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Master in Finance Salary Forecast
February 12, 2021 | Read Time: 5.5 Minutes
By Elizabeth Atwater
A master of finance degree can open countless doors for budding financial professionals. Quantitative finance degrees such as the MSF provide a crash course in everything from financial modeling techniques to coding languages to communicating financial data effectively.
After two or three semesters of hard work, students graduating with a masters in finance typically command strong salaries. According to Margaret Jones, Associate Director in Babson’s Graduate Center for Career Development, the average starting master in finance salary for students post-graduation is $60,000–$85,000/year and Babson's class of 2021 MSF students averaged $75,153. Moreover, as reported by Ziprecruiter, Massachusetts ranks #1 out of all 50 states nationwide for master in finance salary.
Certain sectors within financial services are known to be especially lucrative, such as investment banking, private equity, or venture capital. Competitive roles such as junior portfolio managers, especially within the investment management sector, tend to guarantee a masters in finance salary at the high end.
Want to graduate at the top of that range? Jones advises a number of ways students can improve their master in finance salary potential:
- Make Your Transcript Pop – At Babson, students can apply for the Babson College Fund course, a two-semester commitment that provides great exposure and experience. Students work with advisors in Babson’s Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance to manage a $2.5M portion of the College’s endowment.
- Get Hands On Practice – Whether it’s through experiential classes, as part of an internship, or by volunteering, there’s no substitute for actually using your finance skills in the real world. “You’re probably not going to change an organization’s financial processes, but you can make an impact,” says Jones.
- Find a Mentor – Building a relationship with a trusted mentor can provide shape and focus to a career search, which can translate to a higher master in finance salary after graduation. The Cutler Center’s mentorship program is available for both MSF and MBA students at Babson.
Being involved with the Cutler Center was a great resume booster. I worked on Bloomberg and learned how to create asset portfolios on Python.”
Current City: Boston; Hometown: New Delhi
What Can You Do with a Masters in Finance?
Anecdotally, Jones says the most common job title for MSF graduates is analyst.
“Analyst is such a broad term,” she says. “Some are financial analysts or treasury analysts. Some are evaluation analysts, data analysts, finance operations analysts. I mean, it could go on and on.”
According to a September, 2020 update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for financial analysts is projected to grow faster than average for other occupations. The BLS projects 5% job growth through 2028, thanks to a growing range of financial products and services.
As for what can you do with a masters in finance skillset, the options span the full range of the financial services sector, and beyond. MSF students and alumni have pursued careers such as:
- Financial planning and analysis roles
- Portfolio management, including junior portfolio analysts
- Financial advisor
- Insurance underwriter
Banks and wealth management firms like Fidelity and Wellington are often top of mind employers for MSF students, but in reality, the hiring landscape for master in finance jobs is much more broad.
“The majority of our MSF students come to Babson wanting to go into some type of financial services,” says Jones. Yet the job landings tell a more diverse story, with graduates pursuing finance careers with large investment houses, small boutique firms, life sciences incubators, insurance providers, management consulting firms, large CPG companies, even startups and beyond.
There are pros and cons to different kinds of organizations. Large firms typically have better infrastructure for supporting and sponsoring international work visas, a particularly important benefit for international students who are drawn to Babson’s STEM masters degree programs like the MSF. Smaller boutique firms or entrepreneurial startups can provide rapid career growth and significant upside.
How to Land Master in Finance Jobs
The biggest thing to remember when approaching any job search, stresses Jones, is that it’s all about effectively branding and marketing yourself, and creating opportunities to network and connect with alumni and potential employers. “We have phenomenal alumni who are very open to recruiting and considering our finance students, and they are more than happy to share their own career stories” she adds.
Jones also offers some practical tips for landing master in finance jobs:
- Find Your Focus – Hone the story you tell about the value you can bring to the company and why you’re interested in that role in particular. Emphasize the skills you’ll bring to the table, and how you’re developing them in your master in finance courses.
- Network, Network, Network – Never pass up an opportunity to meet new connections in the industry. Take advantage of Babson-sponsored events, such as the finance industry spotlights and finance career panels, and the annual career fair.
- Do Your Homework – There’s no substitute for preparation, especially in high-stakes situations like master in finance jobs screenings or live interviews. Working with trusted experts, like those in the CCD office, to polish a resume, cover letter, and interview skills can go a long way toward making a positive impression on a potential employer.
Sharpening Your Skills with Quantitative Finance Degrees
A job search is a two-way street. As much as students are evaluating employers and looking for the right combination of master of finance salary, challenging and exciting work, and cultural fit, employers are also evaluating students on their skills and potential.
We asked Jones what kinds of skills employers are looking for from graduates with quantitative finance degrees. She pinpointed four top competencies for those looking to land master of finance jobs:
- Quantitative finance skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Analytical skills including data or business analytics
- Communication skills, both verbal and written
One surefire way to communicate your skills well during an interview is by practicing with executives in residence. “These are volunteers from the financial services and private equity industry,” says Jones, “who have done a lot of hiring throughout their careers and know what employers are looking for.”
Ultimately, masters of finance students have a much deeper knowledge of finance and often have a tighter focus on their career goals than graduate students in other programs. These qualities shine through in a job search, contributing to MSF students’ strong job landing statistics.
In 2021, 95% of Babson’s MSF graduates who were job-searching were employed 6 months after graduation, and 66% of Babson’s international MSF students accepted positions in the United States.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Atwater is an associate director on Babson College’s Marketing team. Her writing has appeared in print and online in a wide range of outlets including Forbes, The Atlantic, Reuters, Chief Learning Officer, BostInno, and Seventeen magazine. She earned a Babson MBA in 2019.
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