What to expect from a career in Finance

The finance industry is unique in that it crosses into all other industries – financial management and services, accounting and other sectors of finance are needed by every person and business in some way. Finance programs at Ontario colleges will prepare you for a career as a financial professional, where your services will be continually in demand.

If you have an aptitude for numbers, have strong analytical skills and are interested in finance as a career, here’s what you need to know.

Finance Courses

Ontario college finance programs are available as two- and three-year diploma programs, as well as four-year degree programs. They fall into a variety of categories and focus areas, including:

  • Business Finance. Courses prepare students to counsel clients on financial decisions, such as investments, retirement planning, estate planning and more. Additional courses in risk management, selling mutual funds and taxation give students a thorough understanding of the factors that affect financial planning, so they can assess client situations.
  • Business Administration Finance. These programs have a focus on finance, business and administration to prepare students for a multitude of roles. Course subjects include personal financial planning, taxation, business planning, investments and credit planning.
  • Accounting and Finance. In accounting and finance programs, students learn managerial accounting, financial management, business law, taxation, auditing and other fundamental financial practices to prepare for accountant certification exams.

Finance programs are typically rounded out with courses in business, math, computer software applications and marketing to provide comprehensive business training.

General Finance Program Requirements

Requirements for finance programs at Ontario Colleges vary depending on the institution and program level. Diploma programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. A grade 11 or 12 math credit is also required.

For programs offered at the degree level, applicants must have an OSSD or equivalent, as well as six grade 12 U or M credits, including math and English.

Finance Jobs and Salaries

Graduates will find finance jobs at financial institutions, trust companies, banks, credit unions, investment houses and more, as well as in finance departments within companies. Graduates are qualified to provide financial services, such as advice, accounting and management, in a variety of roles, including (but not limited to):

  • Investment Sales Associate
  • Financial Planner or Analyst
  • Personal Loan Officer
  • Budget Coordinator
  • Taxation Audit Analyst

Depending on the program, graduates may be able to put some courses towards various financial and accounting certifications and exams to become Certified Financial Planners or Chartered Accountants, or to be authorized to sell mutual funds and life insurance.

The average starting salary for finance program graduates is between $30,000 and $35,000 per year. With experience, average salaries for financial managers, auditors and investment analysts are between $55,000 and $70,000, with the potential for six-figure salaries at the senior management level.

Ontario Colleges Offering Finance Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of finance programs at Ontario colleges.

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