5 Courses Every Finance Student Should Take

In a capitalistic society, everyone is busy trying to keep up with the Joneses.  It is therefore rather surprising that high schools and universities don’t make finance classes a mandatory part of every student’s education.  As a finance student, in particular, you’ll need to think carefully about the courses you take and the value they will add to your overall education and your future profession.  Along those lines, here are just a few courses that every finance student should work into their schedule.

  1. Math

Finance is a numbers game, so it’s only natural that a finance degree would include a variety of math courses.  Students interested in a career in finance should anticipate the completion of at least calculus level mathematics before earning a degree in their chosen field.

  1. Accounting

This is a no-brainer.  Accountants are responsible for managing money for their clients, often including a wide variety of accounts and investments.  This requires them to understand everything from budgets and P&L statements, to bookkeeping and taxation, to recording and reporting practices, and more.  Any accounting curriculum should therefor include not only accounting classes, but also economics courses that help students to understand personal, business, national, and global economies and how they inform one another.

Courses Every Finance Student Should Take

  1. Statistics

Often cited as the “easy” math class, statistics could be overlooked by finance majors if it isn’t included as a mandatory course in the curriculum.  However, finance students (and any students interested in business, for that matter) should take statistics in order to learn how to effectively interpret and analyze data, as well as use it to create change.

  1. Ethics

Who hasn’t heard the story about the accountant who absconded with an outrageous sum in client assets, leaving unsuspecting clientele broke?  Um, Bernie Madoff, anyone?  Okay, technically he was a stockbroker and investment advisor, not an accountant.  Either way, people trusted him with their money and he used his position of authority to abuse that trust.  He behaved unethically and it landed him in jail (rightly so).

There is a misplaced notion that people grow up inherently understanding the difference between right and wrong.  This simply isn’t true.  People must be trained to behave appropriately in civil society.  Ethics reinforces this lesson.  Although many students have learned right from wrong by the time they reach college, it’s important to ensure that all finance students understand the grave responsibility they take on as a money handler/manager, as well as the implications (and possible penalties) of a failure to conduct oneself in an ethical manner.

  1. Communications

While there’s no disputing that students seeking USC’s Masters in Communication online degree will benefit from communications courses, finances students might not initially see why they should deviate from their numerical coursework in order to focus on language.  However, the truth is that every student, regardless of major, needs to understand the value of productive communications in the workplace.  The ability to clearly, concisely, and appropriately communicate with superiors, coworkers, clients, and vendors is indispensable and it can add immeasurably to both short-term and long-term successes in any industry.

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