People of various backgrounds and experiences can benefit from taking Certificate Programs in Finance. Some individuals with no academic or professional experience in finance or business at all will complete a finance certificate, as will those with previous experience in the field in order to refresh, upgrade or gain specialized skills.
Generally speaking, finance certificate programs take less time to complete than a degree (some may only take a year or less). Since there is a whole gamut of students taking these programs there are often flexible study options, such as a scheduled online program, a self-paced online program or an on-campus evening or weekend program.
Who Should Complete a Finance Certificate Program?
- Financial professionals wanting to gain a specialty skill set and who are seeking to advance their careers.
- Non-financial professionals seeking to make a career change, to understand the financial aspects of their day-to-day work or to be promoted to leadership roles where financial knowledge is beneficial.
- New and current students and recent graduates wanting to compliment their education for the realization of their professional goals.
- Entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals seeking to gain skills and knowledge about the business component of their enterprises.
- Those needing to complete educational requirements to gain credentials or certifications administered through professional associations (such as the CFP® certification or the CTP® designation). Certificate programs may also be in line with continuing education units required to maintain these credentials.
Examples of Certificate Programs in Finance
As the financial industry is diversely complex, there is a plethora of certificate programs in finance offered by colleges and universities. JUST SOME examples include:
- Professional Certificate in Corporate Finance: To acquire skills and practices (such as statement analysis and valuation) that promote corporate financial growth.
- Professional Finance Certificate in Investment Management: To gain theoretical and practical knowledge (in areas such as portfolio management and securities) for effectively investing finances.
- Finance and Accounting Professional Certificate: To gain more expertise in accounting, corporate finance and economics for managerial roles.
- Certificate in Financial Planning: To meet the educational pre-requisites for writing the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) certification exam.
- Undergraduate Certificate in Financial Economics: To gain a deeper understanding of areas, such as finance principles, international finance, investments, risk management, derivatives and other financial instruments.
- Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis: To equip individuals with skills and practice to make effective financial decisions through learning about valuation, corporate reporting, financial statement analysis, accounting, financial policy, risk management and more.
- Real Estate Finance Certificate Program: Geared for those pursuing finance professions related to real estate as well as related advanced positions.
- Health Finance and Management Certificate: To develop an understanding for the skills and practice necessary for managerial and leadership roles in a healthcare setting, particularly how these roles pertain to financial dealings.
As you research finance certificate programs, you’ll notice that some are offered at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
If you are an undergraduate student, for example, the courses needed to fulfill a finance certificate program, offered at the school you are attending, may fit nicely into your academic schedule. In this case, you can graduate with a Bachelor’s degree and a Finance Certificate.
For graduate certificate programs in finance, a pre-requisite may be to have already completed a Bachelor’s degree. Depending on the school, such a certificate program may be completed at the same time as a Master’s degree; in some cases, credits earned from the certificate program may be transferred to a Master’s degree you choose to pursue in the future.