Anyone who wishes to progress in their financial career must achieve a variety of professional qualifications along the way.
These will account for different areas of the business world and be set at a degree of difficulty levels. When it comes to applying and finding a job, employers will usually only take on people who have the relevant credentials; this means that earning these qualifications becomes very important.
Studying for the relevant financial examinations can be achieved by different methods. Going to college or university is the more traditional approach although online courses are becoming more popular with students across the UK. These can be accessed by anyone with access to the internet and completed at their own pace, be it with full or part-time study.
Online learning is preferential for many people for its convenience. You can commit to as much as you think you can manage and utilise the wide range of learning materials at your disposal. Professional and experienced personal tutors will be able to answer any queries you have on the financial course and provide feedback throughout.
Types of Financial Course
Due to the extensive nature of the financial world there are a range of qualifications you can study for. This can become confusing, especially as some of them appear to be similar or are just the same course offered by different examining bodies. In many cases, a university degree is the minimum requirement for the larger financial companies. On other occasions, a Masters degree in Finance or Masters degree in Financial Economics will help you stand out from other applicants.
Courses can be categorised into main sections; Corporate Management, Financial Markets, Financial Reporting and Tax & VAT are commonly taken up via university and online educational institutes. There are many sections and subsections associated with each category also.
More specific financial qualifications include:
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA),
- Certified Treasury Professional (CTP),
- Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA),
- Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA),
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM),
- Certified Market Analyst (CMA/FAD)
- Corporate Finance Qualification (CF),
- Chartered Investment Manager (CIM)
There are also organisational bodies that cater for different parts of the financial sector, such as accounting, management roles and risk-assessment. The most prominent of these include:
- ACCA – The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is the global body for professional accountants. They offer the ACCA Qualification as their main certificate, along with a large network of support for its members all over the world.
- CIMA – The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is a similar UK-based organisation which offers training and qualifications in the area of management accountancy. Like ACCA, there are hundreds of thousands of members and students worldwide who are regulated by CIMA.
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