According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial operations jobs are expected to grow approximately 10 percent from 2016 to 2026.
A rate faster than the average for all occupations. Great news for those considering a finance degree!
What’s even better? These degrees help prepare you for a wide variety of career options. Which sounds great, except that it can be a bit of a challenge for women. Thriving in a male-dominated industry isn’t always easy.
However, the pros do outweigh the cons. Here are some great reasons why women should consider earning a degree in finance and seeking jobs to put that degree to use!
Join a Great Job Market
First of all, the pay is excellent. According to NACE, people starting off in finance earn an average salary of $55,400 in the US. And it doesn’t stop there – many opportunities exist to climb up the corporate ladder.
Second, the finance industry is HUGE. Which means it’s also very broad. Careers range from accounting to business analyst to investment manager – a lot of different opportunities to choose from.
If you feel you’re not very good at one aspect of your job or really dislike it, you can find a position in the finance industry that won’t involve much of it. And if in the end, it’s your boss you dislike, finding another job won’t be too hard; the industry is HUGE.
The third reason is flexibility. Finance is one of the industries that can earn you good money when you are out on your own.
Once you've gained enough experience and confidence to do well, you can leave your company and set up your own firm. This is especially helpful for women who are worried about their jobs if they start a family.
Create a Strong Skill Set
A finance degree will give you money skills for life. Whether you use the degree to get a job or not, you will understand a balance sheet, an income statement, amortization schedules, investing principles, and so much more.
These skills will help you manage your personal finances much more efficiently and help you make smart money moves throughout your life!
Not only that but every single company values someone who can understand how the money flows.
Whether you decide to go into business or volunteer for a charity, employers like people who understand the numbers and can help out when necessary. So yes, it looks pretty good on your CV too.
It Builds Character
Finance is not known for being a stress-free industry to work in. Between managing clients, doing calculations, forecasting, solving problems quickly, and creating strategies – it’s an industry requiring grit and hard work to succeed. Something that builds both character and strength.
And of course, this is especially true for women. Being a female in a male-dominated industry produces some challenges.
You need to learn to be confident, assertive, and willing to take specific risks. Yet to also never be ashamed of your feminine side. The balance isn’t easy, but finding it will help deal with those challenges in your personal life as well.
Break the Barriers
We all know the finance industry is hugely lacking in women. In fact, according to Catalyst, women executives represent just 29.1% of the industry in the US – that’s just over a quarter!
Causes for this include an outdated education system, inflexible options for women, a lack of encouragement to choose these types of careers, and society’s social standards. It’s getting better every year, but there's still some way to go.
But as a woman with a finance degree joining the industry, you get to break those barriers and show the sector how essential women are. Women are great leaders, great listeners and they can do the job just as well as men.
By joining the sector, not only are women able to prove this but they also get to advocate for more equality: more flexibility, no gender pay gap and no sexism in the workplace.
Be a Role Model
Breaking those barriers is much easier when we work together. Being a role model for younger women to follow helps bring them on board and encourages them to take on the challenges male workers may not face.
Mentoring provides hope for others; it shows girls the job can be done and that they can have aspirations to work in finance.
Being one of the few women out there in the finance industry means you get to provide an example. Yes, this can be stressful – but it can also be empowering; you get to make sure everyone works towards equality.
Women have often been discouraged to follow their dreams. They are told to do something ‘more in their range of skills’ and that leads women to think of more traditional careers.
Many young women may also focus on female role models like Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, known for their pretty looks, popularity, and ability to entertain. Women aspire to become like them and are encouraged by society to focus on those specific aspects.
But what if we had role models like a female version of Warren Buffet? Or Elon Musk? Known for being intelligent, hardworking and entrepreneurial?
This would encourage women to have bigger ambitions, to dream big about building businesses and changing the world.
A finance degree is a great step to building those ambitions. No matter what field you want to pursue, you will be involved in money. So why not go straight to it?
It’s a strong path to the business world and will allow you to understand the not-so-simple money side of things.
Never be afraid to be ambitious. Never let others take your dreams away from you. You get to do what you want and how you want it. And knowing that, you’ll be able to achieve anything.
Is a Finance Degree for You?
Finance is a great degree for women who want to make a difference in the business world. Women who want to work towards more equality in the workplace, and in turn encourage other women to join.
It’s also a great degree for women who are looking for career variety, a stable job, and good pay.
You’ll face challenges, but it will pay off in the end when you can take control of your own career path and finances. And you just might be able to help those around you do the same!
Any questions or anything to add? Please let us know in the comments below
Article written by:
Araminta, the creator of Financially Mint, a personal finance blog for college students written by an actual student. She interviews experts, does weird experiments, and a ton of research, to help her and others graduate financially intelligent.