What is Finance?

Finance is concerned with the art and science of managing money.  The finance discipline considers how business firms raise, spend, and invest money and how individuals divide their limited financial resources to achieve personal and family goals.   

A Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Finance is ideal for students who are interested in running a business, reviewing financial statements, preparing budgets, analyzing securities, investing money, advising clients on their personal financial matters, and planning for cash flows in an uncertain future.  Some finance professionals do all of the above in smaller organizations, while others working for larger organizations may specialize in only one or two areas.  

At Jacksonville State University, finance majors will have access to a state-of-the-art Finance Lab where complex trading scenarios are developed and explored.  Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a Student Managed Investment Fund that operates through the JSU student organization, Financial Management Association. 

Potential Careers

  • Commercial Loan Officer
  • Credit Analyst 
  • Insurance Broker 
  • Insurance Adjustor
  • Insurance Sale
  • Risk Manager  
  • Financial Planner
  • Financial Analyst
  • Securities Analyst
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Commercial Realtor

Prospective Students

Whether your career path leads you toward running a business, financial planning, real estate, banking, insurance, or any number of other closely related fields, your degree in finance will prepare you to face professional challenges with confidence and integrity, and make you an asset to your organization.   

The JSU finance curriculum includes courses and electives that cover a variety of applications.  Courses will focus on developing both the analytical and technical skills necessary to succeed in a broad range of finance careers.  As a part of the College of Business and Industry  at JSU, the finance faculty are committed to developing leaders who will help their organizations thrive in today's competitive global financial environment. 

Visit our programs page to learn more! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Finance is a very dynamic major that can lead to a diverse group of career opportunities. It is a major that requires both analytical skills and the ability to think and act creatively. The study of finance will help you develop multiple skill sets at once, offering you the chance for success in several industries after graduation. 

Prospective students may ask themselves questions such as: 

  • Do I enjoy working with numbers? 
  • Am I a creative and independent problem-solver who likes the challenge of finding innovative solutions? 
  • Am I interested in identifying revenue sources and designing strategies to pursue those sources? 
  • Do you like keeping up with the latest advances in business productivity technology?
  • Can I express my ideas clearly and effectively? 
If you responded “Yes” to some or all of the above questions, then finance might be a major you should consider.

While finance and accounting both deal with assets, liabilities, and equity, accounting focuses more on properly recording what has happened and reporting on the recent  performance and current status of the firm.  Finance is more forward looking, planning for the financial needs of the firm in the future by projecting what is likely to happen.  There is a little more subjective judgment in finance and a little more precision in accounting.     

Finance programs are looking for students who are skilled with both numbers and words. That means that students who are interested in finance should take a mixture of math and statistics classes along with classes that emphasize both oral and written communication.  In addition, proficiency with office-oriented computer software is very important to the finance professional.  Anything you can do to improve your computer skills will help you while you are in school and after you graduate and begin your career.  

In addition, many high schools have extracurricular activities and clubs that focus on business. If your school has them, try to join one.  It’s never too early to begin learning and developing professional networks that you may rely on during your career.   

For most students, the time frame for earning a bachelor’s degree is 4 years.  A total of 120 semester hours of coursework is required for the degree, and students will frequently take an average of 15 semester hours during the fall and spring semesters.  If you choose to attend summer school, you may be able to shorten this time frame down to 3 years.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 6% growth for financial analysts and 16% growth for financial managers over the 2018-2028 period. Credit managers and risk managers are included in the financial manager category. The nationwide median earnings in May 2018 were $85,660 for experienced financial analysts and $127,990 for financial managers.