Online Associates Degree in Finance

By Derick de Souza

Updated March 15, 2024

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Numbers and figures are some of the pillars upon which a business is built. Any company’s financial records tell a tale about how it is doing and how it might take advantage of financial opportunities. Finance professionals can assess trends, analyze facts and figures, research changing economic climates, and compare forecasts to actual performance, therefore making them necessary in business and industry. With finance at the heart of the program, an Online Associates Degree in Finance is often an excellent start to a career in finance or progression to higher education in finance. With an associates in finance, it becomes relatively easy for individuals to seek a variety of jobs in a wide range of settings, assessing and managing financial risk, conducting basic accounting practices, and developing financial plans and outlays, among other things. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for business and financial occupations was $72,250 in May 2020, higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. This page lists all of the intricacies of an associate degree in finance and provides vital information on what the degree entails, how to fund it, the best colleges, career options, types of finance degrees, and more.

Online Associates Degree in Finance

Best Online Associates Degree
in Finance Courses

With the associate degree being an entry-level degree, only a few good universities offer the best online finance associates degree. To qualify among the best, the colleges must have experienced and qualified teachers, have good infrastructure, be affordable, offer good student services, have high graduation rates, and help with placements. Based on all such factors and several other parameters, here are some of the best associates degree in finance online in the U.S.: *

Columbus State Community College is a public community college in Columbus, Ohio. Founded as Columbus Area Technician’s School in 1963, it was renamed Columbus Technical Institute in 1965 and was renamed again to its current name in 1987. The tuition and graduation rate are as below:
Univ Address
Columbus State Community College 550 E Spring St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to expect from the Online Associates
Degree in Finance?

An online associate in finance degree program generally consists of 60 to 65 semester hours and is offered full-time or part-time to students and working professionals. The associate finance degree curriculum will generally consist of major foundational and core courses, electives, and general education courses. Some examples of foundational, core courses and electives include but are not limited to:

  • Probability and Linear Mathematics
  • Introduction to Computer Modeling
  • Foundations of Business
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Management Theory and Practice
  • Cash Management
  • Business Communications
  • Principles of Banking
  • Principles of Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Managerial Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Personal Finance
  • Money, Banking, and Financial Markets
  • Business Law
  • Investments
  • Risk Management
  • International Finance

In addition to finance core courses, students will usually be required to take up courses in general education as well. Some examples include:

  • Mathematics
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • English Composition
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Science
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets
  • College Writing
  • Basic Learning Strategies
  • Algebra

Types of Online Associates
Degree in Finance

There are mainly three different degree types to an online associates degree in finance program. These are:

Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Finance

The Associate of Arts or A.A. degree is the most traditional of degrees. This degree type emphasizes liberal arts and humanities courses. Students of a finance A.A. program prepare themselves for transfer to a four-year school or program.

Associate of Sciences (AS) in Finance

The Associate of Sciences AS degree takes a more technical approach to the underlying subject matter. This degree type emphasizes math and the sciences. Students of a finance AS program prepare themselves for immediate entry into the job market transfer or transfer to four-year institutions.

Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Finance

The Associate of Applied Sciences or AAS degree is a highly specialized program that focuses solely on direct career training. The AAS finance degree does not include the general education prerequisites often required for transferability.

AAT or AST Degrees

The AAT or AST is similar to A.A. or AS programs. These degrees are usually offered at community colleges to meet the first two-year requirement for some bachelor’s completion programs and are designed as transfer degrees (T).

Other Degrees

It is not uncommon for an associate degree in finance to be called by another name. Among the many alternatives, some examples of other names for the same degree are:

  • Finance Associates Degree
  • Associate Degree in Accounting and Finance
  • Associates Business and Commerce Degree
  • Business Finance Associate Degree
  • Associate Of Applied Science in Business Administration
  • Associate Degree in Business Management
  • Finance Management Associate Program
  • Associate Degree in Business Finance

Areas of Specialization for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

Associate degrees in finance can be A.A., AS, AAS, but some colleges also offer them as associate degrees in business administration with a finance specialization or concentration, in with finance becomes a specialty and is emphasized the most. Specializations can lead to finance-related professions in banking, credit, mortgage, and financial services, among others. Examples of specialization areas within finance include:

  • Financial Management
  • Finance & Credit
  • Mortgage Finance
  • Finance & Banking
  • Financial Services

Why should I do an Online Associates
Degree in Finance?

An online associate degree in finance provides the foundational knowledge in finance, monetary principles, investments, and markets and prepares students to use a business-management approach to finance analysis, collate, interpret, and present critical financial data, plan, and budget financial outlays, and help make informed risk-and-reward decisions.

