Types of Degrees Public Finance Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many public finance graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Public Finance Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, public finance majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Public Finance Majors
Public Finance majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Skills for Public Finance Majors
A major in public finance prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Public Finance Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a public finance student include the following:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a Public Finance Major?
People with a public finance degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Treasurers and Controllers||18.7%||$127,990|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Finance?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of public finance majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||0|
|Hispanic or Latino||0|
Students from other countries are interested in Public Finance, too. About 16.7% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Public Finance Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Public Finance majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $79,830 to $103,330 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Public Finance
Some careers associated with public finance require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to public finance have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||2.9%|
|Some College Courses||0.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||3.5%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||5.3%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||0.9%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.2%|
Online Public Finance Programs
In 2019-2020, 4 schools offered a public finance program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Public Finance Worth It?
The median salary for a public finance grad is $100,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 153% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,221,800 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Public Finance
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to public finance.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Financial Planning & Services||3,544|
|Banking and Financial Support Services||1,135|
|Other Finance and Financial Management Services||406|
|Investments and Securities||299|
|Financial Risk Management||1|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Dave Dugdale under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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