Is a Finance Degree Hard? (2024)

International Business or Finance

This course takes economics worldwide with topics like interest rate parity and international arbitrage. Essentially, it involves taking a broad view of how financial markets work all over the globe. In an international finance course, students engage with topics that include:

  • How exchange rates are determined
  • How to assess exchange rate risks
  • How multinational corporations budget capital

Principles of Marketing

Principles of marketing touches on ethics, consumer behavior, and more. At the end of the course, students should come away with a cursory understanding of marketing as:

  • A discipline
  • A principle
  • A profession

At North Central, marketing principles courses enable students to consider all aspects of marketing as it relates to finance, from promotional strategies to designing their own marketing plans.

What Are the Requirements for a Bachelor’s in Finance?

Along with the courses listed above, you’ll need to meet the overall credit requirements to graduate from your business school as a finance graduate. Usually, credit requirements include a mixture of major-specific courses, general education courses, and electives.

In many cases, you’ll also need to earn a sufficient grade to pass each individual course and claim the credits.

What Happens After Graduation?

Once you’ve completed your finance degree program, you may want to take the three CFA exams to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. The CFA is a professional certification that could boost your earning potential and help you progress further in your finance career.

You can also enroll in a master’s program to further your studies. For some who choose to continue their education, a master’s degree in finance provides the chance to develop specialized knowledge and skills, which may earn you a higher salary.

How Can I Prepare for a Finance Program?

The more you prepare for your finance degree, the easier it’ll be to absorb the knowledge, understand the disciplines, and improve your own learning rubric.

To that end, here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success.

Practice Math

While finance doesn’t hinge solely on mathematics, a great deal of it does involve numbers.

As such, a keen understanding of mathematics can give you a leg up when you start your degree program. In which case, be sure to sign up for upper-level math courses like:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Statistics

Review Finance Terminology

Reading finance books and glossaries or watching videos can familiarize you with the vocabulary you’ll need to know as a finance student.

Additionally, see if your high school offers business courses. If so, you should definitely take them. You’ll familiarize yourself with some of the basics of finance, and it will look good on your program applications.

Work on Interpersonal Communication

To excel in finance, you need to do more than understand facts and figures—you also need to be able to explain them to others. Learning to “translate” finance into plain English is a skill you’ll learn in college, but you can start early by practicing writing and public speaking on your own before you enroll.

How? Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a few more English classes –In addition to all the math and business classes you’ll take, seek out English and literature courses to develop your written communications skills.
  • Join the debate team –If your school has a debate team, consider joining it. You’ll learn the basics of public speaking and how to craft and present effective arguments.
  • Write for your school newspaper –Reporting on events at your school and in your community for your school publication is the chance to hone your writing skills and bolster your applications with extracurriculars.

Embrace the Challenge

As a finance student, you will encounter classes, exams and projects that provide more of a test than you’ve experienced before. That is how it’s supposed to work: this is a challenging and rewarding subject, and learning how to tackle those challenges now will only benefit you when you are dealing with real people.

Where You Study Makes All the Difference

So, is a finance degree worth it? Finance will likely take some work to conquer—especially if you’re not mathematically inclined—but it’s an incredibly rewarding endeavor that can manifest as a fulfilling, lucrative career.

After all, the best things in life are often the ones you have to work for.

Whether you choose to major in finance, pursue a minor, or use your electives to dip your toes in, you’ll want to attend a top-notch school like North Central College. With a support network of dedicated staff and students, you’ll have nothing holding you back.

Hannah Brauer is the internal communication specialist in the North Central College Office of Communications. She has four years of experience working in higher education with students, faculty and staff. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Eastern Kentucky University.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, April 18). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Financial Analysts. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from

What is A Finance Degree? The Best Schools. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from

Exam Dates, Cost, and Registration Fees. CFA Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2022, from

How Do I Prepare For a Finance Degree While In High School? Degree Query. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from

Is a Finance Degree Hard? (2024)


Is a Finance Degree Hard? ›

Finance degrees are generally considered to be challenging. In a program like this, students gain exposure to new concepts, from financial lingo to mathematical problems, so there can be a learning curve.

Is finance a tough major? ›

Finance is a somewhat difficult major. The difficulty with finance comes down to its concepts that students would not have experienced before in their lives, the financial lingo in the field, and the concentration of math in the subject.