With an associates in finance, students can easily fast track to a job in financial consulting in entry-level positions in various financial services settings or place themselves on the path to a bachelor’s degree in finance as well, should they choose to continue their education.

Since every business requires financial services to some degree, the demand for associate finance graduates is rather good. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the number of jobs as, say Financial Analysts, is set to grow 6% between 2020 and 2030, as fast as the average for all occupations. However, it must be noted that this projection holds good for those who have at least a bachelor’s degree; but is nonetheless a good indicator of the potential for finance professionals.

Although further education, training, experience, certification, and licensure are required for better prospects and higher pay, an associate’s degree serves as an excellent foundation to start and move up the ladder.

Upon graduating with an associate’s degree in finance online, individuals would have acquired several skills. Among other things, they will be able to:

demonstrate the ability to perform financial statement analyses; 

examine an organization’s accounting data  to make effective business judgments;

use capital budgeting tools to compare capital investment, feasibility, and opportunities;

examine the impact of financial markets and institutions on the level of interest rates and interest rate differentials by identifying their functions;

use time vs. value-of-money approaches and methodology to evaluate securities;

assess the risk and return of various investments and their combination; 

find and use the best valuation models that apply to a company’s financial decisions;

create and manage investment portfolios for individuals and companies; and

determine the influence of market and industry variables on the company’s core functional areas.

How to get into the Online Associates Degree
in Finance program?

Unlike a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, the requirements for entry to an online associate degree in finance are not many or demanding. Students should check for program/college-specific requirements when applying, as these may vary. Apart from any such specific requirements, the main associates in finance admission requirements generally include:

  • Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED)
  • Above Average Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Test Scores of American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
  • Personal Statement
  • High School Self-Certification Form
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

How long does it take to complete the Online
Associates Degree in Finance?

Although many schools will allow their students to take as much time as they would like to complete their associate’s in finance online program, most programs have a typical duration of about 2 years. It is worth noting that full-time or part-time participation, specialization, type of program delivery – offline, online, or hybrid, and coursework load can extend or shorten the time it takes to complete a standard associate’s 2-year degree in finance.

Accreditation for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

Accreditation is a basic need that every good school should meet. Accrediting bodies assess accredited schools and programs for their administration, policies, teachers, quality, infrastructure, and curriculum requirements, to guarantee that they meet the needs of students and employers. For both legitimacy and transferability, accreditation from one of the six major regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education is required. These regional accrediting bodies are:

  • New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Community and Junior Colleges Accrediting Commission (WSCUC)

Associate-level program accreditation in finance, business, and accounting is offered by two CHEA-recognized specialist accreditors:

  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
  • IACBE accredits associate programs offered by traditional colleges and institutions that also offer bachelor’s degrees.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

ACBSP is the only organization that accredits schools that offer associate’s degrees as their highest level of education, making them the only option for community colleges.

Although not required, a specialty accreditation such as the IACBE or ACBSP is a smart way to start off on the right foot with employers and four-year colleges for whom the background of where the applicant obtained their associate’s degree is of importance. Moreover, a specialist-certified degree implies that the program has adhered to subject-specific criteria established by the business community, such as the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Community Online Associates
Degree in Finance

A community college sometimes called a junior college, is generally defined as a two-year school that provides affordable postsecondary education as a pathway to a four-year degree, primarily to its surrounding community. Most degrees at a community college take 2 years to complete, and the community college finance degree is one such program.

Most community colleges with an associates degree in finance offer online programs with intake in the fall, spring, and summer. Usually, about 60 to 65 credits and 2 years are required for completion. Courses that one completes in this program are the equivalent of the first 2 years of an undergraduate degree at several four-year schools.

Students should note that while some community colleges award an associate degree upon completion of the program, others may award a Certificate of Completion (CCL).

Here are a few examples of community colleges that offer finance programs:

Free Courses for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

Free courses are excellent options for the associate degree in finance students who want to learn more but keep their educational costs under control. Although many such free courses may not culminate in a certificate, they provide enough knowledge and information to widen one’s horizon and learn outside of the textbook. Some examples of free courses and sites that offer free courses are:

