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Students looking to learn about investments, legal issues and investing strategies can find a variety of options online through both formal and informal education programs. Many private companies and industry professionals offer distance learning courses, tutorials or programs that are open to the public. For those seeking the traditional academic approach, several schools provide bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs in fields of study related to investing. Graduate programs may require students to have professional experience in the field. Some of the courses students may see include investment banking, finance, business administration, banking and financial services management.
Tutorials for Investor Training
Many of the most popular options for investor training on the Web are available in the form of downloadable knowledge bases, such as e-books, media files, podcasts, and other self-help publications. Usually, these resources are offered by investing experts who have proven themselves over a period of years and wish to offer their knowledge and skills for others to take advantage of.
Many times, these resources are available, either for a fee or on a trial basis in the case of services, to download or to purchase in hard copy form as books or CDs. These resources may cover a variety of investment types and techniques in a single volume, or may focus very specifically on a topic such as real estate or stock options. Some investment counselors offer free databases of articles to whet users' appetites and prove their credibility then offer a more comprehensive download, service or class for a fee.
Short Courses and Personal Investor Coaching
Another common investor training resource online is either a set of one-on-one personal training sessions or a set of short courses or seminars, available live or by correspondence via e-mail. These resources are also usually available from investment professionals who have spent years learning their trade and wish to offer their knowledge and assistance to others outside the industry.
Depending on the provider, counseling sessions may be offered via telephone or instant messenger as a one-on-one service to prospective investors, or they may be handled via e-mail as a correspondence course. Short courses may likewise be offered in the form of a correspondence course with some personal interaction, either via e-mail or an online learning center, or may incorporate Web seminars or live group sessions.
Many colleges and universities offer accredited online degrees or certificates for those who wish to enter the investment industry. A few programs may be specifically focused on investments, but it's more common to find the subject covered within a banking or finance program. Examples of online offerings include:
- Certificate in Investment Banking
- Bachelor of Science in Finance
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Banking and Finance
- Master of Science in Banking and Financial Services Management
- Master of Science in Finance with a concentration in Investments and Securities
While online tutorials or personal coaching from professionals might be open to anyone, students interested in entering a formal college program usually have to meet strict admission standards. For instance, undergraduate programs typically require applicants to have high school diplomas or GEDs. Graduate-level distance learning programs require prospective students to have a bachelor's degree and possibly an academic or professional background related to the field.
Required courses in an online investment training program vary based on degree level and the exact field of study. Examples of distance learning classes that might be available in a banking or finance program include the following:
- Investment analysis
- Portfolio management
- Fiscal policies
- Corporate finance
- Financial markets
- Stock market
- International finance
- Regulatory issues
- Banking principles
Online courses within a distance learning degree or certificate program typically use a specifically designed Study.com software to deliver class materials. Distance learners interact with peers and instructors using e-mail, message boards or perhaps web conferencing. The virtual classroom environment generally contains lectures, assignments and assessments that can be accessed when it fits students' schedules. However, deadlines for coursework often apply.
Those interested in learning about investing have several options including actual online degree programs or online training programs through a private company. Private companies may offer tutorials, short courses, or private investor coaching.