Facets of a career in finance

Facets of a career in finance

There are a plethora of financial certifications that you can get. Istock image

Even a higher education degree seems to be inadequate for professionals looking to stay ahead in the job market today. Most people are going in for certifications from reputed institutions and the financial domain is not stranger to this trend.

There are a plethora of certifications that have emerged for students in the Finance and Commerce streams. So here are some top financial certifications for graduates looking to make a career in the Finance sphere.

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

One of the most sought after certifications in the industry, the CA certification  is also one of the most rigorous courses in the Finance and Accountancy domains.

- The process of applying for the CA includes:

- Take the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) after Class 12. 

However, note that Commerce graduates with >55% score are exempted from the CPT
Non-Commerce Graduates with >60% score are exempted from CPT

Career opportunities: Consultancy in corporate finance, accounting, taxation, financial analysis or auditing roles; Financial analyst in Investment Banks in Capital Markets divisions of Investment Banks; Investment Management roles in Wealth management organisations; employment in Government and PSU sectors. 

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

This is a prestigious certification awarded by the CFA Institute in the USA. This certification is carried out at three levels. After completing all levels, candidates have to acquire 48 months of relevant work experience.

Career opportunities: Investment Management / Wealth Management firms / Portfolio Management firms; Investment banking; Equity research; Private equity; Credit rating / Analysis; Corporate Finance Divisions.

Cost Management Accountant (CMA)

A CMA has an all-encompassing role of compiling financial documents from all departments of an organisation. This certification enables to competently handle the financial aspects of an organisation.

The certification happens at three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Final Exams. Along with exams, a candidate should possess three years of practical training.

Career opportunities: Cost auditing, taxation, and assurance; Resource and performance management

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A CFP certification is awarded by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB Ltd.) of the USA. In India, its counterpart FPSB India takes the responsibility of giving certification.  

This certification is available in two modes. Regular Mode and Challenging Status Programme

Regular mode: Candidates who have passed the Class 12 are eligible to take up the exams in five different levels.

Challenging status programme: Only one exam is conducted for the entire syllabus. For this, programme candidates should possess either postgraduation/ CA/MBA qualification or 3 - 5 years of work experience.

Career opportunities: Banks, Financial planning firms; Asset management companies; Brokerages; Insurance firms; Distribution houses.

Financial Risk Managers (FRM)

FRM Certified candidates have the competency to handle different types of financial risks, like Interest Rate Risk, Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk and Operational Risks. This certification is awarded by a body known as the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). 

FRM Certification is awarded by conducting two Levels of examinations. Moreover, the candidates are expected to possess a minimum of two years work experience.

Career opportunities: Banks and financial institutions; Institutions dealing with foreign exchange and financial markets; Independent risk assessment consultants.    

In addition to the aforementioned, certifications like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Chartered Public Accountant, DipIFR for International Financial Reporting Standards and Company Secretary help in pursuing a career in the financial sector.