Graduate certificate programs in finance, which are offered in a variety of formats, typically are comprised of 5-7 courses. Focusing on corporate and financial management principles, these programs usually offer flexible scheduling to accommodate working professionals. Graduates should be prepared to evaluate financing options, analyze lending institutions, manage investments and understand stock sale and initial public offering processes. Additionally, budget analysts who work for the government might seek credentialing as a certified public finance officer.
Significant work experience, a bachelor's degree, and passing scores on qualifying examinations are required. Students must also have a good understanding of budgeting software, the budget cycle, and cost-benefit analysis.
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Graduate Certificate Programs in Budget Analysis
The coursework provides an in-depth look at budgetary processes within the public sector. Classes might include:
- Financial management
- Corporate management
- Equity markets
- Public and not-for-profit organizations
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Upon completion of a graduate certificate program in finance, students might choose to pursue a master's degree in finance, accounting or a related field. Professional organizations, such as the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis, provide opportunities for continuing education, as well as hosting regional and national conferences.
Additionally, budget analysts who work for the government can earn certification through the Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Program, offered by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. Interested candidates must have a bachelor's degree, three years of government employment over the previous ten years and membership in the GFOA. They also must pass five examinations covering topics such as government accounting and auditing, cash and debt management, pensions and benefits, and operational and capital budgets.
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for budget analysts is expected to grow 3%, a slower-than-average pace, between 2014 and 2024. Additionally, the BLS reported that the mean annual salary for budget analysts was $75,150 in 2015.
A graduate certificate program in budget analysis is designed to educate students in advanced topics regarding budgetary processes. Graduates of the program can pursue a career in accounting or a related field.