Financial analysis

MS in Finance: Career Advice

MS in Finance: Career advice

MS in Finance: Career Advice

An MS in Finance from the US will definitely help you attain the right skills for a career in finance. 


But landing your dream job can still be tough, given the competition. 

That’s why,  we have this blog to guide you in your MS in Finance career journey. 


So dive in and learn how you can navigate the Finance job market to reach the desired career success.

MS in Finance: Career Advice

Understanding the financial job market in the US

The financial job market in the US has been growing steadily. Here’s a quick overview of the job market that you are planning to enter:



Building a strong resume for finance roles

“A good resume is the first step to a successful job search.” – Unknown

To accelerate your search for a finance job, here are 5 tips for building the perfect resume:

  1. Include specific details about your experience with financial analysis, modeling, and valuation.
  2. Use numbers and data to demonstrate the impact of your work.
  3. Highlight relevant technical skills. For example, the knowledge of programming languages like Python or SQL. This is especially important if you are looking for a FinTech job.
  4. Many finance jobs use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. To make sure your resume makes it through the ATS, use finance-related keywords. Examples include financial modeling, risk management, and investment analysis. You can find more relevant keywords from the job description and include them in your resume.
  5. Show your familiarity with financial software such as Excel, Bloomberg, or QuickBooks.

Networking strategies to enhance job prospects

“Your next job will most likely come from someone you know, not from a job board.” – Unknown

Now, you already know that attending industry-specific events can be helpful. 

Here are 5 more networking strategies to enhance your finance job prospects:

  • Join professional associations.

Join the CFA Institute or the Financial Management Association. And attend their events and conferences.

  • Join alumni networks.

Colleges often have alumni portals, newsletters, and magazines. For example, the Robert H. Smith School of Business’s monthly newsletter, Smith Biz. Becoming a part of that network offers guidance, inspiration, and connections. 

  • Utilize social media, particularly LinkedIn.

Add a filter and connect with people who hold jobs that you wish to attain. Connect with them to stay updated, get inspired, and even get referrals from them. 

  • Participate in online forums or discussion boards related to finance.

Ask questions and engage with others in the industry to build a personal brand. 

  • Volunteer for finance-related organizations. 

This will provide opportunities to meet other professionals and gain valuable experience.

The importance of finance certifications

Employers value candidates with relevant financial certifications. This shows expertise in specific areas and a commitment to continued learning. Thus, providing a competitive edge in the job market. 

And you can pursue these certifications during and even after your MS in Finance. Also, some colleges and universities offer support in getting these certifications.

For example, the Miami Herbert Business School.

Importance of Finance Certifications


Importance of Finance Internships and How to Secure the right one

Engaging in finance internships provides a distinctive opportunity to:

  • Gain hands-on experience, 
  • Broaden industry knowledge, and 
  • Cultivate essential competencies

All this can contribute to your career success in the finance field.

Finding the right internship and job

Finding the right finance internships and job opportunities can be tough. Here are the various sources to try:

  1. Your university’s career center or job board. 
  2. Career fairs and networking events
  3. Alumni groups from your MS in Finance program
  4. Company websites or job search engines, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor.
  5. Recruitment agencies that specialize in finance or accounting internships. Such as Robert Half or Accounting Principals (now LHH Recruitment).

Pro Tip: Selecting the right college can boost your chances of landing an internship and job. For example, with an MS in Finance Brandeis International Business School, you get the internship and job assurance. The following numbers prove it.

Right internship and job


Thus, don’t let monetary constraints affect your choice of college for an MS in Finance. That’s because the choice of college can majorly affect your career in finance.

Preparing for interviews: Types of questions and how to answer them

By using the above sources, you are likely to land several finance job interviews. 

Here are some tips to ace those interviews and make the most of your effort.

To begin with, interview questions are divided into 4 types. And below you’ll find tips to answer each of these types of questions.

1. Behavioral Questions

    • Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses. 
    • Prepare a few stories that demonstrate your key skills. And emphasize values such as teamwork, leadership, etc. 
    • Example question: “Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?”

2. Technical Questions

    • Review the job description and company website to understand the technical skills required. 
    • Practice solving finance problems and explaining your thought process out loud.
    • Use simple language and avoid jargon when explaining concepts.
    • Example question: “Walk me through the three financial statements. Also, tell me how they are connected.”

