Students with an interest in investing, economics, cash flow, and money management often consider pursuing a career in the finance sector. According to research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not only are there a wealth of finance careers available to people in the field, but also several educational opportunities available as well. Depending on their long-term plans, students can opt to earn a formal degree in finance or enroll in one of the various finance certification programs online.
Offered at the vocational and post-master's levels, certificates suit the specific needs and goals of individuals not looking to commit to a four-year program. It is important to note, however, that the curriculum students will encounter is just as rigorous and thorough as the content they would find if they were pursuing a finance degree at the same level. Specific course topics depend on the particular certificate in finance one chooses to pursue, but on average they take about a year to complete.
A vocational certificate in finance is an ideal choice for those looking to jumpstart their careers. Not only can it help students land positions as loan officers or other professions that don’t require a bachelor’s, it can also help them prepare for a bachelor’s in finance.
Programs for vocational finance certificates typically last about a year, but this will vary depending on the academic institution’s setup and a student’s course load each semester. Since this type of certificate prepares students for a wide-range of jobs, the curriculum usually touches on a variety of topics, including tax law, real estate practices, business ethics, and more. Bookkeeping and investment courses are also commonly featured.
Students pursuing certificates at this level are generally aiming to hone and develop their finance expertise by delving deeper into the subject. While most finance careers only require a bachelor’s, going above and beyond helps impress employers and secure raises and promotions. If you aspire to one day run a company or be the one making the important business decisions, a post-master’s certificate in finance might be a wise investment.
This certificate can take anywhere from one to two years to complete. In their program, students will study portfolio management, international markets, and numerous other subjects to prepare themselves for the ever-changing world of finance. Most programs offer a balance of educational instruction and hands-on experience to ensure students receive a well-rounded certificate experience.
What’s Next for Finance Certificate Holders?
Certificate graduates have a wealth of career options awaiting them once they complete their studies. Those at the vocational level can find entry-level positions in the field or use their academics to pursue a higher degree. Post-master’s certificate students, on the other hand, can either go on to advance their careers or opt to enroll in a Ph.D. program. The subjects and skills covered in the post-master’s program adequately prepare students for that next level of study and research.