top of page



Please note as a student of Virginia Tech you are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of this information. This information is a guide updated in Fall of 2023. For the most up-to-date information please check the Pamplin College of Business resources, the Finance Department website and check with your academic advisor.



Financial Planning and Wealth Management (CFP)

  • What is Financial Planning and Wealth Management

    • This major is designed for students who want to pursue a career in financial planning and wealth management.

    • Firms may work primarily with individuals and families, or in some cases may also manage assets for foundations, trusts, or employee retirement plans.

    • Financial planning professionals work in client-facing roles advising clients as well as in back-office positions managing plan development, asset management, operations, and compliance.

    • As a CFP Board-Registered curriculum, the major combines the traditional finance curriculum with the education requirements for a student to take the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) examination after graduation.

    • Certified Financial Planner™ is the most widely recognized professional designation within the financial planning profession.

  • What does a CFP do?

Providing financial advice to individuals and families is one of the fastest-growing career opportunities for finance graduates and is no longer strictly about client acquisition and product sales. Students should have excellent people skills to earn the trust of clients and the desire to support those relationships as the clients’ needs and market conditions change. But success also requires a genuine interest in the financial markets and products the ability to converse with and educate clients at their level of understanding to help generate understanding and buy-in.

In addition to the client-facing roles advising and educating clients, there are back-office positions managing plan development, asset management, operations, and compliance.  Financial planning software support is another opportunity.

This career area encompasses several job functions and career paths, including financial planning, wealth management, private banking, insurance, estate planning and trust management, and employee retirement plan education and management. Graduates are eligible to take the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) exam to earn the highly recognized designation as a CFP® professionals.

Student Competencies

  • Apply knowledge of financial planning principles, practices, skills, and functions

  • Understand client interaction, communication, and relationship management.

  • Collect, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data about the client’s personal and financial circumstances necessary to formulate recommendations.

  • Use logic and reasoning to synthesize and integrate knowledge into cohesive and defensible recommendations matched to the client situation.

  • Utilize oral, written, and graphic communication skills appropriate to the client to summarize the situation and present recommendations.

  • Understand how the CFP Board professional standards and enforcement, regulatory, and compliance issues are applied workplace.

  • Develop the competence necessary for the CFP® exam.

Target Skill Sets

  • Attention to detail

  • Written and oral communication skills

  • Problem-solving and analytical perspective

  • Adaptability

  • Interpersonal skills and humility

  • Team-oriented, but capable of working independently

  • Work ethic and drive

  • Commitment to life-long learning

Entry Careers:

  • Wealth Planner

  • Client Service Associate

  • Junior Planner

  • Financial Planning Associate

  • Financial Planning Resident

  • Associate Advisor

  • Financial Planning Analyst

  • Wealth Management Analyst

  • Paraplanner

  • Client Service Coordinator

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

FinTech and Big Data Analytics

The FinTech and Big Data Analytics Major (FBDA) is designed to meet an increasing need in the financial industry, as it rapidly embraces the use of cutting-edge technology for data collection, analysis, and decision-making.

This major includes a much more rigorous curriculum in math and programming than the typical finance degree and concludes with a capstone finance class that applies these technical skills to address emerging real-world financial problems. The major combines coursework from multiple disciplines in addition to the traditional finance curriculum

What is FinTech?

FinTech is the integration of finance, computer science and computation modeling, and data analytics (CMDA) to solve very complex quantitative finance problems.  

The application of computer science and CMDA to finance has created efficiencies and streamlined financial processes throughout many industries around the globe.

The finance industry has rapidly evolved in embracing FinTech/Quantitative Finance skill sets, and this major addresses’ the need for personnel who are adeptly trained in finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics.

