3 Tips For A Successful And Lasting Career In Finance

4 Common Designations And Certifications In The Financial Services Industry


The financial services industry needs people with sound financial knowledge to look after clients’ investments, assets, loans and credit.

Many entry-level financial services jobs don’t require you to have a degree in business, finance or commerce, but it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you can obtain additional training and knowledge related to the specific area of finance you’re interested in working in.

Simply stating on your resumé that you’ve started the process of getting a designation can make you much more attractive to financial services employers.

A financial designation is kind of like a post-graduate education in finance: it isn’t mandatory, but it gives financial professionals credibility and specialized knowledge, and keeps you up-to-date in their area of expertise.

It also shows employers and clients that you are dedicated to you profession and can be trusted with clients’ hard earned money because you must follow strict ethical standards.

If you’re disheartened at the thought of spending even more time in school, don’t worry: simply stating on your resumé that you’ve started the process of getting a designation can make you much more attractive to financial services employers.

Most programs require a combination of self-study, work experience, and examinations, allowing you to work full-time while you pursue the designation or certification. Many employers also provide financial assistance or reimbursement for the completion of related coursework once you’ve been hired.

Here is some information on four common certifications relating to financial services:

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Globally recognized by employers, investment professionals, and investors, the CFA program equips you with the practical and fundamental knowledge you need for a wide variety of career choices in the investment profession.

You’ll learn about a wide range of topics, including portfolio management, investment analysis, derivatives, accounting, and other fundamentals of the global markets, preparing you to analyze financial markets and provide recommendations about investments.

The CFA program is a self-study program organized into 18 study sessions for each exam level. There are three consecutive levels you must pass and each exam is six hours long. According to the CFA Institute, it takes an average of four years to complete the program.

The CFA Charter is a title earned after you complete four years of qualified investment work experience. You must also adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. To maintain the status, you are required pay an annual fee and submit the Professional Conduct Statement.

Possible careers

Financial Analyst, Financial Advisor, Portfolio Analyst, Business Planning/Strategist, Portfolio Management, Investment Banking Analyst, Research Analyst, Consultant


Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

CFP certification is mandatory in Quebec and British Columbia to be a financial planner. Earning CFP certification is a process:

To maintain the CFP status, you must pay annual fees and meet the on-going Continuing Education requirements.

Possible careers

Financial Planner, Financial Advisor, Investment Advisor, Investment Retirement Planner, Mutual Fund Advisor, Insurance Manager

Here are other articles on TalentEgg about careers in financial planning:


Financial Risk Management (FRM)

The FRM Certification is internationally recognized for professions in financial risk management. Their job is to manage credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk, as well as non-market related financial risks. This certification enables you to gain knowledge in quantitative analysis, operational risk, market risk, investment risk, credit risk, and issues in the current financial markets.

The FRM Certification. To be an FRM holder, you must pass two comprehensive exams and have a minimum of two years professional full-time experience in financial risk management or related field, such as portfolio management, industry research, economics, and auditing.

Possible careers

Financial Advisor, Financial Risk Manager, Consultant for Financial Risks, Asset Liability Manager/Analyst, Credit Manager, Risk Control Manager


Certified Credit Professional (CCP)

According to the Credit Institute of Canada (CIC) website, completion of the CCP program enables graduates to manage a credit department. Topics include credit management, managing credit with information technology, and the Canadian Credit Law.

To obtain the certification, you must first complete the self-study CCP Education Program. CIC provides online materials and optional lectures. The program has eight courses and you are evaluated by online assignments and quizzes, plus a final exam in each course. There is also a requirement to complete a minimum of five years of related work experience.

Possible careers

Credit Analyst/Specialist, Credit Risk Manager, Claims Manager, Accounts Receivable Collections


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About the author

Kathy Ho started writing for TalentEgg in October 2011. She graduated with a BBA degree at the University of Toronto in the Strategic Management program. Before committing to a career in consulting, she wishes to try different areas in business. Oh, and although she's nervous about it, she loves public speaking. Despite her background in business, she also has a passion for all things creative. She hopes to work in the art industry and maybe pursue her hobby as a painter. She is fluent in Cantonese, speaks broken French and is learning Italian.