Considering a career in finance? The Western Carolina University Finance Program prepares students for success as retail bank managers, loan officers, creditors and other financial service occupations. Expert faculty members teach and develop the program’s dynamic curriculum with an emphasis on excellence with a personal touch. Thanks to the carefully designed curriculum, students can choose from residential concentrations in Banking Finance or Corporate Finance. The online Finance program's concentration is Personal Financial Planning and is the only Financial Planning Board® certified bachelor’s degree program in North Carolina.
The program’s curriculum focuses on the development of critical thinking and decision-making abilities to prepare students for the challenges they will face in a wide variety of careers. The major requirements feature courses from the disciplines of accounting, finance and economics. Courses include Introduction to Income Taxation, Financial Statement Analysis, and Monetary and International Economics. In addition to the major requirements, the curriculum includes the university’s liberal studies requirement, the business core required of all business students, and general electives. All students complete a required internship in which they gain hands-on experience in the field of finance. Students often find internship opportunities with area banks and other financial institutions at WCU’s annual Financial Services Career Fair.
The public, private and government sectors have long been an employer for finance graduates. Many graduates find work in banks, credit unions, stock brokerage firms, insurance companies, financial planning firms, government agencies, and educational institutions, while others are self-employed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal financial advisor occupations are expected to grow at the rate of 27 percent between 2012 and 2022—much faster than average. An aging population and an increase in life expectancy are thought to be tied to the increase in demand for financial planning services.