A finance career is highly sought after, and it offers several options for young professionals. One of the most popular choices is to become an investment banker, working on sourcing capital for companies, governments, and other parties by way of underwriting and selling securities as well as facilitating mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and broker trades.
Success in an investment banking career brings good money for the professional, and gives a chance to interact with senior management personnel of a number of clients. This makes it a popular and highly preferred career choice.
The job is one that combines skills in finance and accounting with the need to be business savvy. Aside from degrees in finance or related subjects and useful, relevant work experience, what helps is a good investment banking certification. This can be invaluable in getting selected for a great job or in securing higher roles within the organization and growing fast.
Here are some of the top banking certifications for someone aspiring to become an investment banker:
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
The CFA certification is offered by the CFA Institute, considered the premier association in the world for professionals working in investment banking and management. Its mission is “to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society”. The institute works to develop ethics, integrity, and professional practice standards for the field, and its members include financial advisors, portfolio managers, buy-/sell-side research analysts, and other professionals involved in investment decision-making.
A CFA holder is someone who has the skills and knowledge essential for success as an investment banker. As a banking certification, it signifies expertise in investment analysis along with a commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. The certification is targeted at practicing investment bankers, students, or someone planning to start a career in or move to a career in this field. Its benefits are the following:
- A mark of knowledge and commitment in a complex domain
- Proof of extensive knowledge and skills in portfolio management and investment analysis, with inputs from industry experts
- Relevant for diverse career paths within and outside the industry
Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP™)
The CIBP™ certification is offered by the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA), an organization spearheading the development of standards, norms, knowledge frameworks, study material, and more for investment banking professionals to improve their performance by several levels. IBCA credentials are suitable for professionals working in advisory, equity, M&A, underwriting or other fields in this domain, and they are based on detailed market and technical studies.
CIBP™ is an investment banking certification that is excellent preparation to begin a career or to grow rapidly and take on higher responsibilities. Combining well with good business degrees, it is authoritative proof of the potential and promise of professionals. Some of the key features include the following:
- Extensive learning material including the IBCA Investment Banking Handbook, the flagship resource to learn and prepare for exams from
- Online articles and learning material
- Exams that can be taken from home, office, or anywhere else
- Printed certificates, lapel pins, and digital badging
Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
The CGFM certification is offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), a member organization for government financial management professionals. AGA helps to improve skills of its members and grow their careers by offering professional certifications, publications, training events, and ongoing education. Its members work to improve government financial accountability and performance, and they work across the world in different sectors.
CGFM testifies that the holder is skilled in auditing, budgeting, financial reporting, governmental accounting, and internal controls at local, state, and federal government levels. It is a great choice for someone who wants to be an effective government financial manager. Candidates need to abide by the Code of Ethics of AGA and clear three comprehensive CGFM examinations, and they must have at least two years of professional experience in government financial management.