The financial certification that is the most suitable to you
Students while deciding upon the question, which financial course is most suited to them, often stumble on many related financial certifications that could further their approach in gaining a satisfactory career. Out of an array of alternatives, we list here a few, which are the most sought after and competed for credentials, in the field of finance.
Chartered Financial Analyst
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), offered by CFA Institute (formerly known as AIMR). There are three levels of this financial certification which are described below:
- The Level I:The first part of this examination includes studying topics such as Introduction to asset valuation, financial reporting and analysis, and portfolio management techniques
- The Level II:Upon clearing the first text the next level of the examination tests the candidates on asset valuation and also includes applications of the tools and inputs (including economics, financial reporting and analysis, and quantitative methods) in asset valuation
- The Level III:third and arguably the toughest as per the difficulty level, this stage grinds and requires the incumbent to be proficient in the art of portfolio management and also includes strategies for applying the tools, inputs, and asset valuation models in managing equity, fixed income, and derivative investments for individuals and institutions.
Financial Risk Manager
Financial Risk Manager (FRM) offered by GARP – Global Association of Risk Professionals: This exam has two parts:
- Financial Markets and Products
- Foundations of Risk Management
- Quantitative Analysis
- Valuation and Risk Models
- Market Risk Measurement and Management
- Credit Risk Measurement and Management
- Operational and Integrated Risk Management
- Risk Management and Investment Management
- Current Issues in Financial Markets
Professional Risk Manager
Professional Risk Managers (PRM) offered by PRMIA – Professional Risk Managers’ International Association: Such financial certifications have four parts:
- EXAM I: Finance Theory, Financial Instruments, and Markets
- EXAM II: Mathematical Foundations of Risk Measurement
- EXAM III: Risk Management Practices
- EXAM IV: Case Studies, PRMIA Standards of Best Practice, Conduct and Ethics, Bylaws
Then there are others like:
- Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA)– Focuses the fundamental concepts and techniques of modeling and managing risk
- Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA)– Centers around identification, measurements, and management of risk within risk bearing enterprises
- Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)– Deals with financial decisions making concerning retirement benefits, life insurance, annuities, health insurance, investments, finance, and enterprise risk management, including the application of advanced concepts and techniques for modeling and managing risk.
The list of the above mentioned financial certifications have a few attributes that are mutual. For instance, they all help arm you with the know-how of starting a career in finance. Such added credentials only go on to complement the value of a resume. Once this value addition takes place, it goes further to expand the professional horizon of the incumbent. Last and probably the most important aspect if such Finance Certificate Programs is that they unlock the doors to connect with the cream of finance professionals from around the world.
The jobs markets are very diverse in their nature. For aspirants looking forward to making it big in private equity/debt analysis etc., CFA appears to be the best option. Similarly, Risk Managers, go for an FRM/PRM financial certifications. Like an MBA, these financial certifications may or may not offer promotions, but certainly, add value to the portfolio.