Student Knowledge Outcomes:

  • In-depth knowledge of finance and advanced analytical and computer science skills

  • Technical, highly specialized industry knowledge (STEM)

Target Skill Sets

  • Mathamatics

  • Statistics

  • Computational Modeling

Entry Careers:

  • Quantitative Research

  • Investment Management

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Data science

Real Estate Finance

Real estate is the largest asset class in the world, encompassing land, housing, commercial buildings (hotels, office buildings, shopping centers), industrial buildings (warehouses and factories), healthcare facilities (hospitals and nursing homes), and government buildings (offices, schools, military, etc.). There are a variety of opportunities in real estate for finance professionals, including valuing real estate, analyzing the financial aspects of real estate projects and investments, financing real estate projects and investments, and selling and leasing real estate.

Financial analysis is at the heart of many decisions involving real estate – whether or not to proceed with a building project, whether to buy or lease a building, whether to expand or renovate a building, determining the right price at which to buy or sell, deciding how to finance a project, or estimating the fair value of the stock of a real estate company.  As a result, there is a wide variety of employers in various facets of the real estate industry value students who have knowledge of both Finance and Real Estate.

Virginia Tech’s Real Estate Finance Major is for students who want to pursue a career in real estate finance and development. The program provides students with in-depth coursework in both Real Estate and Finance, positioning them well for success in a wide variety of real estate-related careers after graduation.​​​

Student Competencies:

  • Understand and apply the concepts of financial analysis and valuation to real estate assets.

  • Understand the various phases of the real estate development process.

  • Understand the various methods of financing real estate.

  • Understanding the ability to value investment products based on real estate assets.

Targeted Skillsets:

  • Interest in real estate assets and markets.

  • Willingness to learn about a diverse set of subject areas (project design and management, financial analysis, laws and regulations, financing, and investments).

  • Ability to organize and analyze data using excel, make data-based decisions and apply them to tangible projects and assets.

  • Ability to analyze projects from both a qualitative and quantitative standpoint.

Example Careers:

  • Financial analyst for a real estate developer, real estate investment firm, or corporation that owns significant amounts of real estate

  • Real estate appraisal (valuation)

  • Bank credit officer or loan officer specializing in real estate financing

  • Mortgage broker

  • Investment banker or trader specializing in real estate

  • Project or property management

  • Entrepreneur or investor in real estate assets

Finance Major with a curriculum Option requirement

The Undergraduate Program in Finance offers significant coursework in finance, analytics, modeling, and accounting, all of which are essential for success as a financial professional. Students learn the fundamental theory underlying the core areas of finance, the application of the various theoretical models in financing decision-making, and various analytical approaches for solving financial problems. The program maintains a strong focus on coursework that will help students apply their knowledge to realistic situations.

In addition to taking the University required course, College required courses, and Finance courses, students majoring in Finance are also required to choose a Finance Option.


Investment Management and Chartered Finance Analyst(CFA™)

This option is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in investment management. Career opportunities in investment management include working at institutional money management firms, such as mutual funds and insurance companies, as well as managing money for individuals and families. The CFA® certification, which one receives after passing all three of the CFA® exams, is a globally recognized professional certification for the investment management profession.

Student Knowledge Outcome:

  • Asset and investment management on behalf of individuals, corporations, governments, and other institutions

  • Understand stocks, bonds, derivatives, and international finance.

  • Preparation for the level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst™ (CFA™) exam

Targeted Skillsets:

  • Portfolio Management

  • Sales and Trading

  • Research

  • Investment Management

  • Asset Allocation

Example Careers:

  • Research Analyst

  • Portfolio Manager

  • Wall Street

  • Investment Banking

Corporate Financial Management

Many of the major decisions in a business are driven by financial analysis.  These include how much capital needs to be raised and the sources to use, how to allocate it within a business, the optimal amount of leverage and liquidity, how to improve a business’ profitability and return on its capital, how to quantify and hedge financial and business risks, and whether to pursue large projects, contracts, acquisitions, mergers and/or divestitures.  The object of the Corporate Financial Management Option is to equip students with the analytical tools and skills used in the various types of financial decisions made by businesses.  Students can also utilize those same skills in the public sector as well as with employers such as investment banks and consulting firms.

