Exploring a Career in Finance

Use this site to learn about what finance has to offer. You can explore:
Description of the Major
Skills Needed
Sample Occupations
Companies and Organizations that hire our Finance Graduates
Professional Associations
Student Clubs
SOM Career Library Resources

Description of the Major

Finance majors enjoy a strong demand for their skills and knowledge in the labor market. In their work environment, they take the lead in making decisions concerning asset valuation, initial public offerings, stock portfolio management, analyzing financial statements, dividend policy, risk analysis and management, financial market regulation, international diversification, and capital budgeting.

Graduates in finance find jobs in corporate and public finance, investment banking, commercial banks and credit unions, mutual funds, portfolio management, venture capital, Federal and state government regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, SEC and Treasury Department, trading, and personal financial banking.

Additional information

  • Median salary in 2011 (For financial advisor): $66,580
  • Projected growth: Above average (29%+)
  • 45% of polled respondents have an undergraduate degree

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Skills Needed

  • Comprehension of economics and accounting: Understanding and some background in basic accounting and economics
  • Analytical skills: Quantitative skills; ability to work well with numbers; complex problem solving
  • Computer software: Working proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, especially Word, Access, and Excel.
  • Customer service: Ability to work well with clients and partners; communication skills
  • Teamwork: Ability to work well with others; delegate tasks; deliver presentations
  • Time management: Ability to work under tight deadlines; handle multiple tasks/assignments
  • Legal practices/code: Working knowledge of auditing codes and other financial practices/guidelines
  • Information gathering/analysis: Obtain information on all relevant levels and fully analyze implications.
  • Communication skills: Ability to clearly, effectively convey information and suggestions both via writing and verbally.


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Online Resources for Industry Research




Sample Occupations

(Connected to the Bureau of Labor and Statistic’s online Occupational Outlook Handbook)

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Organizations that have employed Mason Finance Graduates

Accenture, American Express, Ameriprise Financial, Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI, Cambridge Associates, Charles Schwab, Deloitte, Fannie Mae, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Reserve Board, Freddie Mac, John Hancock, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, Maximus, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAIC, Securities & Exchange Commission, Scottrade, Inc., The World Bank Group, and TRW

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Sample Professional Associations

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  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified Financial Consultant (ChFC)

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Student Clubs

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Sample SOM Career Services Library Resources

  • Resumes for Banking and Financial Careers
  • 100 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  • 201 Best Questions to Ask on your Interview
  • Best 109 Internships
  • Internship Bible
  • Big Book of Jobs (03-04)
  • Career Opportunities in Banking, Finance and Insurance
  • Careers in International Business
  • Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Prep
  • Power Networking – 59 Secrets for personal and professional success
  • Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking
  • Vault guide to Finance Interviews
  • Washington, DC Job Bank

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George Mason University School of Management

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 15 percent of all AACSB accredited business schools, the School of Management is one of only 10 percent of business schools worldwide that is accredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.





Main Campus
School of Management
4400 University Drive, MS 1B1
Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030

AACSB Accreditation