help me with my finance topics then they might simply refuse. The reason is that everybody would not possess the knowledge about the intricate aspects of finance.
As far as availing professional help is concerned then there are two choices. You can either ask a private tutor for guidance or you can take the help of online experts. The problem with the private tuitions is that the fee is very high. You may be unable to afford the services of a private tutor. Thus, the simplest solution is to seek the guidance from online experts.
Online academic services are accessible 24×7 and the rates are completely genuine. You can ask your doubts related to any topic and the experts will provide well researched and original answers before the deadline. The quality of the solutions would be top-notch and your concepts will become crystal clear.
Here you have got some really credible information about the field of finance. If you are having strong mathematical reasoning and you love dealing with numbers and financial aspects then finance will prove to be one of the best academic streams for you. All you have to do is pursue your degree with immense dedication and the right career opportunity will surely knock your door.
Maja Kazazic is a famous expert in the field of finance. He has been providing online tuitions to the students since a very long time. Be it the bachelor degree in finance, master degree or MBA in finance, he is always ready to help the students with his outstanding knowledge. His blogs on finance are an eye opener for the students.