Finance certificate programs have varied admission requirements, with education ranging from a high school diploma or GED to a bachelor's degree or relevant work experience. Some finance certificate programs prepare students for professional certification. Many offer concentrations or specializations within the broader field of finance. The majority of certificates may be completed in one to two semesters of study, often concurrently.
Undergraduate Finance Certificate
This certificate program is ideal for a student who is working toward a bachelor's degree, or already holds a bachelor's degree, and wants to supplement his or her knowledge and skill sets. Students in certificate programs can learn the basics of various finance-related areas, such as corporate finance, international finance, portfolio management, and financial markets. Undergraduate finance certificates are available at public and private colleges and universities.
Some finance certificate programs allow students to choose an area within the finance field to concentrate on. Typically, finance certificate programs require students to complete 12-18 credit hours of study. Some common classes may include:
- Risk management
- Corporate finance
- Financial institutions
- Investment analysis
- Portfolio management
Graduate Finance Certificate
Graduate finance certificate programs provide graduate education to individuals interested in specialization. Students can learn select aspects, trends, and issues as they relate to the field of finance.
Some graduate finance certificate programs allow students to select concentrations so that their classes correlate with chosen occupational objectives. Students typically need to take 12-15 credit hours to complete the program. Some classes may include:
- Investment theories
- Financial management
- Quantitative methods
- Managerial accounting
- Managing financial institutions
Popular Career Options
An undergraduate finance certificate can help individuals advance in their finance or business-related careers. Some career options are:
- Banking professionals
- Investment advisors
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
An individual with a graduate finance certificate may qualify for a financial manager position if he or she has professional IT experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that financial manager jobs were expected to increase seven percent from 2014 to 2024. Established and new businesses need financial managers, and that should keep the demand for these professionals steady. Also, as banks open more branches, more bank branch managers are needed. The BLS reported that the annual median income for financial managers in May 2015 was $117,990.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals completing undergraduate finance certificates outside of bachelor's degree programs may go on to complete associate or bachelor's degree programs related to finance. These programs may result in business or finance degrees. Individuals who complete a bachelor's degree alongside a certificate in finance may go on to study at the graduate level.
Students who have completed a graduate finance certificate program may decide to further their studies by enrolling in a finance master's degree program. Credits received through the finance certificate program are often accepted by master's degree programs. Additionally, some graduate finance certificate programs prepare recipients for professional licensure, such as certified financial planner, certified financial manager, or chartered financial planner.
Finance certificate programs are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These certification programs offer several options for specialization at both degree levels.