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Jeff Norris, the Senior Vice President of Global Finance at Capital One, tells finance majors how to prepare for a financial career.


Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Career Center



Finance is the foundation of financial decision making. It focuses on problems associated with asset valuation and investment decisions, both personal and corporate. The College of Business Economics and Finance Department has designed their curriculum to provide students with a strong understanding of how financial decisions are made and used within all businesses. All coursework is applicable not only to students wishing to understand the financial management of business, but also to students who might consider a career in government, or the non-profit sector, or those who wish to someday become entrepreneurs.


Degree Requirements

In order to provide our students with a well-rounded education in finance, we institute the following requirements:

  1. 39 completed credit hours for the University Studies Program
  2. 33 completed credit hours for the Common Body of Knowledge
  3. 27 completed credit hours for a major in Finance
  4. 21 completed credit hours of Free Electives

*For a more detailed Degree Requirements Form, click here.


Academic Engagement

As an AACSB accredited school, the College of Business houses a wide variety of professional fraternities and student clubs. The Wyoming Delta Chapter of the professional fraternity Beta Alpha Psi, located in BU 163, recognizes academic excellence for accounting, finance, and information systems majors. By providing interaction between students, faculty, and professionals, Beta Alpha Psi compliments their members' educational experience and instills a sense of lifelong growth, service, and ethical conduct. Beta Alpha Psi also hosts critical networking opportunities, like Meet The Firms (Monday September 28, 2015) to help students transition from college to career.

The College of Business also houses the Financial Management Association (FMA), located in BU 164. FMA's members include finance practitioners, academicians, and finance majors who are interested in the techniques and advances of the field. Their mission is "to broaden the common interests between academicians and practitioners, provide opportunities for professional interaction between and among academicians, practitioners, and students, promote the development and understanding of basic and applied research and of sound financial practices, and to enhance the quality of education in finance" (FMA International 2015).


Professional Opportunities

Finance is the foundation of financial decision making and it focuses on personal and corporate problems associated with asset valuation and investment decisions. As a result, any financial career utilizes the developed analytical skills (both qualitative and quantitative), an extreme eye for detail, and enhanced problem solving skills. For most vocations, a bachelor's degree can be satisfactory; however, for many positions employers like to hire candidates that have continued their education and received a master's degree or PhD.

Here are some career highlights:

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Most financial analysts must have a bachelor's degree; however, it is not uncommon for a candidate to possess a master's degree to obtain advanced positions.

The current job outlook for financial analysts is expected to grow 16 percent from 2012-2022 because a growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions is projected to lead a strong employment growth (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors give financial advice to people to help them with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions. Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree accompanied by a certification can greatly improve the changes of a candidate receiving an advanced position.

The current job outlook for personal financial advisors is projected to grow 27 percent from 2012-2022. This projection is much faster than the average because as our populations age and life expectancies continue increasing, the demand for personal financial services should increase (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending. Most budget analysts need to have a bachelor's degree. Nevertheless, some employers prefer to hire candidates that have a master's degree.

The current job outlook for budget analysts is expected to grow 6 percent from 2012-2022. Much like other occupations, the complexity of budget analytics will require more analysts, but the limited governmental spending will slow down the occupational growth rate (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Other Options

For further career exploration visit, What Can I Do With This Major? This excellent resource helps students find employment related to their area of study.

You can also explore the Bureau of Labor Statistics' publication, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, for other career options, statistics, and information concerning specific career paths.


Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, who also authored the Occupational Outlook Handbook, has projected that there will be a 12.5 percent growth rate for business and financial operations between 2012-2022. It is recommended that students' receive additional training, e.g. a master's or PhD, to receive more advanced positions.



Starting salaries will vary depending on the size and type of employer, location, coursework, and experience.

  • UW undergraduate 2014 average starting salary: $54,999.25
  • National undergraduate 2014 average starting salary: 54,086.00 (NACE Salary Survey/ January 2014)

Jeff Norris, the Senior Vice President of Global Finance at Capital One, tells finance majors how to prepare for a financial career.

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