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Business and Finance Rank as the Most Valuable Degrees this Back-to-School Season, According to CFA Institute Survey

Posted: September 18, 2023

New York, US, Sept. 18 – When it comes to choosing a college major, a study from CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, found that students believe that business and finance degrees offer the best career prospects, according to nearly 10,000 current students and recent graduates, aged 18-25. The 2023 Global Graduate Outlook Survey gleans insights from recent graduates to inform current students as they head back to campus for the 2023-24 academic year.

As today’s students start planning for their careers, it is important to carefully select a major that best aligns with their passions and sets them up for long-term success. The research found that finance and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects were the career fields that graduates consider the most stable. Aligning with that preference, business and finance were also seen as the most valuable degrees, followed by engineering, technology and medicine.

“Despite the uncertainty created by the pandemic, students and recent graduates across the world feel positive about their career prospects, most notably in finance, which now enjoys the confidence of more graduates than any other profession,” said Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute.

In addition to wanting to pursue majors that support their post-graduate goals, respondents said they possess a determination to make a positive societal and environmental contribution through their careers. More than three-fourths of American graduates (87%) say it’s important that they make a positive societal and environmental contribution.

Regardless of the degree or career path chosen, the value of pursuing a degree remains paramount to recent graduates. Roughly three-quarters of graduates say pursuing a degree was worth it (77%) and that their career prospects have improved by undertaking a degree (74%). As students get back in the swing of studying this academic year, they can feel empowered by the value of their degree to their future success and career opportunities.

In addition, as current students begin to weigh different career options, there is no better time to learn about the possibilities of finance careers. Within the financial system, there are numerous opportunities to pursue diverse career paths that can both make positive social changes and provide career success for years to come. To learn more about careers in finance, students can visit:

Notes to Editors:

The Global Graduate Outlook Survey was conducted as an online survey, fielded by Dynata from April 12-24, 2023 among a sample of 9,437 respondents studying for a bachelor’s degree or higher, or who have graduated with a bachelor’s or higher within the last three years, aged 18-25. Respondents were from the UK, US, Canada, India, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, UAE, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, and Mexico. The full results of the 2023 Global Graduate Outlook Survey can be viewed here. The full results for the 2021 Global Graduate Outlook Survey can be found here.  For further information, please contact

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 190,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in more than 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @CFAInstitute.

About Dynata

Dynata is the world’s largest first-party data company for insights, activation and measurement. With a reach that encompasses nearly 70 million consumers and business professionals globally, and an extensive library of individual profile attributes collected through surveys, Dynata is the cornerstone for precise, trustworthy quality data. The company has built innovative data services and solutions around its robust first-party data offering to bring the voice of the customer to the entire marketing continuum — from uncovering insights to activating campaigns and measuring cross-channel marketing ROI. Dynata serves more than 6,000 market research, media and advertising agencies, publishers, consulting and investment firms and corporate customers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at


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