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How Can Studying Finance Drive Company Strategy and Performance?

The world of finance is something that often feels foreign to some individuals. However, having a better understanding of finance can be very beneficial when it comes to securing a position post graduation, or advancing your career in business. The world of finance is rapidly changing and developing, so for those interested in this field, it’s important to work with a great institution that can prepare you for what comes next after graduation. Here’s how studying finance can drive company strategy and performance, and how you can be a part of it.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Education
How Can Studying Finance Drive Company Strategy and Performance?

What you can learn

There’s much to be learned from an education in finance. For example, people who study finance will be better prepared to make decisions about financial statements, and perform analysis for their companies. This will help you advise your company on how to make the best financial decisions. You can also gain a better understanding of how to effectively manage your team, and determine which projects are financially lucrative for your company, as well as those that aren’t.

Perhaps most critical of all in this day and age, you can learn how to budget. Understanding the expenses that go into managing and operating a business or company is imperative for helping the organization stay afloat, and grow. Finally, graduates who have studied finance can also gain a deeper understanding of the company’s overall financial performance. Monitoring financial KPIs (key performance indicators), such as return on equity, gross profit margin, and working capital, can give students a deep understanding of a company’s financial health and your team’s contributions to its strategic objectives.

Learning outcomes

So what can you expect to learn after studying finance? It turns out, there is actually lots to be gained from delving more deeply into finance. Finance has been proven to help businesses save up to 30% more overall across all industries, and there are other ways it can prove useful as well. Now, there is a focus on finding and creating value-adding activities for businesses. Chief Financial Officers have a lot on their plates, and therefore are always looking for opportunities to improve their company’s financial performance. Over the past year, CFOs reported spending their time on strategic leadership, organizational transformation, performance management, reviewing data and analytics of their company, technology trends, as well as the financial capabilities of the company. Therefore, students who are entering the field of finance will want to be well versed in these areas, in order to make themselves viable and competitive candidates.

Is it worth it?

Students looking to choose a major might find themselves wondering if studying finance is worth it. You might be surprised. As such a large part of the global economy, there is a high demand for jobs in finance and a lot of competition. The skills you can develop in a finance degree will prepare you for working in the real world. You’ll learn in-demand skills in areas including data analytics, risk management, capital allocation, and investment strategy, as well as highly desirable soft skills such as collaboration, verbal and written communication, and adaptability.

Students who study finance can find themselves employed in a wide array of jobs and careers, and will be set up for advancing their career through further education or certifications. You can pursue specific certifications to help focus on company strategy and performance specifically. Not only is there expected stability in finance, but, as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports, the average starting salary for finance majors was $58,464 as of 2019, while management, director and executive positions easily surpass six figures.

EDHEC Online

For those interested in pursuing a career in finance, or advancing their careers, EDHEC Online is an excellent way of reaching your goals. Students on its Online Master of Science in Corporate Finance can be assured they’re receiving an education that will put them on the path to driving their company’s strategy and performance goals. EDHEC Business School is ranked 5th by The Financial Times for its Master’s degree in Finance and globally recognized as one of the top 10 schools in Europe.

Perhaps most importantly, EDHEC understands that students in their Master programs are leading busy lives, perhaps working, raising families, or both. As a result, the program is entirely taught online, with complete flexibility to help you tailor your studies to your individual needs. Understanding the shift towards financial performance and decision making, this degree “strengthens your fundamental skills in corporate finance and business management, and delves deeper into the financial techniques and knowledge needed to drive a company’s financial and sustainable growth.”

EDHEC Online students can expect to learn real-world skills that will help them either contribute to their current company, or advance to the next level. They will learn how to identify key values in a company, “analyse a company’s competitive position, strategy and financial performance”, utilize financial analysis tools, and make strategic decisions by using “financial data and valuation techniques.”

Students participate in three electives, and 11 modules specific to business management. There is one live class per week, where students have the opportunity to engage with other students and their professor. This is an excellent time to ask questions. Throughout the program, students will undergo a consulting project to put into practice their new skills and showcase their ability to take a global approach to business strategies and receive personalised career coaching. It is recommended students spend at least 10-15 hours per week studying.

EDHEC is hosting a webinar so students can learn more about its Online Master of Science in Corporate Finance. Click here to register.

What the students say

Genevieve Reine, who studied Corporate Finance online with EDHEC, says, “This great journey really helped me to understand so many things about Corporate Finance ! I sincerely enjoyed every step of the way, from the tutorials, the business cases, the weekly online meetings and the discussion on Slack with the other students, a real support.”

Meanwhile, Chloé Simon praises the collaborative nature of the online learning. “I had made the choice to turn to online training,” she says.“ I didn’t want it to be training where I would work alone and isolated. I compared the offers a little. EDHEC’s training courses seemed to have the most sense of belonging to the School, despite the online system, so I went for it and applied.”

“I also really appreciated the opportunity to join a continuing education program dedicated to professionals. I am happy to have been able to integrate it thanks to my background, despite my young age. I think this type of programme brings me much more than a traditional initial training programme because there is more emphasis on putting the classes into practice in the professional environment. Having coaching sessions was very important to me. It is all this reflection that EDHEC allows me to have on my career and on the future that is useful to me.”

“I chose the Online Master of Science in Data Management and Business Analytics because of the broader global perspective brought by EDHEC,” adds Erdem Cinar, who has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years. “It’s quite exciting and I’m enjoying it a lot so far! The professors, the content of the program, the insights from my classmates, all contributed to my decision. I chose the online format because it makes it easier to balance my professional and personal lives. Being an online student gives you an added flexibility and better time management. This is key for me. It also helps me decide on my own pace, which is very important.”

What’s more, in addition to the robust professional network, there is excellent mentoring and support from EDHEC faculty and staff. For its online programmes, EDHEC has developed a pedagogical approach, tailored to the needs of each participant. Its support and coaching system is based on students gaining new skills, their career development, and their personal growth.

The finance sector is growing and changing every day. More and more, upper level management are looking for innovative solutions to everyday financial problems. As a result, students who want to advance their careers should be prepared to help make critical financial decisions that may advance their entire company. EDHEC Online students can rest assured that they will be given the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to move their career and companies forward.

Article written in association with EDHEC Online.

Chelsea Castonguay

Author

Chelsea is a Student Affairs expatriate, who now works as a freelance writer and editor. She homesteads in a small town in rural Maine, USA. She enjoys hiking, fishing, cooking, reading, all things Laura Ingalls Wilder, spending time with her family, and chasing her black lab puppy, Cash.