CourseDescriptionOffered by
Introduction to Financial AccountingThis course introduces students to financial accounting in preparation for more advanced business topics. Students will learn how to compile and analyze financial statements, conduct business valuations, and draw comparisons between a firm and its competitors.Saylor Academy
Managerial AccountingThis course examines complex financial decision-making and identifies the tools and methods managers require to make informed decisions. Students will learn how to use tools to track costs and profits and how to report the overall performance of a firm or department.Saylor Academy
Principles of FinanceThis course teaches students how to use financial concepts such as the time value of money, pro forma financial statements, financial ratio analysis, capital budgeting analysis, capital structure, and the cost of capital. It also provides a basic introduction to bonds and stocks.Saylor Academy
Finance and Finance-related TopicsEdX, a leading study portal, offers a host of finance and finance-related topics, some of which can be used for associate-level studies. Topics include ‘Essential Career Skills for Investment Banking and Finance’, ‘Fundamentals of Financial Mathematics and Capital Budgeting’, ‘Financial Accounting Made Fun: Eliminating Your Fears’, etc.EdX
Finance and Finance-related TopicsCoursera offers associate-level courses in various finance topics connected with the Accelerated Introduction to Managerial & Financial Accounting, the Fintech Revolution, Finance & Economics, Quantitative Finance, Investment Management Practices and Trends, Financial Literacy for Informed Decisions, and more.Coursera
Finance and Finance-related TopicsA quick search on Udemy shows up some 93 results of courses under the label of Finance. Some include ‘Business Finance Essentials’, ‘Capital Budgeting and Project Evaluation Techniques’, ‘Learn Financial Statement Basics: A beginner’s journey’, and ‘Introduction to Corporate Finance (Mergers & Acquisitions)’, among others.Udemy

How to Pay for Online Associates Degree
in Finance Programs?

Although associate degrees may not be as expensive as bachelor’s or master’s degrees, many will still find the tuition fee at a good college rather steep. Moreover, out-of-state tuition can cost thousands of dollars more than in-state tuition. Fortunately, the tuition fee for online associate degree in finance programs generally disregards the state in which the student lives and also reduces other educational costs such a commute, meal plans, on-campus clubs and activities, boarding and lodging, etc. Nevertheless, for those who may still find the tuition fee of a finance associates degree online program too expensive to fund by themselves, they could always consider financial aid such as:

Scholarships are funds provided to students by individual donors, private organizations, alumnae bodies, cultural, religious, or commercial organizations. The foremost basis of a scholarship is merit; the academic track record and achievements are considered. However, scholarships are also awarded based on other factors like community service, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, etc. (Note: Read about Scholarship Scams to avoid being scammed.)

Those who are good in academics but have a weak economic background are most likely to get grants. Grants, unlike scholarships that are generally merit-based, are frequently awarded based on the family’s finances, making them need-based.

Student Loans

If eligible, students can take out federal, bank, or private loans, requiring interest payments. However, it is essential to note that late or deferred payments will almost certainly increase student debt.

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form that students can fill in and submit to check whether they are eligible for financial aid or not. More FAFSA-related information is available here.

To know more about various types of financial aid, read the best Financial Guide.

Scholarships for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

Scholarships are a great way to fund one’s education. Often termed “free money”, they are awarded on certain criteria but largely on merit and academic performance. Although coming by scholarships at the associate level is infrequent, a few colleges and organizations offer financial aid in various forms. Here is an example:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardDeadline
Tuition-Free Community College Plan for Boston Public Schools’ GraduatesThe Tuition-Free Community College Plan at the Roxbury Community College for Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) Graduates is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and Boston Public Schools. This program has been rolled to help BPS graduates better afford college. Students who have received a Pell Grant are covered for the remaining costs of tuition and mandatory fees.Up to $1,000 over 3 years of college-related expensesVaries

FAQs about Online Associates Degree
in Finance Programs

How to get an associate’s degree in finance?

The basic requirement to enter an associate degree in finance is a High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED). Having a background in finance will help in bringing down some program requirements. Once in the program, graduation is but a year or two away.

What are the best associates programs in Finance?

What can you do with an Associates in Finance?

What is the average fee charged by colleges offering an associates degree in finance?

 Can you become a CPA with an associate’s degree?

How long is an online associate’s degree in finance?

Is an associate in finance worth it?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Associates Degree in Finance

Graduating from an online finance associates degree provides a relatively quick entry into the financial world. Not only can it be the starting point to a promising career in finance, but it can also serve as a springboard to higher education in the subject, such as a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. Workwise, there are a plethora of entry-level roles and responsibilities one can consider in organizations, including accounting firms, small businesses, manufacturing firms, banks, hospitals, school systems, and governmental agencies, or for that matter, any establishment that handles money, assets, and debts in some way or another. Here are some typical associate degree in finance jobs one could consider:

  • Human Resources Assistant/Benefits Coordinator
  • Business Analyst
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Computing Business Coordinator
  • Bookkeeper/ Accounts Receivable Coordinator/Accounting Clerk
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Loan Officer
  • Operations Manager
  • Loan Interviewer & Clerk
  • Insurance Sales Agent
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Purchasing Manager/Agent
  • Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerk
  • Manufacturing Sales Representative
  • Entrepreneur
  • Credit Counselor
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Financial Administrator
  • Business Services Representative
  • Loan Officer

What a finance associate degree salary is, is highly dependent on the individual, their areas of specialty, and a variety of other factors. Location and industry further impact potential growth and pay. It is also important to note that an associate’s degree will only get an individual entry-level position with lower pay; a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. will vastly boost one’s work prospects and earning potential.

