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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The 5 Best Finance Certifications to Pursue in 2020


If you’re feeling stuck in your career path, it’s possible a certification can help you continue climbing. Industries value the expertise that comes with those initials after your name. Many of the certificates involve stringent coursework and exams that warrant the respect you’ll get.

Here are five top finance certifications to consider. Each one has specific requirements and job possibilities. Look at a credential in one of these areas, and you could give your career the boost you need.

1. Certified Public Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant must actually obtain a license and not a certification. It’s one of the most valuable credentials in the financial world. The return on investment a CPA will get is high.

You’ll put in a lot of hours (150 just in coursework), but you’ll also be able to prepare taxes, as well as work in accounting and financial analysis. CPAs are one of the most respected professionals in the industry. They provide valuable advice and important contributions.

2. Finance Certifications in Retirement Planning

Clients looking for an investment manager will look for those three letters–CFP–at the end of your name. A CFP or Certified Financial Planner has to pass a seven-hour exam, as well as maintain their credentials with ongoing education.

This type of professional helps you plan for retirement and use your financial assets to reach your goals. They want to make sure you’re saving enough to live the life you want after you’re no longer working.

3. Financial Risk Manager

This type of financial professional usually works in a bank, analyzing risk and threats to assets. The pass rate on the exam is less than half, although an FRM practice exam can help you reduce anxiety and better prepare for the real test. FRMs also work in private consulting, loan origination, or trading.

Economic threats and market volatility are only a couple of the things FRMs deal with. They also look at liquidity and credit risk, as well as business risk.

4. Chartered Life Underwriter

This certification is important in the insurance world. Agents must take eight courses in estate planning, life insurance, and risk management. There isn’t an exam to pass at the end, but the American College of Financial Planning sets stringent coursework.

5. Chartered Financial Analyst

CFAs, or Chartered Financial Analysts, have to pass three rigorous tests in ten areas to receive certification. They go on to work as investment managers, helping individuals or businesses make decisions about investing.

If you want to work for a bank or pension fund analyzing risk and investment options, this certification can help. When it accompanies a bachelor’s degree in finance, or a similar field like economics, accounting, or business, you’re well-positioned for a career in investment management.

The Right Certification

These five finance certifications are a big step on the path to pursuing your career goals. If you’ve dreamed of working in the financial sector, then one of these may be the right move for you. Whether you want to be in financial planning or accounting, those letters after your name give your business a big boost.

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