Working in finance, you’re probably familiar with certifications that may help advance your career. However, you may not have researched enough to determine which certifications may be most advantageous for you. Learn more information about four certifications that may benefit your financial career.
Certified Internal Auditor
Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) demonstrates competence in areas such as information technology and risk and control. Certification is beneficial for audit staff, risk management staff, audit managers or chief audit executives. To earn your CIA certification, you need a bachelor’s degree and two years of internal audit experience, or a master’s degree and one year of experience. You have six and one-half hours to pass three levels of exams and may be certified within 12 to 18 months. Your annual number of required continuing professional education (CPE) credits depends on your work status.
Chartered Financial Analyst
Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) shows you’re highly knowledgeable and competent working with principles of portfolio management, investment analysis and economics. The certification is typically required for security analysts or asset managers and may be beneficial for fund managers, equity analysts, hedge fund managers or senior finance managers. To earn your certification, you need a bachelor’s degree, four years’ relevant experience in areas such as trading, economics or corporate finance, and membership in the CFA Institute. Expect to spend at least 300 hours preparing for each of the three exam levels. You have 18 hours to pass the levels of exams in succession. Although you may become certified within 18 months, most candidates take more than two years. You’re required to annually complete 20 hours of CPE credits, including two hours of standards, regulatory and ethics education.
Certified Management Accountant
Becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) verifies your proficiency in financial analysis, budgeting, strategic assessments and other skills. If you earn your CPA license, you may want to earn your CMA certification as well, since the exam topics are very similar. The CMA is recommended if you’re an accountant in the corporate sector, especially in large, multinational companies. To earn the certification, you need a bachelor’s degree and two consecutive years in financial management or management accounting. You have eight hours to complete two levels of exams and three years to complete the program. You may be certified within one to two years and need to annually complete 30 hours of CPE credits.
Certified Information Systems Auditor
Becoming a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) proves your proficiency in information systems control, security and auditing. Certification is beneficial for information systems auditors and control or security professionals desiring worldwide recognition. You have four hours to pass the 150-question exam. You may be certified when you have five years’ experience in professional information systems auditing, control or security. You also need to annually complete CPE hours and pay maintenance fees.
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