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How to Earn a Finance Associates Degree Online

Finance associates degree online programs show students how to manage money for companies and how to make sound choices about their cash. Let's take a deeper look into

pursuing a Finance associates degree.

Typical Coursework for a Finance Associates Degree Online

Students who want to earn a finance associates degree online typically take both core and elective courses. In some programs, “elective” courses are not so much elective as they are concentrated in the area of finance.  

Core courses typically focus on general education subjects such as those on the list below.

  • Composition 
  • Public speaking 
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences

When students with associate’s degrees transfer into four-year colleges, they often bring these core credits with them.

Elective courses typically teach students their specialization in finance. What are some of the more common course topics? Take a look at these options. 

  • Personal finance 
  • Economics 
  • Accounting 
  • Banking 
  • Financial institution management 
  • Financial markets 
  • Investments 
  • Business administration.

In order to earn a degree from some schools, students have to take what is called a capstone course or pass a test. Some schools may also let students transfer their credits to a four-year university. Please check with your school to see if you can move your class credits with you.

Earning an Associates in Finance Online: How It Works

The make-up of an online program will change by school. But to get a sense of how it might work, scroll through this list.

  • First, most online programs let students do class work at any time of the day that works best for them. Only a few online programs have classes that you need to go to at a set hour of the day.xi Some programs will let students move through course work at their own pace, too.
  • Second, students learn through a variety of e-learning styles. Many of these styles use multi-media and group work to help students learn.
  • Third, many schools support online students with tools such as online writing centers, libraries, and academic aid. These help online students get in touch with what they need to thrive.
  • Finally, many schools with online programs have regional or national accreditation. This may help to make sure that institutions meet high scores for quality.

Benefits of Studying Finance Online

  • Flexibility and convenience are key for busy workers, parents, and those who live in remote areas, and online programs allow a degree of wiggle room that on-campus programs may not offer. Time once spent in a car can be devoted to studying, and students may be able to design their programs to fit their work and personal schedules.
  • Applicability: People who earn an online bachelor’s in human resources may work full-time and be able to apply what they learn to their work.
  • Networking: Online programs sometimes bring people from around the world. This means that students in online human resources programs may expand their networks nationally and internationally.

Certification in the Field of Finance

Based on your path, you might want or need to earn a certificate in finance to boost your associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Two common certifications in finance are the chartered financial analyst (CFA) certificationix and the certified financial planner (CFP) certificationx. Each has its own set of requirements, so you will want to work with student counselors at the schools you are interested in.

Finance Associates Degree Online Skills

Professionals in the field of finance must have a variety of skills. On-the-job experience and accredited finance associates degree online programs may help students acquire them. In general, finance professionals must have some of these skills.i

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Math skills
  • Knowledge about their field and the world

While finance specialists work primarily with numbers and computers, they may also work closely with customers and coworkers and should work well with people. In addition, they should be detail-oriented and good at avoiding what could be costly mistakes. Finance professionals need to be there for their clients and to know about the world of finance.  

What Industries Might Employ People with a Finance Associates Degree?

Businesses everywhere rely on professionals to help them manage their finances. Whether through bookkeeping, tax preparation, auditing, or other forms of financial management and analysis, businesses use financial experts to help them succeed.ii To get a sense of the dozens of industries in which you could pursue a career, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics list of primary industries here. Professionals in the field of finance may also work as personal financial advisors to individuals and families.

Pursuing a Finance Associates Degree may allow you to look at wide variety of career opportunities.

Does It Pay to Earn a Finance Associates Degree Online?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that workers with an associate’s degree earned a median weekly salary of $782 in the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, professionals with a high school diploma and no college education earned a median weekly salary of $679.iii 

Unemployment rates for professionals with an associate’s degree hovered at or below 10 percent between 2008 and 2014. Unemployment rates for workers with only a high school diploma was over 10 percent.iv

What Do Professionals with an Online Associates Degree in Finance Do?

Once they’ve earned their online associate’s degrees, many professionals in the field of finance pursue careers as bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks.

These clerks produce financial records for organizations and record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.v These jobs generally require professionals to have some college or no degree. They earn a median annual salary of $37,250.vi 

Sometimes finance professionals do administrative work for organizations. They keep records, help customers solve problems, and carry out financial transactions.vii They may only need a high school education to gain employment in an administrative capacity, but they could potentially benefit from pursuing an associate’s degree. Professionals in administrative roles earn a median annual salary of $37,040.viii

Next Steps Towards Your Finance Associates Degree

If you’re interested in earning an associates degree in finance online, begin your search here. Check out our sponsored listings to find a lot of information and contact the schools of your choice to get details. Good luck!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm#tab-2 | [iii] bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/weekly-earnings-by-educational-attainment-in-first-quarter-2016.htm | [iv] bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141112.htm | [v]  bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm#tab-2 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/financial-clerks.htm#tab-2 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/financial-clerks.htm | [ix] cfainstitute.org/programs/cfaprogram/register/Pages/index.aspx | [x] cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements | [xi] nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009044.pdf

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