SFC Launches Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance
Financial operations positions are among the 10 largest occupations in the State of New York, with entry-level pay in the mid-five figures and tremendous upward potential. St. Francis College (SFC) is now offering a B.S. in Finance so that students can take advantage of the many opportunities for skilled graduates.
“We have known for years that our students are ready for a degree in finance. We knew there was a need to be met,” said Dr. Julio Huato, associate professor of economics. In recent years, some of the economics majors have created student clubs in finance. Recently, two students created an investment club.
After getting the greenlight from SFC President Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz and Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Dr. Jennifer Lancaster, a faculty team comprising professors from the economics and finance disciplines developed the bachelor’s degree program. “Our strategic plan has always been to develop new programs that are cutting-edge, workforce-development programs,” said Lancaster.
Students pursuing the Finance major will gain understanding of the practical applications of skills and knowledge acquired in courses and internships. The required courses offer a solid foundation in accounting, business and data analytics, which will support and enhance the Finance courses. Among the required courses is a capstone project that will benefit from partnerships the SFC Center for Career Exploration has, which will facilitate internships for students.
“On top of the finance courses that the College already offers under various titles — personal finance, corporate and business finance, investment analysis, portfolio selection, risk management and real estate — we plan to develop a course on financial institutions that we think is important and, also, courses in Fintech (financial technology), the revolution in finance sparked by digital technology, and socially responsible finance,” noted Huato. “We want our finance program to have a broader profile.”
St. Francis College has had proven success in providing students exposure to the financial industry through the Financial Scholars Market Development program. This has given students a way to gain understanding of the positions that exist.
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a global leader in alternative investing, is establishing and funding the College’s new Transformative Technology Lab, which will offer important skills training in software and technology applications that will prepare SFC students to successfully enter careers in Fintech and financial services.
In terms of internships, Huato said, “Our students are going to be ready for internships in any type of business or organization with financial functions. That means basically all organizations, public and private. In particular, that can be banks, commercial lending, investment banks, insurance companies and real-estate firms. The College has a directory of alumni in the financial field.”
Graduates with the B.S. in Finance will be prepared for diverse careers in the financial industry, including those at commercial banks, investment banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, regulatory agencies, corporate finance divisions and emerging areas of finance.
“We believe our graduates are going to have the financial fundamentals, the theoretical and empirical knowledge, the exposure and the skills that will make them appreciated in the professional labor market,” Huato acknowledged.