What comes into your mind when the word “finance” strays into an informal conversation? I bet you know what it means but can’t precisely define it in the most accurate and understandable way.
Very much like a “flower.” We know what it is but are generally stumped for words when asked to precisely describe it. There are so many ways it can be described. So is finance.
Definition of the word “finance”:
“Finance,” is a word of French origin that got adopted, in the 18th century, by the English-speaking community. Roughly, it means “the management of money.”
Now it is defined in various ways (depending on application) but I find the following definition the most appropriate and all-encompassing (InvestorWords.com):
“Finance is a branch of economics concerned with resource allocation as well as resource management, acquisitions and investment. Simply, finance deals with matters related to money and the markets.”
What is MBA in Finance?
That settled, let’s take a look at what MBA in Finance is about.
It is postgraduate study providing rigorous training in the fundamentals of finance. It provides students the balance between the technical finance courses needed to work in financial institutions and the overall management skills needed in all business enterprises.
It trains students in managerial and cost accounting, financial institutions, financial law, and more cutting-edge topics like derivatives, hedge funds and leveraging.
Since it is a management degree, it trains students to run a business and make decisions based on available data.
MBA in Finance is a two-year program. In the first year, students take core courses in broad business areas like finance, accounting, human resource management and marketing.
In the second year, they focus on the tools, i.e., budget planner, currency converters, investment tools, etc, used in the finance industry. Students are also encouraged to undergo internship in a financial institution and provide financial project consultancy to a local business.
MBA in Finance is available to students with undergraduate degrees and some relevant work experience. Once in, they are expected to maintain a passing grade point average in all courses and complete relevant projects and exercises.
Most MBA in Finance b schools however, require applicants to have at least two years of experience in the business world.
At the very least, graduates of MBA in Finance can expect to be financial analysts or financial managers.
Major courses in MBA Finance:
Since it involves money management, the student will have a full serving of:
– Law and Business
This deals with the legal ramifications of the career in business and finance. Students are expected to learn the importance of the securities exchange commission, business ethics and transparency.
– Marketing Fundamentals:
Students are exposed to marketing fundamentals, i.e., product to sell, price, competition, promotion, understanding customer needs, etc. Students will be exposed to advertising and public relations, among others.
– Capital Markets: Practice and Theory:
This is a very critical course for all MBA Finance students and is mandatory in almost every MBA program. This focuses on securities trading, primary and secondary markets, IPOs (initial public offering), hedge funds, etc.
– Finance Reporting and Control:
As future managers, students must know such key issues as accountability to shareholders, corporate governance, financial health of the business, returns of investments, etc.
– Corporate Finance:
Another important course in MBA Finance, this gives students an overview of a variety of terms and practices inherent to the specialization.
Students will get to know of mergers, financial taxation, venture capital versus private equity, risk management, debt equity among others.
Top 5 business schools in MBA Finance:
The top picks of the best MBA schools in theU.S.specializing in Finance are (About.com):
1. Wharton School of Business:
Famous for innovative teaching methods and a wide range of academic programs, its MBA Finance boasts of the world’s largest and most cited faculty.
2. University of Chicago Graduate School of Business:
Known for their analytical and quantitative focus, it traditionally has 80% of their MBA Finance grads in finance and consulting jobs.
3. Yale School of Management:
It offers an outstanding learning experience emphasizing on teamwork. It typically has small classes but rigorous training.