Are you thinking of pursuing a career in finance? Or maybe you’re already a financial analyst but feel stuck in your career path?
In the finance sector, the initials that come after your name play a significant role in your earning power, ability to deliver quality financial analysis, and your reputation as well.
These initials represent the best finance certifications you have pursued, such as CPA or CLU. Financial certifications signify your expertise level in different aspects of the finance industry. To get one of these certificates, you need to complete hours of stringent coursework and pass the exams, after which you’ll have to abide by the professional ethics standards.
The thing is, there are so many financial certifications out there, and you have to pick carefully. In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the best financial certifications that you can pursue in 2020 and advance your career:
CPA – Certified Public Accountant
This is hands down one of the most valuable finance certificates in the financial realm, and you have to obtain a license as well.
The return on investment can be quite high when you pursue a CPA, but you should be prepared for 150 hours of intensive coursework and a tough examination. Once done, however, you’ll be able to prepare taxes, do accounting, and conduct financial analysis.
CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst
This is the next best financial certification you can pursue, and it’ll help you master financial investment and management.
This CFA certificate is singlehandedly capable of catapulting you into the next level of your career. The course involves three levels that you’ll have to take in four years of relevant experience to get the certificate.
This is quite a rigorous course, and you must study hard because the pass rate stands below 50%. With the certificate, you’ll qualify to do private equity, investment banking, equity research, asset management, and more.
FRM – Financial Risk Management
If you feel that you would do great at financial risk management, this is the ideal financial certificate for you.
FRM is usually administered by GARP, or Global Association of Risk Professionals, and the pass rate tends to change every year.
This is one of the financial certificates based on one niche and targets a specific market. To qualify for the certificate, you’ll need to study 10 investment topics and pass three levels of exams. You can read this to know more.
CFP – Certified Financial Planner
CFP is one of the best financial certifications out there, and being a financial planner is a fulfilling career for most.
The good thing about CFP is that it offers so much more than just finance. It helps you to understand more about business and client relationships. To qualify for this certificate, you must study more than 1,000 hours and pass a 7-hour test.
Once you pass the exam, you qualify to do retail banking and wealth management, as well as private banking careers. The overall pass rate for CFP in 2019 was 62%.
CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountant
CIMAs are experts when it comes to management accounting.
They work in the corporate world instead of private accounting practices. CMA is a comprehensive 4-tier program that is usually classified into certificate and professional levels. You can earn your CMA in business accounting once you complete the basic certificate level, which qualifies you for the professional level.
The professional level is classified into three pillars, which are financial knowledge, performance, and enterprise. These are further subdivided into strategic, management, and operational levels, which results in nine areas that you must cover for the professional level.
You become a CMA Member after three years of work experience.
CAIA – Chartered Alternative Investment Analysis
If asset management and hedge funds interest you, then the CAIA financial certificate is an ideal option.
You’ll study ethics, hedge funds, private equity, asset allocation, risk management, as well as structured products for this course. This is one of the best financial certifications, and you’ll have to cover two levels of quality.
The pass level for CAIA is quite high, and you may take anywhere between 12 to 18 months to fully complete the course.
CLU- Chartered Life Underwriter
This is one of the best financial certifications when it comes to the insurance realm.
You need to undergo eight courses in life insurance, risk management, and estate planning. There won’t be an examination following the course, but you will have to undergo stringent coursework to qualify.
CMA – Certified Management Accountant
This is an important financial certification if you want to pursue management accounting. It easily passes as the most sought after certification as it offers more opportunities.
CMA is authorized by the Institute of Management Accounting, and you’ll only have to do two parts.
You’ll have to do a total of 11 competency tests, and you have a strategic advantage in the market. You look at a lucrative career and high financial gains after completion, making it an excellent choice among all these financial certifications.
CMFC – Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor
People who want to grow their wealth by investing in mutual funds work with chartered mutual fund counselors.
For this course, you’ll specialize in mutual funds, and it’s only a short course that will take you about 10 weeks to complete and finish the exam.
These Are the Best Financial Certifications
Financial certifications are an indication of your level of education and your areas of expertise. Choose wisely among these certificates. Some of the best financial certifications will offer you more than one niche, and you’ll have a wider scope and more options.
Of course, you can always take a few courses to qualify for several financial certifications if you want to diversify.
Still, it’s always best to specialize in one or two fields so you can be a distinguished professional. These certifications are a big step to achieving your goals in the financial sector. Whether you want to do accounting or financial planning, you need to work hard for it.
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