The business department at John Brown University, is looking at getting a new major. It will be a finance major. According to Joe Walenciak, Dean of Soderquist College of Business, the undergraduate council approved the new finance major on October 12. The next step is for it to get approved by the Board of Trustees, who has their next board meeting in the spring.
In February, the business department tested the appeal among current students in two focus groups. “After surveying both Business Administration focus groups, 38% stated that they would switch their current major to a degree in finance,” stated the business catalog changes document. The business department also found out that the proposed new finance major resonated strongly with all students—especially the students that are current Business Administration and Accounting majors.
The finance major hopes to provide students with an understanding of basic financial management techniques as well as a broad overview of financial planning and portfolio analysis. According to Forbes, ranks a degree in finance as the 13th most valuable college degree in the world. MSN money even MSN Money projects that jobs in finance will grow by 10.9 percent within the next 6 years (MSN 2015). It was also regarded as one of the top degrees by the National Association of College and Employers.
Walenciak said that there is no set timeline for the finance major to become an official major at John Brown. One of the challenges is finding a professor who is qualified to teach the finance classes and has the Christian values that they look for in a professor.
Some of the new classes that will be offered with this major are: Principle of Finance, Personal Financial Planning, and Portfolio Management.
Principles of Financial will be offered in the spring semester. There will be a prerequisite for the class and it will be the Principles of Financial Accounting, ATG 2173. The course will teach the “basic concepts and tools of contemporary finance, as it relates to business, including the role of managerial finance, the financial market environment, financial statements and ratio analysis, cash flow and financial planning, the time value of money, interest rates, bond and stock valuation, and risk and return. Emphasis is placed on practical financial problem solving using financial formulas, a calculator, and Excel,” according to the business catalog changes.
Personal Financial Planning is another one of the new class that would be added. The prerequisite will be Principles of Finance, Fin 3003, and will be offered in spring semester odd. The class will be an introduction of fundamental issue of personal financial planning from the perspective of a professional.
Portfolio Management will be offered spring semester of even years. The prerequisite will be the same as personal financial planning, principles of finance, Fin 3003. This course deals with little amount of individual security valuation and discretionary investing. Students will be studying the concepts and evidence relevant to the management of investment portfolios.