Finance professionals are in high demand. If you have a knack for numbers and investments, you might be able to start an exciting new career in the field of finance. However, the education you need is subject to change depending on your desired level of expertise. This blog post is meant to give you an overview of your education for a finance career.
1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business
It would be best if you generally had a bachelor’s degree in the business field to work in finance. However, if that is not enough, you can earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. in finance that will significantly increase your options for finding jobs. Financial planning classes are part of the bachelor’s degree in business, but they’re not required for this type of career. You can also take classes related to your area of focus, such as accounting or investments.
2. Acquire a Master’s Degree
While you can find entry-level positions with a bachelor’s degree, your options for advancement and higher salaries will be greater if you earn a master’s degree. A master’s degree also means you can work as an instructor at a college or university. If you don’t want to work in academia, you can also pursue a Ph.D. in finance that will allow you to work in the insurance industry, consulting firms, or even banking. A Ph.D. is also valuable for financial advisors.
3. Complete the CFP Certification
Those who work as financial planners require additional education. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification is considered the gold standard of financial planning education. To become certified, you have to pass a comprehensive exam. Once you are certified, you are required to have 3-5 years of work experience in the field before you are eligible for the exam.
4. Undergraduate Degree in Business or Accounting
You need to know which CPA review course to use to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The CPA designation is highly regarded in the field of accounting, and it shows that you have acquired additional education beyond your undergraduate degree. It’s also necessary to work in public accounting.
5. Earn a Ph.D. in Finance
If you have been actively involved in your community, you might have a professional-level degree in something else. For example, if you have taught college courses or given talks at conferences, you can choose to earn a Ph.D. in finance with a minor in one of your interests. You’ll need to graduate from a university that offers the Ph.D. program and then pass all of your classes with a minimum grade point average of 3.2. If you want to work in academia, you can earn a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in finance.
6. Become Certified
Not everyone needs advanced education to work in finance. Some employers prefer candidates who have accomplished their goals through certification programs that teach specific skills they want. For example, financial planners might need to consider whether they want a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree when hiring for a position. Other employers might choose candidates with the Certified Financial Planner status. Employers looking for those who can provide financial advice to more affluent clients might prefer candidates who hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.
7. Acquire Professional Certification
Acquiring voluntary certifications is another way to distinguish yourself in the field of finance. Many professional organizations offer these certifications, such as the American Association of Retirement Plan Advisors (AARP), Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), and Financial Management Association International (FMAM). Depending on what type of work you wish to do, you can get more certifications from places like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
Your experience in the field of finance might have been gained through internships, volunteering, or working as a consultant. If you have many years of work experience, you will likely qualify for a specific position. However, this doesn’t guarantee that there will be an opening; it may be more critical for those with fewer years to gain exposure to their field and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise through presentations at trade shows and conferences.
9. Licenses and Certifications
All of your certifications and licenses must be current. Not only will this help you to gain a position with an employer, but it can also make it easier for potential clients to find you. For example, if you haven’t completed continuing education, you may not keep up with new tax laws or change governing regulations.
Understanding what education you need for a finance career can be difficult, but it’s essential to have all the facts to know where your future lies. If you’re looking for a specific type of position, consider getting certified and learning new skills. This way, you can take on whatever position is open and gain valuable experience that will make your resume stand out from the rest of the pack.