To cite an example, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs as Financial Analysts is set to grow 6% between 2020 and 2030, as fast as the average for all occupations, and earn a median annual wage of $83,660. Although this projection is good for those who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, it is a good indicator of the potential for finance professionals.

Here is a quick run-down of jobs online associates degree finance graduates can explore, and their salaries and growth potential, as reported by O*Net OnLine:

OccupationSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)Job Description
Loan Interviewer and ClerkSpeaking skills, active listening skills, critical thinking, written communication skills, reading comprehension$41,370-1% (decline)A Loan Interviewer and Clerk interviews loan applicants to elicit information; investigates applicants’ backgrounds and verifies references; prepares loan request papers; and forwards findings, reports, and documents to the appraisal department.
Loan OfficerActive listening skills, speaking skills, reading comprehension, critical thinking, written communication skills, judgment, and decision making$63,9601% to 5% (slower than average)A Loan Officer evaluates, authorizes, or recommends approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. They advise borrowers on financial status and payment methods.
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing ClerkCritical thinking, speaking skills, writing skills, active listening skills, oral comprehension, mathematics, time management$42,410-1% (decline)A Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerk computes, classifies, and records numerical data to keep financial records complete. They perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records.
Insurance Claims and Policy Processing ClerkReading comprehension, speaking skills, critical thinking, writing skills, active listening skills, service orientation$42,0501% to 5% (slower than average)Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerk
An Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerk processes new insurance policies, modifications to existing policies, and claims forms. They obtain information from policyholders to verify the accuracy and completeness of information on claims forms, applications and related documents, and company records.
Credit CounselorActive listening skills, speaking skills, critical thinking, persuasion, negotiation, service orientation, complex problem-solving skills, social perceptiveness, judgment, and decision making$46,1705% to 10% (average)A Credit Counselor advises and educates individuals or organizations on acquiring and managing debt. They may provide guidance in determining the best type of loan and explain loan requirements or restrictions, and also help develop debt management plans or student financial aid packages.

Certifications and Licensing for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

In addition to an online associate degree in finance, students can supplement their education and knowledge by obtaining a financial clerk, bookkeeping, or accounting clerk certificate to enhance their skills and make them more employable. Since most jobs for an associate degree graduate are entry-level and involve assisting more qualified and licensed finance professionals, additional certification and licensure may not always be necessary. Besides this, certification and licensure almost always require additional education, training, and experience, which associate degree in finance holders will not qualify for. However, there are exceptions, such as:

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), is an internationally recognized credential that denotes a highly trained accounting expert with the necessary experience and ethical standards to verify the financial records of the organization for which they work. Internal auditors are required to have a minimum of an associate degree, a character reference to demonstrate moral standing, and between 12 and 60 months of internal auditing experience (depending on education level) to be certified. After meeting these qualifications, a candidate can enroll for the three-part CIA exam.

Additional Resources for Online Associates
Degree in Finance

The business world, and along with it the financial world, changes by the minute. With money being the driving force behind industry, trade, and commerce, staying abreast with the latest developments in finance and keeping a check on government policies and the overall economic climate is a prudent thing to do. Therefore, students and professionals must explore various available resources to provide information, network with peers and industry professionals, and widen one’s knowledge. Here are some resources for online associate degree in finance online students and graduates that are sure to be of use:

Business Professionals of America (BPA)

The Business Professionals of America (BPA) is the nation’s leading CTSO (Career Technical Student Organization), providing students and members with skill development and the opportunity to make personal connections. Membership presents the opportunity to further one’s knowledge and prepare for a career through an assortment of engaging learning tracks.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is a free program of the nation’s Certified Public Accountants (CPA) to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life. The site has information on several financial topics and has calculators and videos too.


Mishtalk is a blog hosted by Mike Shedlock, a registered investment advisor for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. The blog is updated almost every day with articles on the global economy. Topics include interest rates, central bank policy, gold and precious metals, jobs, and economic reports, all from an Austrian Economic perspective.

Author Bio:

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.