An MBA can open up a world of possibilities and careers in finance. After gaining an MBA, more avenues for advancement become available and your attractiveness as a candidate grows.

This article details how an MBA can lead to better positions, more diverse roles and higher salaries – in finance and beyond.

Careers in finance

With a combination of professional experience and a postgraduate qualification, you are well-positioned to explore a range of careers in finance. Here are just some of the opportunities – and their earning potential – available with an MBA.

  • Financial analyst

An analyst typically works for an organisation, analysing current and past financial performance, monitoring finances and predicting future costs. According to SEEK, the annual salary for this role is $105,000.

  • Financial advisor

An advisor’s role is to provide tailored financial guidance and advice to clients. Clients can include individuals and organisations. The average annual earnings for a financial advisor is $115,000.

  • Financial controller

A financial controller oversees the finance department of an organisation, often holding a leadership or management position. The estimated salary for this role is around $150,000 a year.

  • Investment manager

These professionals have clients, including individual and institutional investors, and manage financial planning and investing. According to SEEK, the typical salary for an investment manager is $160,000.

As part of the C-suite, a CFO oversees an organisation’s bigger-picture financial management. With an average salary of $225,000 in Australia, the earning potential is significant in this role.

  • Finance manager

This role typically supports the CFO, providing financial guidance, identifying risks, and exploring opportunities. A finance manager in Australia may earn around $135,000 a year.

With the relevant experience and a business-focused postgraduate qualification, the career options extend well beyond this list.

Master’s in finance vs MBA: what’s the difference?

For those working in finance, it makes sense to compare a master’s in finance with an MBA. Although both are postgraduate qualifications that expose graduates to numerous opportunities and outcomes, there are differences.

A Master of Finance is a postgraduate degree focusing solely on financial units. Topics typically include investment management, international finance and financial markets. Upon completion, graduates will have a deeper understanding of finance and be able to explore senior roles in the industry.

An MBA is a more general postgraduate qualification focusing on business management. Within the program, students cover all aspects of business, including strategy, leadership and innovation. Many online MBAs also include finance units. There are many finance roles in consulting industries, government and not-for-profit organisations. Completion of an MBA opens up even more opportunities in these sectors and beyond.

The unique benefits of an MBA

Still trying to decide which qualification is right for you? These benefits show the edge that a general MBA can give you, especially when pursuing a career in finance.

  • A comprehensive set of skills.

MBA graduates develop broad business skills they can use along their career path. Skills include future-focused management, change management, communication and strategy.

  • Attractiveness as a professional candidate.

Employers today are looking for staff who can be flexible and agile with their abilities. A finance professional with a general understanding of business is likely to be a favoured candidate in the current business landscape.

  • A combination of business and finance-focused units.

You can emerge with the best of both worlds when you study for an MBA with finance units. James Cook University and Southern Cross University offer finance units in their MBAs, allowing you to deepen your understanding of both business and finance.

How an MBA can help your finance career

An MBA is a valuable qualification in many industries. For those seeking a career in finance, it can be particularly helpful.

Ulrika Lobo, founder of private debt lending business Sparrow Loans, says an MBA was invaluable in the process of starting her business. With a diverse professional history, including roles in engineering, marketing and sales, Lobo landed in financial services and eventually made plans to open her own business.

“Starting a business requires the management knowledge and skills I learned in my MBA. In addition to these, it helped me gain credibility for capital raising and onboarding investors.”

According to Lobo, the postgraduate qualification also delivered many other benefits.

Access to bigger opportunities

“I knew that to get more opportunities in management positions, higher paid roles, and the confidence to manage a business myself, an MBA was the ticket,” Lobo says. “It was the best way to have all the opportunities laid out before me.”

An MBA can be the ideal study path regardless of the roles you’re aiming for, she says. “Anyone looking for strategic, leadership, or business management roles — including C-suite experience — will find an MBA useful.”

Transferable skills that work in finance, and more

The transferable skills an MBA provides graduates can be used in finance and other professional roles in Australia and globally. Lobo advises future students to choose units that align with their goals in finance and to study others like leadership and communication that can be applied anywhere.

Networking with like-minded professionals

Studying alongside other professionals can expand your network even further. Even in an online setting, an MBA creates a connection with others and helps forge relationships you will have throughout your career.

Flexibility to work and study

Importantly, studying an online MBA gives students flexibility that’s not always possible with in-person learning. “You choose the structure of the course, so you make it work for you,” Lobo says. “At the end of the day, you want to get the most out of the experience, but also you want to excel academically, and online learning helps.”

Explore your potential in finance – and beyond

Ready to reach new heights in finance? MBA programs online can be just the thing to propel you onwards and upwards. Speak to our Student Enrolment Advisors about study options with our partner universities and the outcomes of postgraduate study.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments