Finance Certifications You Didn’t Knew Exist

A career in finance is very different from that of a general management career or a career in economics. It is more challenging, tenuous and requires a crystal clear understanding of money concepts. Here are some of the short term courses that can help undergraduate students pursue aspecialized career in Finance.

Financial planning is the lifeblood of every successful organization. Wrong or uninformed financial decisions not only have a detrimental effect on the growth chart of the companies, but it also creates an atmosphere of insecurity and uncertainty amongst the employees of the organization. If we juxtapose similar situation on a larger canvas where the organization is the country’s economy and employees are its responsible citizens, the importance of good financial planning increases manifolds. Therefore it is necessary to have diligent and brilliant individuals at the helm of such an important task.

The difference between an average and a prolific financial planner is knowledge. With so many courses that generalize the field of finance, economics and management into a singular discipline, it is easy to forget that all these three are separate disciplines albeit connected by a common thread.  Educational institutions haven’t also done any favor to the student community by providing ambiguous courses such Masters in Business Administration in Finance, or a post graduate diploma in management with finance being one of the specializations.

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While these courses promise to prepare candidates for future, the truth remains that if one has to gain absolute dexterity in finance, then pursuing specialized financial courses, whether short-term or long-term, is the easiest and the quickest way of doing that. Such courses impart training about managing financial resources, making the vital decisions, ways to raise finances for the company, risk and rewards associated with making certain choices. Here are some of the popular short term finance courses that one can pursue to boost his chances of making good headway in the fiercely competed marketplace:

Certified Financial Planner

Easily the most recognized and powerful certification for undergraduates in the financial space, Certified Financial Planner is a mark of excellence granted to students who meet certain stringent guidelines. These rules apply to the candidate’s academic performance, professional experience, ethics and the result in final examination. Recognized internationally, CFP certification opens up a floodgate of exciting career opportunities from all over the world.

The governing body Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) confers the certification after making the recipient go through grueling examination sessions. The first requirement for pursuing the certification is an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Under the next requirement the candidate must study and gain expertise in at least 100 odd topics on integrated financial planning.  The major areas of study include Insurance Planning, Retirement Planning, Estate planning, Investment and Securities Planning and Financial Planning and consulting. Once the candidate completes the minimum required number of hours of study he/she is eligible to sit for the marathon ten-hour duration CFP Board Certification Examination.

The examination

CFP Board examination is one of the most challenging exams on the planet. The 10-hour duration exam is held across a span of two days and tests candidates through 285 objective type questions on various topics of finance. Along with objective type questions, the exam also includes two case studies and multiple mini-case problem sets.

Passing the examination is just one of the steps forward towards getting the certification, not the final frontier. After clearing the CFP Board exam one has to demonstrate ample experience in the field of financial planning which must fall within the six defined primary elements of financial planning.

Chartered Financial Consultant

Although the designation is conferred by the American College, USA, it is recognized all over the world by companies and clients alike. The course that one has to study to become a certified Chartered Financial Consultant covers intensively all the concepts of financial planning that comprise insurance planning, real estate planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and investment planning amongst others. Similar to the CFP in six of the nine courses, a CFP can go on to become a Chartered Financial Consultant by studying and passing three additional courses and exams.  It is indeed one of the best choices for candidates looking to make a mark in banking and finance.

Financial Risk Managers

Financial Risk Managers are the professionals who you look up to help while making a risky investment or engaging in a new venture to assess the magnitude of risk and minimizing its effects.  This internationally recognized professional certification is offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals after a candidate clears stringent two-part examination along with gaining at least two years experience in financial risk management. The examination is held twice a year and all questions asked are objective type.

Earlier the exam was held in a single part format which was done away with in November 2009. From that year onwards, FRM exam is held in two parts, namely FRM-I and FRM-II. These exams are held on the same day, each of four hour duration separated by a break of two hours in between. The FRM-I exam has 100 multiple choice questions while FRM-II exam has 80 multiple choice questions. The FRM exams are considered as most challenging when it comes to the pass percentage which is a paltry 25%.

Pursuing a career as a blogger and education counselor, Saurabh Tyagi provides free advice on various domains such as web designing, mobile application development and social media amongst others. His interest lies in interactive media technology.

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