About This Cluster

Whether a business wants to offer a product or service to make a profit, or serve the public as a non-profit organization, they need to know how much money is necessary to continue to operate, make payroll, and pay expenses.  Finance is the science of money management.

Finance experts are involved with every aspect of a business’s financial resources, from day-to-day accounting and budgeting, to tax planning, banking, investments, credit, and the generation of financial reports. They help develop both long term and short term financial strategies that help businesses meet their goals.

In short, Finance is one of the most important aspects of business management.

Learn more about career paths in this cluster!

Skills and Interests

Skill Skill Description
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Interest Interest Description
Conventional Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Northern New York Community Foundation Scholarships

Applications for academic year 2021-2022 Freshman Scholarships 

Since 1980, the Northern New York Community Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in scholarships to students from Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The Community Foundation annually awards scholarships to:

  • High school seniors for their freshman year in college or technical school. Full-time enrollment is required for a one-year award.
  • High school juniors in St. Lawrence County who will plan to pursue careers in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are encouraged to apply for a one-year award.
  • Nontraditional students for any year of college or vocational, trade and technical school are also available. Part-time or full-time enrollment is required, and applicants must live in Jefferson, Lewis or St. Lawrence county. Applicants may reapply each year.

Scholarships, which can average up to $2,000, are available from three programs the Community Foundation administers:

  • Northern New York Community Foundation Scholarships — Awarded to students in liberal arts.
  • Herring College Memorial Scholarships — Awarded to students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and related fields.
  • Visiting Nurse Association Scholarships — Awarded to students in nursing and health-related fields.

The Community Foundation also stewards more than 300 restricted scholarships through funds that individual donors have established.


Many of the occupations in this cluster typically require a bachelor’s degree for entry, although specific designations range from a high school diploma or equivalent and short-term on-the-job training for occupations such as loan interviewers and clerks to a bachelor’s degree and 5 or more years of work experience in a related occupation for financial managers.

Local College / University Majors:


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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wages for these occupations ranged from $25,390 for tellers to $112,700 for financial managers.

Financial Services Median Hourly Rate by Job

Additional Links

Extended Interviews

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