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Introduction to Finance

A career in finance can be very rewarding and lucrative. That’s what attracts many MBA graduates to finance jobs ranging from the highly specialized investment banking jobs to general finance management careers. Let’s spend some time to understand the basic finance concepts.

What is Finance?

Finance in simple terms is all about acquiring and managing money. Of course, it sounds more impressive when you use the appropriate jargon. And we’ll get to that part soon.

For now, it would be sufficient to understand that people and businesses need money. Part of the complexity is involved in raising the funds and the rest revolves around knowing what to do with it.

Consider your own story. You’ve probably identified the big expenses (studies, marriage, healthcare, house, vacations) that you’d expect over the next several years. In order to sustain or improve your standard of living, you’d need to find a job (or start a business) that pays enough. Over a period of time, you’ll save enough to tackle each of the big milestones you’ve planned for yourself. If the need to spend is urgent, you might borrow the difference from someone who trusts you, and in turn you repay the borrowed amount (along with some interest) over time.

It’s pretty much the same for businesses as well, except that the scale and complexity goes up several notches.

Finance is considered to be a subset of Economics. After you’ve got a hang of the basics, do check out our section on Economics as well.

List of Finance Topics

You don’t need an MBA in Finance to get a grip on the fundamental finance related topics. In this section, we cover several MBA Finance concepts starting from the basic to the advanced.

Basic Topics

Balance Sheet
Profit and Loss
Cash Flow
Discounted Cash Flow
Ratio Analysis

Advanced Topics

Project Finance
Finance Management
Corporate Finance

MBA in Finance

Almost all the good schools would help you get your fundamentals in place. Some schools that are known to be strong in this field are as follows:

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) Philadelphia, PA
University of Chicago (Booth) Chicago, IL
New York University (Stern) New York, NY
Columbia University New York, NY
Stanford University Stanford, CA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Cambridge, MA
Harvard University Boston, MA
Northwestern University (Kellogg) Evanston, IL
University of California–Berkeley (Haas) Berkeley, CA
University of California–Los Angeles (Anderson) Los Angeles, CA

Finance Jobs

Depending on your qualifications (MBA, Chartered Accountant, Bachelors/Masters in Commerce), skills and exposure, you could explore jobs in the following fields:

Accounting, corporate finance, investment banking, treasury, financial advisory, financial management, risk analysis, trading, auditing, investment management, financial analysis, retail banking, tax management

Important Finance Topics

Balance Sheets
Profit and Loss
Cash Flow
Ratio Analysis
Discounted Cash Flow

Back to the top: MBA Syllabus

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