The Future of Finance: A Growing Global Perspective
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The Future of Finance: A Growing Global Perspective

International finance is an integral part of the wide-ranging field of world economics – the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption and transfer of global wealth. It teaches a comprehensive understanding of exchange rates and foreign investment, as well as the impact they have on routes of international trade.

The potential and rewards attached to the field of finance studies are broad and all-encompassing, with graduates going on to pursue a career in a vibrant palette of industries. Despite recent periods of economic decline, the sector continues to see huge levels of international growth – and that means global career prospects are far more stable than in many other fields.

“A finance degree… is a great starting point for careers in financial services, across business, banking and consultancy sectors,” writes QS Top Universities, a leading global career and education network, and according to PayScale’s salary data for finance professionals in the U.S., graduate pathways for students of finance can be far more lucrative than for those who study accountancy, for example. This is largely due to the fact that finance careers focus on the current and future management figures within a particular business, rather than just the recording of past and present income and expenditure, as it often is in accounting.

“This means that those in finance careers often have the added responsibility of predicting and analysing the potential for profit and growth, assessing monetary resources, utilising accounting statistics and reports, and also looking externally for future funding options,” QS concludes.

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Pic: Shutterstock

In a world economy that is highly integrated, globalised and competitive, graduates with an acute awareness of the world’s financial affairs have never been more in demand. Whether it’s an in depth knowledge of distinct financial systems such as that seen in Japan, or an understanding of the significance of Islamic banking and finance, it’s this international perspective on the finance industry that is proving the key to success in the graduate employment market.

In a speech delivered at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, for example, Baroness Warsi, Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK, described how there has never been a better time for students of this sector to delve into a graduate career.

“It was on a visit to Malaysia and Indonesia that I became acutely aware of the power and potential of Islamic Finance,” she states. “Globally the market has grown 50 percent faster than the traditional banking sector… And here in Britain there are already great examples of the sector’s successes.”

As the FCO previously predicted, figures from Q3 of 2015 showed that total global Islamic assets under management (AuM) stood at USD$60.2 billion, with the sector conservatively projected to grow by 5.05 percent per annum for the following five years to reach USD$77 billion in value by 2019.

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Pic: SOAS University of London

One school that’s pushing students to the top of the field in matters of global finance – including the thriving Islamic Finance sector – is SOAS University of London, the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

“Part of the reason I chose SOAS over others is because it offered the Islamic Banking and Finance elective module,” says Tariq Islam, former student of the MSc in Finance and Financial Law at SOAS. “This is a one-of-a-kind class and an interesting subject that only SOAS offers. My hope is that the knowledge attained in this class will make me more suited for international corporate jobs that deal with the states that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

So whether it’s pursuing a career in Islamic finance, financial management, or any of the other emerging specialisms, it’s clear that as the finance industry continues to expand internationally graduates need to ensure they are equipped with a global perspective in order to succeed. Those that do will find themselves in a strong position to work effectively and successfully in international and multicultural contexts.

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Pic: University of Bath

A good qualification from a highly regarded institution will help build these essential skills and qualities and will give graduates the perfect head start into the world of finance.

Here are five British schools currently leading the field in global Postgraduate Finance:

SCHOOL OF FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT (SFAM), SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
The School of Finance and Management (SFAM) at SOAS is a leading centre for research, with a core focus on the analysis of finance and management in a global context.  SFAM’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research is reflected in its rankings in key league tables. In terms of research, SFAM’s record is outstanding: in the 2014 U.K. Research Excellence Framework SFAM was ranked in the top 20 UK Schools for Business and Management on Research Intensity Grade Point Average.   More recently, SFAM has been ranked 1st in London and 6th in the U.K. in the 2016 Guardian University League Table for Business and Management Studies. The School of Finance and Management offers a range of reputed on-campus postgraduate programmes. The taught Masters are intensive programmes which run for either 12-months full-time, or 24-months part-time. Read the full profile…

SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF BATH
The School of Management at the University of Bath is one of the U.K.’s leading business schools, ranked 1st for Marketing, 2nd for Accounting and Finance (the Complete University Guide 2017) and 1st for Business Studies (The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016). It also represents a leading centre for management research, placed 8th in the U.K. in the latest research evaluation exercise. EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development’s quality inspectorate, has granted the School a five-year accreditation, placing it in the in the top 1 percent of business schools worldwide. The school boasts a faculty of over 100 teaching and research staff and a professional team of around 70 managerial and administrative staff, as well as a community of around 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

LEEDS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
Leeds University Business School is a leading, full-service business school, highly ranked by the Financial Times for its MBA, Masters in Finance, and Masters in Management programmes, making it one of Europe’s most influential schools. It is also a proud holder of the ‘Triple Crown’ of accreditations from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, placing it in the top 1 percent of business schools globally. The Business School delivers undergraduate, masters, MBA, PhD and executive education study to over 3,000 students from some 100 countries. The school is a faculty of the University of Leeds, one of the leading higher education institutions in the U.K., ranked in the Top 100 universities in the world (QS rankings 2015/16) and a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive U.K. universities.

SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY
Cranfield School of Management is one of Europe’s oldest business schools. It is part of Cranfield University, the U.K.’s only postgraduate university specialising in science, technology, engineering and management. The university was founded on an old RAF site as the first postgraduate college of aeronautics. The School of Management grew out of industrial need for management training and was formally established in 1967 (although the Cranfield MBA dates back to 1964). Its programmes are designed in flexible and innovative ways supported by state-of-the art learning technologies and geared to meet the students’ personal needs. Students can enrol full-time or on a flexible modular or part-time basis.

SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD
The University of Bradford’s School of Management is an international leader in business education, research and knowledge transfer. For more than 50 years, the school has been providing engaging and innovative teaching, learning and research to students from all over the world. With the coveted Triple Crown of accreditations and an international staff and student body, Bradford has created an environment of world-leading management education and research where everyone can flourish. Whether you are a senior manager seeking the next challenge or you are looking to take the first steps towards a career in management, the School of Management at the University of Bradford can help you reach your career destination.