In many knowledge-intensive professions like business and finance, obtaining an additional qualification – be it an academic degree or professional certification-- is a sure way to take your career to the next level.
So if you’re an ambitious professional looking to advance into financial management, here are some of the most sought-after financial management credentials that you should consider.
1. Academic Programs
Since many entry-level finance positions require a bachelor’s degree, were are going to focus on graduate programs.
Graduate certificates are suitable for financial professionals who want to obtain an advanced credential within a relatively short period. Let’s say a financial management vacancy will occur in your company within the next year, and the position –which you badly want- will require something more than an undergraduate degree. What do you do, considering a master’s degree typically takes two years? Going for a graduate certificate or diploma in financial management is definitely the smartest move, since it takes at most a year to complete.
Institutions offering this credential include:
- University of Maryland University College, Maryland
- Empire State College, New York
- John Hopkins University, Maryland
- Rutgers Business School, New Jersey
It is important to note that you can go for a program that is tailored to you career needs. For example, if you want to work as a finance manager in a government agency, then you should take Rutgers Business School’s certificate in governmental financial management.
A master’s degree in financial management needs no introduction. It not only significantly increases your grasp of financial management concepts, but also makes you a standout candidate for any given financial job. If you want it, consider pursuing it in:
2. Professional Certifications
While academic degrees demonstrate a holders’ wealth of knowledge, professional certifications demonstrate professionalism and adherence to occupational standards of practice.
The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM), an international professional association, awards the Certified Finance Manager designation, which you can obtain to enhance your career advancement prospects. The best thing about this certification is that it is not exclusive to people with a financial background. Even if you are a teacher, and you feel a financial management credential can help you further your career, you will be eligible for certification, as long as you pass the certification exam.
Other available certifications include:
- Certified Government Financial Managers – Offered by the Association of Government Accountants.
- Certified Professional Financial Manager – Offered by the Institute of Professional Financial Managers
3. Workshop/Seminar Certificates
Ever participated in a workshop or attended a seminar? If you have, then you know certificates of participation are issued. Although you may not hold them in high regard (because workshops and seminars last only a few days), they can make a difference in your career.
The American Management Association and the International Institute of Financial Management are some of the organizations that organize seminars and workshops where established financial managers mentor and train aspiring managers.
As you can see, there are several options when it comes to financial management options. Be sure to perform additional research on each credential, identify pros and cons, and find the one that will best serve your interests. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments section.