As you look over the curricula for different undergraduate finance degree programs, you might wonder what the purpose of a capstone experience in a bachelor’s in finance program is.
The Purpose of a Capstone Experience in a Finance Degree Program
Just about any online bachelor’s degree in the field of finance will include core classes in introductory through advanced financial analysis, accounting, investments and portfolio management and risk management. However, completing a capstone experience in a bachelor’s in finance program is another common requirement, according to U.S. News & World Report. In fact, some of the top online bachelor’s in finance degree programs either require or encourage students to complete a capstone experience. Often capstone experiences take the form of either an internship opportunity or a final project designed to assess students’ financial knowledge.
Why do so many undergraduate finance programs want students to take part in a capstone experience? Capstone courses or experiences integrate the full extent of what the student has learned throughout the degree program into a single – and often, hands-on – experience that completes the student’s education. Through this experience, students have the opportunity to apply the finance concepts and theories they have learned to real-world situations, either as interns working for a company in a finance-related role or in the form of a project that requires students to act as financial analysts or strategic consultants for a business scenario.
A popular type of capstone experience in a bachelor’s in finance program is an internship. While your education is certainly important, many employers do look for candidates who have real-world work experience to prove that they can succeed outside the classroom as well as inside it. An internship in the field of finance can prove invaluable, not only because it conveys your practical skills to prospective employers, but also because it allows you to get started networking with established finance professionals even before you graduate.
As an online student, you might find the idea of looking for an internship opportunity a bit daunting, especially if the institution you’re studying at is far from home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways distance learning students can still take advantage of internship opportunities. You can use the Internet to find in-person internships available in your area (with our without the help of your school), or you can seek out virtual finance internships that you can be completed online.
Final Projects in Undergraduate Finance Degree Programs
A final project is another type of capstone experience in a bachelor’s in finance program. In a capstone project experience, you may be required to analyze the finances of a business scenario presented to you and to use your knowledge of finance to identify and solve business problems. Some final projects even have an internship-like aspect that pairs students with real businesses and asks them to act in a business consultant or financial analyst role.
While a capstone experience in a bachelor’s in finance program isn’t mandatory at every school, choosing such a degree program can have considerable benefits, including improving your ability to apply what you have learned to real business problems and scenarios.