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How Do I Become a Financial Manager?

Jessica F. Black
Jessica F. Black

In order to become a financial manager, you will need to research various positions in the field because your career choice will determine the education and experience needed. Education is usually important in this profession due to the complex financial nature of the field, and you will need to enter a specific undergraduate program. In addition to education, you will need to gain experience in a related area to familiarize yourself with the industry. Larger corporations may have additional requirements, such as an advanced degree and several years of on-the-job experience.

The first step to become a financial manager is to find a four year undergraduate university that has a well-developed business department that focuses on your career choice. You will need to complete general mathematics and science courses and may want to consider enrolling in electives that will increase the abilities needed to become a financial manager. Some electives that could help your future career are communication courses and various computer based classes. Advanced coursework may include financial management, economics, principles of accounting, investments, corporate restructuring, and security valuation. A bachelor's of science (B.S.) degree will significantly increase your career options.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

While in college, you should seek volunteer work, part-time employment, or internships with financial firms in order to gain entry-level experience. Many internship programs have requirements, which may include excellent communication skills, an impeccable academic history, and a functional knowledge of several primary computer programs used in the finance industry. Internships will help you become a financial manager because these programs are designed to train you in all areas of the field. During the program you will learn a variety of skills needed to become a financial manager, and these skills may include constructing and maintaining budget allocation spreadsheets, tracking improvement initiatives, and aiding professionals in drafting policies.

Once you have graduated from an accredited four year program, you may want to consider beginning graduate school before seeking employment. This step will depend on the type of company that you hope to work for and the various requirements that need to be fulfilled. There are some companies that will hire you based on a bachelor's degree and training, but there are relatively less opportunities for career advancement in these positions. Some students choose to apply to various firms while working on a higher degree and most companies will offer advancement opportunities after the successful completion of a master's degree program. Lower level positions have similar opportunities but generally take more time than obtaining an advanced degree.

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