Is your student a math whiz? Intrigued by money management and investment strategies? Then they might enjoy a career in business finance!
Finance is a diverse field. Some finance professionals work as financial analysts making recommendations about buying and selling stocks and bonds or raising capital for businesses as investment bankers. Others work directly with consumers as financial planners, helping families save for college tuition and prepare for retirement. Still, others work for banks or credit card companies, evaluating and approving loan and credit card applications.
The Stride Career Prep* Business Finance Pathway is designed to help students prepare for a career in finance. Membership in Business Professionals of America (BPA), the leading career and technical student organization (CTSO), is included in our tuition-free program for students pursuing careers in business. BPA’s Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP) allows students to develop and demonstrate their business and problem-solving skills at regional, state, and national conferences, including specific competitions dedicated to finance. BPA also offers students the ability to assume leadership positions and compete for scholarships.
Gain real-world skills through project-based learning.
Stride Career Prep has implemented project-based learning (PBL) for a number of courses in this pathway. PBL curriculum is designed to hone students’ problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and team collaboration skills. With PBL, there’s little to memorize and repeat. Instead, students are given a real-life problem to solve and must work with a team to develop a creative solution.
Students who choose this pathway will prepare for a career in business finance by learning from our project-based learning curriculum, taking classes taught by experienced business professionals, and training in the Microsoft Office suite.**
Our Business Finance Curriculum in Detail
All our students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes that Business Finance Pathway students take. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.
CAREER EXPLORATION COURSES These courses provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into potential careers.
CAREER FOUNDATION COURSES These courses are building blocks that prepare students for more specialized pathway courses.
CAREER PREPARATION COURSES These courses prepare students for industry-recognized certification exams.
OPTIONAL CAREER LEARNING COURSES While not required, these courses provide an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and skills that are useful in their chosen careers.
Business and Marketing Explorations Intro to Business Information Management Business Information Management: Data Essentials
Summit Personal Finance
Accounting 1 Accounting 2
Introduction to Business Law Business Law: Legal Aspects of Business Principles of Business, Marketing & Finance 1† Principles of Business, Marketing & Finance 2†
Note: Pathway courses are subject to change. †New in fall 2022
In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications provide a credible, third-party assessment of a student’s skills and knowledge of a given subject. The Administrative Support Pathway curriculum prepares students to take these industry-recognized certification exams:**
CAREER SKILLS CERTIFICATIONS These baseline certifications indicate students have mastered domain-specific, entry-level job skills.
We encourage students to jumpstart the job search by helping them create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo, the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. Plus, they connect virtually to working business professionals and entrepreneurs through Nepris.***
Find a school near you that offers business finance.
Stride Career Prep programs with the Business Finance pathway are available at tuition-free K12-powered, public online schools in the following states:
Don’t see your state? Check out the tuition-based option here in the Business Finance Pathway. There are also tuition-free options in related fields like General Management Pathway!
Choose a career. Prepare for the future.
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Bookkeepers use bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and databases to record financial transactions, including all payments made and revenue received. They produce reports, such as balance sheets and income statements, which are reviewed and certified by an accountant. Accounting clerks do similar tasks but typically work for a larger accounting firm specializing in a particular area. Auditing clerks assist auditors in ensuring that financial transaction records are accurate and correctly classified.
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
Compensation specialists research compensation trends to advise management of appropriate compensation ranges for each position; they also ensure that the organization’s pay practices comply with federal and state laws and regulations, such as workers’ compensation, minimum wage, overtime, and equal pay laws. Benefits specialists administer the organization’s benefits programs, including retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and health and other insurance policies, and conduct research to make recommendations regarding benefit levels, providers, and options. Job analysis specialists, also known as position classifiers, work with managers to develop job descriptions and determine the appropriate level and salary range. In small organizations, one person might take on all three roles, advising on employee compensation, benefits, and position classifications, working under the oversight of the human resources director.
Financial analysts guide businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. They also make predictions about future performance by evaluating companies’ or bond issuers’ past financial performance, industry trends, and the likely impact of current business decisions.
Many accountants are self-employed; others work for accounting firms or government entities or as an employer’s in-house accountant. Accountants prepare and certify the accuracy of financial statements, including clients’ or employers’ balance sheets and income statements, as well as companies’ and individuals’ tax filings. Accountants can also advise clients regarding how to legally limit their tax liability. Many accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Publicly traded companies are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including annual and quarterly reports. Some accountants are forensic accountants who specialize in uncovering financial crimes and fraud. Others specialize in auditing or examining an organization’s records to identify fraud, waste, and abuse.
2021 Median Salary $77,250
Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030 Average
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree; CPAs must also pass an exam
Financial clerks process financial transactions, calculate bills and charges, and update and maintain financial records. Their duties vary widely, depending on the industry in which they are employed. Those in the banking industry, for example, might interview loan applicants, perform credit checks, and gather necessary loan paperwork. Those working for utility companies, on the other hand, may focus on preparing and sending bills to customers. Those in the insurance industry process insurance applications and policy cancellations or changes.
2021 Median Salary $44,760
Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030 Declining
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or GED; accounting classes are helpful
Yes. Many companies in many different industries hire financial clerks without a college degree.
Students can take classes in personal finance, accounting, and other business subjects in high school. They can also prepare for relevant industry certification exams like the A*S*K Finance certification exam. Outside of class, one of the best things to do is volunteer to serve as the treasurer of a student organization. They can also join any student organizations dedicated to finance and, if possible, enter finance-related case competitions.
*Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. Some schools offer career exploration in middle school. **Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing. ***Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.