3. Case Questions

    • Clarify the problem and ask questions to gather additional information.
    • Use a structured approach to analyze the problem and develop a solution.
    • Explain your assumptions and reasoning clearly.
    • Example question: “How would you value a company that is considering an IPO?”

4. Fit Questions

    • Research the company’s values, mission, and culture.
    • Be authentic and honest in your responses while highlighting your skills and experience.
    • Example question: “Why do you want to work in finance, and why do you want to work for our company specifically?”

Salary expectations and negotiating job offers

Navigating salary expectations and negotiating job offers are crucial aspects of the job search process for finance professionals. 

Below, we have mentioned the average starting salaries for the top finance jobs. 

Job Title

Job Responsibilities

Average Starting Salary (per annum)

Investment baking 

Advising companies on M&A, raising capital, etc.


Corporate Finance

Managing a company’s financial operations, such as budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis


Asset Management

Managing investment portfolios for clients, such as pension funds, endowments, and wealthy individuals. 


Risk Management

Identifying and mitigating potential risks to a company’s financial operations, such as credit risk, market risk, and operational risk. 


Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)

Analyzing financial data to support strategic decision-making within a company.


Based on these estimates you can set your own salary expectations. And then negotiate accordingly. Some tips to help you power through include:

  • Use the power of silence. Take a moment to think before responding to an initial offer. This can potentially help receive a higher salary.
  • Anchor the negotiation in your favor. State a higher number than your desired salary to influence the final outcome in your favor.
  • Highlight your value by using specific examples. Showcase how your skills and experience can benefit the company’s bottom line. Then tie those contributions to a higher salary.
  • Demonstrate confidence by maintaining a calm and assertive demeanor. 
  • Be willing to walk away if the salary isn’t right. This demonstrates your value and can help potentially receive a higher offer.

With that, you have all the Holy Grail hacks to kickstart a rewarding career in finance after MS in Finance from the USA. 

So don’t wait up, select the right college and get started today.


1. What are the top certifications for a successful career in finance?

Here are 5 top finance certifications that MS in Finance students can pursue during or after their course completion for a successful career in finance:

2.What are the key factors while searching for a finance internship?

Here’s what to look for in your finance internship:




Developing proficiency with industry software or tools

Bloomberg, FactSet, or Excel.

Gaining quantitative skills

Hands-on financial modeling and analysis exposure

Understanding real-world financial processes

Projects such as M&A or capital raising

Broadening your understanding of finance by gaining exposure to different areas

Investment banking, private equity, or hedge funds.

Learning about financial regulations and compliance requirements


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Plain English Answers to Top 10 FAQs About MS in Finance

Plain English Answers to Top 10 FAQs About MS in Finance

Plain English Answers to Top 10 FAQs About MS in Finance

Finance is a growing field today. So now is the right time to get an MS in Finance degree from the US.

Plain English Answers - About MS in Finance


Now, you obviously have questions about getting an MS in Finance. 

But luckily, we have all the answers. 

Check out our FAQs about MS in Finance. In plain English. So that you can quickly get the answers you are looking for. 

Let’s dive right in.

FAQs about MS in finance

1. Can I pursue an MS in Finance online from the US?

Certainly. Many universities offer online programs for MS in Finance. (Harvard and John Hopkins, to name a few.) 


An online degree in Finance offers the advantage of flexibility. With that, you can manage your coursework along with other obligations. Plus, online programs cost less than traditional on-campus programs. And you can also save money on overheads like travel and accommodation.

An analysis published by CNBC in 2016 shows that students can save up to $20,000 by getting a degree online instead of on campus.

MS in Finance online from the US


With prices being on an upward trend since then,  the savings now can be significantly higher.

But remember, you’d be missing out on some things. Face-to-face interaction with professors and fellow students, for example. Further, you’ll need more self-discipline. That’s because you won’t have the organized routine of an in-person classroom. 

Is the cost of getting an MS in Finance offline the only thing pulling you back? Consider getting proper funds for your foreign education dream.

2. What is the acceptance rate for MS in Finance programs in the US?

Most universities don’t publish their acceptance rates online. But according to various sources,  the rates are competitive. For example, Harvard has a mere 4% acceptance rate. So do Princeton and Standford.