Student Knowledge Outcomes:

  • Understand and apply the concepts of financial analysis and valuation.

  • Be able to utilize financial accounting data to analyze businesses and their cash flows.

  • Understand how business are financed and how to optimize the use of capital.

  • Understand how international issues impact financial decisions.

  • Understand how to use financial instruments to hedge financial risks to businesses.

  • Be able to use Excel to construct financial forecasts and model future financial results.

Target Skill Sets

  • Interest in becoming part of a businesses and contributing to its profitable growth.

  • Strategic thinking combines with quantitative analysis.

  • Ability to organize and analyze data to solve problems.

  • Ability to make data-based decisions and apply them in a variety of real-world settings.

Entry Careers:

  • Corporate and public-sector financial planning, budgeting, and analysis

  • Corporate treasury (cash management, financing, and lender relations)

  • Contract and project analysis

  • Corporate risk management and hedging

  • Consulting

  • Investment Banking

Financial Accounting (CPA)

Many employers seek students with strong skills in both accounting and finance, and this option is designed to provide students with strength in both areas.  The Financial Accounting option combines upper-level coursework in both accounting and finance, and most students in this option graduate with a double-major in those two subjects.  Some of those students go on to take the CPA exam after graduation and go into roles with accounting firms, while others go into a variety of finance career paths.  The object of this option is to equip students with the analytical tools and skills used in financial decision-making, along with an extensive knowledge of accounting practice.  Accounting is the language of finance, and strong accounting skills give Finance majors a significant competitive advantage.

Student Competencies:

  • Understand and apply the concepts of financial analysis and valuation.

  • Possess expertise in financial reporting, tax planning, and managerial accounting practices.

  • Understand financial instruments and their impact on corporate financial statements.

  • Combine diverse skill sets to make better-informed financial and managerial decisions.

Targeted Skillsets:

  • Ability to organize and analyze data.

  • Ability to use Excel to organize and solve problems.

  • Ability to make data-based decisions and apply them in a variety of real-world settings.

  • Attention to detail.

Example Careers:

  • Auditor

  • Corporate Tax Planning

  • Corporate and public-sector financial planning, budgeting, and analysis

  • Contract analysis

  • Valuation

  • Investment Banking

  • Consulting

Financial Risk Management

Banks and other financial firms are clamoring to recruit from the credit-savvy pipeline created by combining the FNRM courses and RMA Credit Essentials Certificate. The reputation of the program is growing quickly and broadly. You can get in on the ground floor now. But equally important are the skills of analysis and an understanding of businesses that will serve you well in any future career as well as in your personal life.


FNRM option allows students to pursue many paths involving financial risks, focusing on banking, valuation, credit analysis, business analytics, credit markets, and a hands-on experiential capstone for those eligible. Any situation where a business has to assess the viability of a counterparty to fulfill its financial obligations will require the skills from the FNRM option. Employers are eager to obtain talent with those skills.

Student Competencies:

  • Superior education in risk management through a wide variety of courses and experiences with a strong foundation in credit underwriting and credit portfolio management

  • Ability to evaluate the financial health & operations of a business.

  • Unrivaled experience in credit, corporate analysis, and communications

  • Personal and professional growth applying course matter on a rapid time scale.

Target Skill-Sets

  • In-depth analysis of financial statements

  • Constructing financial models of companies

  • Problem solving

  • Researching businesses, industries, and business models (business analytics)

  • Ability to collaborate and allocate work in teams.

  • Loan portfolio management

  • Communication of complex financial issues as related to accept vs. reject loan decisions.

  • Managerial expertise through the experience of lending real money

  • Networking with company executives, advisors, bankers

Entry Careers:

  • Commercial & Investment Banking

  • "Direct Lending" (Private Debt/Equity)

  • Venture Capital

  • Investment Portfolio Management

  • Corporate Finance

bottom of page