Is a finance degree a lot of math? ›

Finance major degree coursework. As a finance major, you study finance-related topics, including math, economics, and statistics. You can expect to take several math classes like accounting, calculus, and business math.

Is a finance degree worth it? ›

Finance degree jobs can provide relatively high pay, stability, opportunities for advancement and consistent demand projections. Careers in finance may also offer flexibility for employees by allowing them to work remotely or in hybrid environments.

Is a finance major stressful? ›

Cons of getting a finance degree

Long hours: Many finance jobs require long hours, particularly in investment banking and other high-pressure roles. Stressful work environment: The finance industry can be stressful, particularly during economic uncertainty or market volatility.

What is the easiest degree to get? ›

10 Easiest Bachelor's Degrees of 2024
  1. Business. Interested in an easy major with many career options? ...
  2. Communications. As a communications major, you'll study mass media, public relations, and journalism. ...
  3. Criminal Justice. ...
  4. Education. ...
  5. English. ...
  6. General Studies. ...
  7. Health Science. ...
  8. Liberal Arts.

What is the hardest part of a finance degree? ›

One thing that's for sure is the high amount of math you will need to study. Finance is a mathematical discipline, so if you aren't as comfortable with math as with other ways of thinking, you may find it more challenging. Additionally, finance also makes use of a vast, highly specific vocabulary.

Can I do finance if I'm bad at math? ›

It's normal to have these thoughts and it's good to ask these kind of questions before you get into it. Believe it or not, mastery of advanced math skills is not necessary to have a career in finance. With today's technology, all math-related tasks can be done by computers and calculators.

Does finance pay well? ›

Salaries in the finance industry

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS), careers in finance pay a median salary of $76,850 — 66% higher than the median salary for all occupations in the nation ($46,310).

Is it hard to get a job in finance? ›

You don't need an MBA to work in finance, but the field is highly competitive, especially at the entry-level. Internships offer experience, exposure, and a tryout for a full-time gig.

What are the cons of a finance degree? ›

The median annual wage for business and financial occupations is $46,310 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Drawbacks of a career in finance can include high stress, long working hours, continuing education requirements, and, in some cases, limited job stability.

Is finance a happy career? ›

Most people have traditionally viewed finance careers as high-cost but high-reward. It's extremely difficult to break in, but once you're in, the compensation and exit opportunities make the initial effort worth it.

Are finance majors happy? ›

Overall, finance students rate their satisfaction with their degree a 3.1 out of 5.

What is the hardest job in finance? ›

The most (and least) stressful jobs in banking and finance
  • Most stressful job in finance : Investment Banker (M&A or capital markets professional) ...
  • Second most stressful job in finance : Trader. ...
  • Third most stressful job in finance : Risk management & Compliance.

Which finance job pays the most? ›

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance
  • Chief financial officer (CFO)
  • Investment banking.
  • Hedge fund manager.
  • Private equity associate.
  • Actuary.
Feb 6, 2024

Is finance harder than accounting? ›

While both finance and accounting can be difficult majors, accounting is considered more difficult because it requires more discipline and a lot of math. Accounting is more complex because it relies on precise sets of arithmetic principles.

Is finance hard if you're bad at math? ›

However, this is just a simple misperception that many students have in the finance study. It is true that knowing math is essential because finance actually is about studying the flow of money. However, that doesn't mean you need a high level of mathematics skills like Calculus.

What is the hardest subject to major in? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects?
  • Psychology. ...
  • Statistics. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Physics. ...
  • Astrophysics. ...
  • Biomedical Engineering. ...
  • Astronomy. ...
  • Dentistry. Dentistry, like medicine, is an important profession, and if you wish to study it at university you must be prepared to undertake high volumes of both theoretical and practical work.

Is finance major harder than accounting? ›

While both finance and accounting can be difficult majors, accounting is considered more difficult because it requires more discipline and a lot of math. Accounting is more complex because it relies on precise sets of arithmetic principles.

Is a finance degree harder than engineering? ›

Engineering is far more rigorous and much more science than art. Things have to work or they break. There are an incredible number of rules and complex math underpinning everything. Sure finance can be hard, but it can also be easy.

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