As a prospective graduate student, you need to be aware of what concentrations are available in your online master’s in finance program. While not all graduate finance programs offer students the chance to specialize, many do – and choosing the right specialization can bring you closer to achieving your career goals. There are a number of different academic tracks that students in online master’s in finance degree programs can pursue to develop their skills in an area of finance like planning or analysis.

Top Specialization Options in Graduate Finance Degree Programs

What concentrations are available in an online master’s in finance program depends on the school and program you choose. At some of the best and most affordable online finance programs in the nation, students earning their graduate degrees can choose from a variety of specializations.

Financial planning, learning how to help individuals assess their finances and devise strategies to reach financial goals, is a popular concentration option. So is financial analysis, the evaluation of financial situations. Many students choose to study investments, often on an international scale or in relation to securities. Other popular concentrations include economics, corporate finance and risk management for the financial and insurance industries. By learning what concentrations are available in an online master’s in finance program and figuring out what specialization option most closely fits your career goals, you can make the most of your education.

Why Your Concentration Matters

A master’s in finance degree is already a specialized education. Unlike an MBA program that offers advanced studies in general business, you’re focusing on finance in particular. Many employers today are looking for candidates with truly targeted knowledge, according to U.S. News & World Report. The more in-depth knowledge you have in a particular are of finance, the better. If you apply for a job as a financial analyst, financial planner or risk analyst, for example, having an academic concentration in the subject will help you stand out from the competition.

The concentrations available in your online master’s in finance program give you a unique option to customize your graduate education and make it relevant to your interests and career objectives. Students still take required core courses that teach them the intermediate and advanced finance material they need to know as graduate students. However, in degree programs that offer the opportunity to specialize, the curriculum includes enough elective courses for students to meaningfully combine classes in ways that help them cultivate in-depth knowledge in an area of finance.

What you choose to specialize in matters. The skills and knowledge you gain as a graduate student will help determine not just your next professional steps, but the course of your entire career. Because your choice of specialization is so important, students should consider what concentrations are available in an online master’s in finance program early on during their college selection process.