Finance programs are a popular offering from universities in Canada, and notably from colleges in British Columbia. Colleges provide you with a more personalized learning experience; smaller classes and greater access to professors can connect you better with the material and with experiential learning opportunities. And in the field of finance, work experience means a lot! So, if you’re considering studying finance in BC, you must check out the below programs; they have provided past international students with many employment opportunities after graduation.
College of the Rockies – Accounting
College of the Rockies offers a diploma or certificate (students can choose either) program focused entirely on accounting. This program is available as both a part-time or full-time program, and can further be completed online or in-person. The online option can be a great choice for international students who are not ready to travel to Canada, or who would prefer to live in a larger city during their undergrad.
Accounting is the backbone of many business operations and is largely concerned with budgets, profits and losses, and general financial planning from the present to the future. Further, the College of the Rockies especially focuses in on sustainability – aspects of sustainability as it relates to financial planning will be incorporated into the certificate/diploma program.
Perks of the College of the Rockies Accounting Program
The College of the Rockies Accounting program boasts advantages as compared to other accounting programs available. To begin, as previously mentioned, this program can be completed entirely online – this allows students to live wherever they need or want and complete the program. Further, the program can be completed on a part-time basis as well – the advantage here being that students can work at the same time and earn money while they study! This is a perk for international students looking to work a few hours a week while attending class, building up their Canadian work experience. Next, the program is taught in small class sizes, providing students with a more personalized learning experience and access to teachers. And finally, for students who complete the accounting diploma and enter the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), they are eligible to enter the CPA Program (open to international students with work and study permits).
Careers at a Glance
For graduates of the accounting diploma and BBA, a possible career will be as a financial accountant. Here in Canada, labour demand and supply are expected to be in balance over the period of 2019-2028; in fact, new job openings are expected to total 79 600, while job seekers are expected to total 79 500 people according to the Government of Canada. Outlook in the provinces of New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut will be the best, followed by Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Yukon, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island according to the Government of Canada. Finally, accountants in Canada earn a median hourly salary of $33.65 as cited by the Government of Canada.
Douglas College – Financial Services
Douglas College‘s Financial Services specialization is part of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program, a 4-year degree program. This particular BBA is available as both a full-time and part-time program for students. Courses available to students in the program include Business Mathematics, Introductory Marketing, and Personal Selling as some examples. Of particular interest, the BBA includes a capstone course which consists of 500 hours of work experience.
Students in this program will graduate with knowledge of wealth planning and securities – fully ready to enter further training to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or take a course in Canadian Securities (CSC).
Perks of the Douglas College Financial Services BBA
One of the major perks of the Financial Services BBA is the capstone course – BUSN 4500. This is a course consisting of 500 work hours, signed off by your supervisor. This capstone will include several parts: 500 hours of work experience, a professional-quality portfolio, presentation, and a standardized business competency exam. All of these elements together help students to prepare for their life post-graduation and find a job in their field quickly now that they have a well-developed portfolio.
The portfolio in question will help students apply their workplace experience to the core competencies BBA program. These include the competencies listed below:
- Client services
- Cross-cultural teamwork and interpersonal skills
- Written communication
- Oral communication
- Financial analysis and technology
- Problem-solving and decision-making
- Ethics and leadership
- Continuous professional development
Not only will the reflection on these competencies be necessary to the portfolio, but they will further be useful in later careers for evaluating skill and knowledge development in your future career environment.
Careers at a Glance
Graduates of the financial services BBA will likely be eligible for a career as a financial planner. In Canada, financial planners over the period of 2019-2028 are expected to largely be in balance; new job openings are expected to total 63 900 while new job seekers are expected to total 60 700 according to the Government of Canada. The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan will see the best outlook, followed by Alberta, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island, according to the Government of Canada. Further, financial planners in Canada can expect to earn an hourly median salary of $31.79 according to the Government of Canada.
International Student Highlight – Mathias Stoecker, a Successful Senior Associate
Douglas College Financial Services grad Mathias Stoecker is originally from Germany and has had an incredible experience at Douglas and in his previous and now current position.
Mathias previously did his co-op or capstone work experience with Canadian Western Bank, over a period of 4 months. It was this and his education combined that have helped him land great jobs in Vancouver since. One of these jobs was as a cold caller for RBC in the Dominion Securities department. He remained here for 3 months, before transitioning back to his previous employer, Canadian Western Bank, where he served in a number of different roles including as a management associate, commercial account manager, senior account manager, and relationship manager. After over 4 years in this role, he is now a senior associate at Roynat Capital. What a journey!
Okanagan College – Finance Specialty
Okanagan College offers a Finance Specialty program as a specialization for the Bachelor of Business Administration degree! This particular BBA is available at the Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm campuses and also remotely. Further, students can complete the program on a part-time or full-time basis.
Students who take the Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance will expose you to three different areas of finance including personal finance, investment management, as well as corporate finance. For example, some of the courses included will be Retirement Income Planning, Capital Markets, Taxation and Investment Planning as well as Applied Corporate Finance. Further, students can pursue an honours degree within their BBA as well.