Acceptance rate for MS in Finance programs

Screenshot from source

Now, acceptance rates for MS in Finance programs in the US vary by school. But being one of the most lucrative fields today, Finance programs, attract a large number of applicants. Thus,  the acceptance rates are likely to be competitive. 

While applying for MS in Finance,  thus,  you should make sure you do your background research well. 

You can improve your chances of getting accepted though. How? By selecting colleges/universities where you meet the admission criteria.

 3. What kind of research opportunities are available in an MS in Finance program in the US?

      • There are several research opportunities available for candidates pursuing MS in Finance. 
      • Some of them include
      • Opportunities to work with faculty on research projects, 
      • Participating in case competitions, and 
      • Complete a thesis or capstone project.

You can also search for opportunities in online databases. For example, you can explore the American Finance Association’s job board.

Research opportunities are available in an MS in Finance program


Or visit the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) website. These databases often include listings for research assistant positions or fellowships.

4. Can I pursue an MS in Finance without a background in finance or business?

Yes, you can pursue an MS in Finance without a background in finance or business. However, you may need to take additional courses to catch up on the basics.

Some programs offer foundational courses to help you prepare for the program. Check your program’s prerequisites carefully before applying.

5. Can I work part-time while pursuing an MS in Finance in the US? If yes, where?

As an Indian student pursuing MS in Finance in the US, you can work part-time during your course. However, the F-1 student visa has the following regulations:

    • You can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year
    • During the summer/winter break,  you can work full-time
    • Off-campus employment is also allowed, but only under certain conditions. You will need prior authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

You can also apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)


More details about OPT can be found here.

To find part-time jobs in the Finance field, you can take the help of

    • University career services
    • Online job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired
    • Finance associations and networking events.

6. How can I network with finance professionals while pursuing an MS in Finance in the US?

Networking is essential for a successful career in finance. And the best time to do that is while pursuing MS in Finance. It will help you find the right internships/jobs. And also further your understanding of the finance industry. 

For networking with finance professionals, you can:

Finance professionals while pursuing an MS in Finance


    • Participate in case competitions,
    • Reach out to alumni and professors in the Finance field.


7. What kind of extracurricular activities should I participate in while pursuing an MS in Finance?

Engaging in extracurricular activities while pursuing MS in Finance can help hone skills. And also help you showcase your potential in the finance field. This makes your job search simpler.

Say you wish to showcase your financial leadership skills. For that, you can lead fundraising efforts for a local charity. Or you can organize a financial literacy seminar for underprivileged high school students.

Joining/co-founding a finance or investment club on campus can also be helpful. 

Further, you should make sure your extracurricular adventures show longevity. For that, you can volunteer at a non-profit financial organization during your course.

8. How can I prepare for the rigorous coursework in an MS in Finance program in the US?

The coursework in an MS in Finance program in the US can be rigorous. 

To prepare, start by reviewing the program’s prerequisites. Then brush up on any areas where you may be lacking. Some tips include:

    • Strengthen your quantitative skills, including math and statistics. 
    • Brush up on your accounting and financial statement analysis skills.
    • Build your knowledge of financial instruments and markets. Study about stocks, bonds, options, and futures.
    • Stay updated on current events in the financial industry. Regularly read financial news.
    • You might also want to consider enrolling in pre-finance courses or online courses. This can give you a head start on the curriculum.

9. What is the classroom experience like in an MS in Finance program in the US?

MS in Finance programs are designed to prepare you for a fast-paced career. That’s important given how dynamic the world of finance is. Thus, MS in Finance programs aim to equip you with analytical and critical thinking. 

Thus, the classroom experience is designed to be challenging and intellectually stimulating.

Classes are typically taught by experienced faculty members.  Often these professors have practical experience in the field of finance. Lectures involve case studies, simulations, and group projects. Actively participating in class discussions, asking questions, and challenging assumptions are encouraged. Guest lectures from industry professionals are common. 

Also, MS in Finance programs often require independent study outside of class.

10. What kind of support is available for career placement for MS in Finance graduates in the US?

Career placement support for MS in Finance graduates in the US varies by school and program. Many schools have dedicated career centers too. These offer services/help in the form of resume reviews and interview coaching. Job search resources are also provided. 

Knowing what kind of career support your preferred college/university offers is thus, important.

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