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Northwest Missouri State University


Finance

Finance is both the art and the science of money management. Financial management encompasses a variety of concepts, which have proven vital to corporate success. The importance of finance to our entire economy cannot be understated. The acquisition, management and effective utilization of money is vital to the success of any individual, company or public entity. Scott Woodrome, a graduate from Omaha, Nebraska, says, "I chose Finance as a major because the field is very broad, yet I can become an expert in so many areas. Finance is what makes everything in the business world come together." We couldn't agree more.

Related Finance Resources
This website introduces you to: Financial Organizations, Notable Financiers and Finance Topics.

For more detailed information concerning the degrees offered by Northwest Missouri State University, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog online.

Financial Services

Financial services is the area of finance concerned with the design and delivery of advice and financial products to individuals, business, and government. To be successful in financial services, the graduate must understand the key aspects of financial products and services and also be able to sell them. Financial services include banking and related institutions, personal financial planning, investments, real estate and insurance. Career opportunities include areas such as: Financial Management, Financial Analysis, Banking, Investment and Portfolio Counseling, Investment and Portfolio Management, Insurance, Underwriting, Auditing, Bank Examining, and Public Finance.

Corporate Finance

A career in corporate finance can lead an individual up the corporate ladder. Studies of chief executive officers (CEOs) of the nation's largest businesses show that the finance/accounting route is still a very common career path to the executive suite. The majority have risen to the top after an average of 15 years in various financial management positions in the firm.

The field of finance is closely related to accounting. The firm's accounting (controller) and finance (treasurer) activities are typically within the control of the financial vice president. These functions are closely related and generally overlap; indeed, managerial accounting and finance are not often easily distinguishable. In small firms, the controller often carries out the finance function, and in large firms, many accountants are intimately involved in various finance activities.

Financial Computing

The financial computing option will bring together course work in both finance and computer science. This area of finance lends itself to the use of many financial decision-making models which are constructed and manipulated with computer technology. This option will lead to employment where there is a need to process data for financial decision making.

Financial Management

The financial management option will permit students to prepare for a position in management rather than a staff position in finance under the corporate treasurer. This option blends the knowledge of finance and management so the student will be prepared to make management decisions that require an understanding of finance. Almost all decisions in business require a balance of interests from all functional business areas and the decision-making process utilizing the tools of fiance to guide the corporation to the achievement of its goal.

The field of finance is also closely related to economics. Since every business firm and government agency operates within the economy, the financial manager must understand the economic framework and must be alert to the consequences of varying levels of economic activity and changes in economic policy. The financial manager must also be able to use economic theories as guidelines for efficient business and government operation. A basic knowledge of economics is therefore necessary to understand both the environment and the decision techniques of corporate and public finance. Thus, a double major in finance/economics or a minor in economics is a reasonable choice.

Why Study Finance

A study by Northwest's Dr. Mike Wilson and Dr. Ben Collier revealed two major findings concerning finance. These results are based on a survey of the chief executive officers and chief financial officers of the Fortune 1000 corporations in the United States. The two major findings are:

  1. The overwhelming majority of the executives (83.7 percent) said the way to prepare for their position was through a graduate business degree and a majority said they would major in finance.
  2. When assessing the usefulness of the academic subject areas, they ranked finance number one, stating it was the most useful to them in their career from their first job as a new graduate to their current positions as leaders in the largest 1000 corporations in America.

Career Opportunities

Here are just some of the positions in which Finance majors can find employment:

  • Capital Budgeting Manager
  • Cash Manager
  • Credit Manager
  • Working Capital Manager
  • Property Manager (corporate)
  • Pension Fund Manager
  • Bank Loan Officer
  • Bank Trust Officer
  • Financial Planner
  • Securities Analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Investment Banker
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Insurance Underwriter

Students who graduate from Northwest with a finance major have the versatility to fulfill many positions in the business world. Here is a sample of jobs Northwest graduates hold:

Business Analyst
Dun & Bradstreet
St. Louis, Missouri
Senior Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank
San Francisco, California
Vice President - Investments
A.G. Edwards & Songs
Kansas City, Missouri
Vice President, Tax Manager
Nations Bank Leasing Corp.
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Economic Analysis & Corp. Forecasting
Trans World Airlines
Kansas City, Missouri
Financial Analyst
Mid-Finance Co.
Overland Park, Kansas
Underwriter
CNA Insurance Co.
Overland Park, Kansas
Senior Compensation Analyst
American Century Investors, Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri
Assistant Financial Planner
Missouri Highway and Transportation Department
Jefferson City, Missouri
Investment Representative
Edward Jones & Co.
Burnsville, Minnesota
Commercial Real Estate & Mortgage Broker
Fishman & Co.
Gladstone, Missouri
Account Executive
Chatfield Dean & Co. Investment Bankers
Chicago, Illinois
Credit Manager
Norwest Financial Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri
Institutional Fixed Income Sales
Dougherty, Dawkins, Strand & Bigelow, Inc.
Farmington, Minnesota
Associate Treasurer
Principal Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Dew Moines, Iowa