Perks of the Okanagan College Finance Specialty BBA
The Okanagan College provides great perks associated with it’s finance-specific BBA. One major perk is the opportunity to pursue an honours degree; this is the highest level of certification in a BBA program. An honours degree allows students to do their own research during their undergraduate degree program. This degree will earn you an Honours parchment, and will further act as a signal to employers that your skills and abilities in research are unmatched compared to other BBA graduates. Another advantage is the opportunity to pursue part-time studies as opposed to full-time; this allows students to work part-time and earn money as well as Canadian work experience as well.
Careers at a Glance
Graduates of this degree will be eligible for a number of careers in the finance sector, this includes corporate finance officers, accountants, and investment bankers. Investment analysts is a popular position taking up by previous finance majors. In Canada, investment analysts are likely to continuing remaining a good career option with a strong outlook; new job openings are expected to total 22 300, while job seekers are expected to total 21 700 people from 2019-2028 according to the Government of Canada. In particular, the provinces of British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan will see good job growth, while growth is expected to be fair in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia according to the Government of Canada. Lastly, investment analysts in Canada earn a median hourly salary of $33.65 as cited by the Government of Canada.
International Student Highlight – Enya Ren, an International Traveller!
Okanagan College international student Enya Ren was a BBA student from China. During her business administration program, Enya had the opportunity to travel to another brand new country – Austria! There, she had the opportunity to learn a bit of German, and meet people from all around the world as well.
Further, Enya got to visit nearly 10 countries during her experience abroad; this allowed her to learn from a global perspective and really enjoy her studies at the same time. Each place transformed her in new ways and opened up her mind more to new possibilities.
Overall, Enya views her most valued take-away from travelling abroad to be opening up and appreciating the world; the travel abroad allowed her to focus more on her surroundings and less so on herself. In addition, this experience allowed her to learn all the ways in which she could contribute to the world; Okanagan College can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.
Want to know what she’s up to now? Check out Enya on LinkedIn!
BC Finance Careers – Outlook and Job Growth
WorkBC annually produces reports detailing occupation growth and labour growth across the province and in various sectors. Importantly, these reports detail a list of High Opportunity Occupations – these are jobs that are expected to have a higher demand over the coming years and are often associated with higher rates of pay as well. These High Opportunity Occupations are determined through a series of questions: 1. How many job opportunities will be available?, 2. How easy will it be to get a job in the future?, 3. How easy is it to get a job now?, and 4. How much is the wage?
Based on the 2019 British Columbia Labour Market Outlook Report, the following professions related to finance are High Opportunity Occupations:
Financial auditors are responsible for reviewing a company’s financial statements, documents, accounting entries and any other relevant data. They gather this information via the company’s financial reporting systems, where they look at account balances, cash flow statements, income statements, tax returns, balance sheets and more. All of this information is reviewed and presented accordingly in order to prove if there was fraud or any other gross errors.
Financial auditors work in a number of different environments. These include company departments such as accounting, bookkeeping, payroll services and tax preparation according to the Government of Canada. They could also work in the public sector – for instance, federal government public administration employs financial auditors according to the Government of Canada.
The 2019 British Columbia Labour Outlook Report mentions that the expected job openings for this position would be about 10 489 over the period 2019-2029. Further, the median wage per hour for financial auditors (in 2018) was $28.85, while the highest wage per hour reported was $48.08 (in 2018) as reported by the British Columbia Labour Outlook Report 2019.
Another High Opportunity Occupation for BC in the finance realm is that of financial managers. Financial managers are responsible for the overall financial health of an organization and thus have numerous tasks. Some of these tasks include directing investment activities, producing financial reports, developing strategies in order to achieve long-term financial goals, and assisting executives in major decisions as they relate to finance.
Financial managers can expect to work in environments including for banks as well as insurance companies. They can work at many organizations, any that needs assistance with long-term financial planning and decision-making could be a potential employer.
Over the period of 2019-2029, it is expected that new job openings for financial managers will total 4200, according to the 2019 British Columbia Labour Outlook Report, Further, the median hourly wage for financial managers in BC is $38.46 (as of 2018), while the highest wage reported (in 2018) was $67.31 per hour according to the 2019 British Columbia Labour Outlook Report.
Financial brokerage managers
A third High Opportunity Occupation listed and related to finance was that of financial brokerage managers. Financial brokerage managers are those that direct companies or departments that are purchasing or selling stocks, bonds, or other forms of investments. Essentially, they manage the investments of their clients in question.
Financial brokerage managers can work in a variety of environments. Some examples of possible work environments include insurance companies, banks or credit unions, real estate firms, stockbrokers, or even investment dealers.
New positions in BC for financial brokerage managers are expected to total 2370 over the period 2019-2029, according to the 2019 British Columbia Labour Outlook Report. Meanwhile, reported median wages (in 2018) for financial brokerage managers was $38.46 per hour, while the highest wage reported (in 2018) was $56.59 per hour according to the 2019 British Columbia Labour Outlook Report.
Finance programs are a popular major, and as such, they are available at many colleges right here in BC! The college advantage? These programs are usually cheaper, more flexible and much more personalized providing international students with a more supportive environment to grow. All in all, any of the above programs could be your gateway to a successful career in the finance field, right here in Canada.