Overview of Online Corporate Finance Certificate Programs
Individuals who want to move into a career in corporate finance or improve their decision-making skills and advance in the field can pursue a certificate program, which is available in online and on-campus formats. These programs provide a well-rounded introduction to essential topics in financial analysis and accounting.
Candidates who earn a certificate in corporate finance can also improve their job prospects by pursuing CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification. This designation focuses on securities and investments and can be extremely valuable while looking for work in the financial sector. Graduates of an online corporate finance certificate program should be aware that CFA eligibility requirements state that candidates must have four years of prior work experience, in addition to a bachelor's degree, in order to be eligible to sit for certification exams.
Corporate Finance Certificate Program Description
Students who want to earn a certificate in corporate finance but have busy schedules can choose from several schools that offer online courses, which contain the same instruction and course content as their on-campus counterparts but offer the convenience and flexibility of distance learning. Some schools also offer hybrid programs, which allow for both on-site and online instruction.
Course topics focus on both introductory and more advanced subjects in corporate finance. Students in these programs can take core courses that cover financial strategy, managerial accounting, financial regulations, financial statement analysis, and financial quantitative methods. Some programs also have elective courses that explore more unique areas like investment banking, international finance, and capital markets. Certain schools allow candidates to transfer credits earned in certificate programs towards graduate degrees, meaning that students can use these programs to get one step closer to earning a Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Finance.
These programs are offered at the graduate level, meaning that prospective students will need to have a bachelor's degree in order to register. Most programs do not require that the degree be in a certain field, and prior work experience is not normally a prerequisite. Programs typically consist of 12-16 credits and take less than a year to complete, although working professionals who elect to study at a slower pace may take more time to earn their certificate.
Career Outcomes for Corporate Finance Certificate Programs
Certificates in corporate finance are an excellent way for candidates to improve their skills in the areas of risk analysis, capital budgeting, and valuation, among others, and boost their resume without having to commit to the financial cost and length of a master's degree program. Some certificate programs incorporate CFA test preparation into the curriculum for students looking to eventually earn this credential.
Examples of careers for graduates from these programs include financial manager and financial analyst. In May of 2018, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that financial analysts earned a median salary of $85,660 per year, while financial managers made a median of $127,990 per year. The outlook for the immediate future is promising as well, with the BLS anticipating employment for financial analysts to grow 6% from 2018 to 2028. Financial managers can expect a 16% growth during the same time span. The BLS noted that globalization and a growing economy should lead to more complex economic issues and complicated tax laws that will require a greater number of financial experts.
A number of schools offer online certificate programs that focus on corporate finance and prepare candidates for employment in a variety of financial management and analysis positions. Graduates can go on to earn a master's degree, seek further professional certification, or begin looking for work directly after leaving such a program.