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Many individuals wish they could have a successful career in finance but don’t have a clue where to start. They see themselves working with numbers and making decisions around business and finance courses while interacting with others in the business world.
Unfortunately, daydreaming won’t get you closer to that dream job, but there are some fairly easy ways to get started without too much pressure. A number of educational institutions offer short courses in financial areas that allow you to learn more while also figuring out which areas of finance to specialize in and work towards.
Some of these courses include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, Canadian Securities Course or investment funds. Choosing which course to start should be relatively easy if you read the course description and consider what appeals to you now. Obviously, if you start the course program and find it isn’t what you’d hoped for, or it isn’t a fit for you, you don’t have to continue the steps beyond that first course.
Look for finance programs that are broken down into shorter individual courses, or have a shorter time frame that span anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks and are priced in the hundreds (not thousands) of dollars range. Taking on these smaller courses not only keeps commitments to a minimum, it also ensures it won’t be a massive time or financial burden if you find the course isn’t the right fit or won’t deliver what you’re looking for.
Another important element is flexibility. The Canadian Securities Course online is one of the excellent options offered by a few education institutions that allows you the flexibility of taking part in your education without the need to drive to a school, find parking and drive home after what is likely already a very full day. Many of the online options are live and deliver an experience as close to being in a classroom setting as possible.
Other courses, like CFP certification, are often taught in a traditional classroom setting which is the right option for a number of students. By having face-to-face interaction with the professor and other students, questions are answered immediately and the setting may inspire a more studious nature. It all depends upon how you best learn, so keep this in mind as you review course formats. If you don’t know what style of learning is best for you, you have the ability to try out different finance courses taught in different formats.
Beyond your personal learning preferences, consider the future when you look to which school makes the most sense in delivering your finance education. An education institution that offers the finance courses that allow you to go further is ideal. Consider the CFP designation program. There are a number of steps to achieve before actually becoming a Certified Financial Planner, so being able to work together with a school to move through those steps is a positive in that you will have established your preferred learning style, built rapport with instructors and created study habits that work within the system defined by that education institution.
Working through the stages of the CFP program is the ideal way to jumpstart your career in finance. This is because Certified Financial Planners are taught a wide-range of skills to allow them to advise others. Whether becoming a financial advisor is your preferred path or not, getting to know the various elements within the course is helpful for your own financial future as well as understanding financial terminology, how financial instruments work and much more.
Knowing how to interpret personal financial statements, understanding financial calculations and developing knowledge around the various government programs like RESPs, RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts is part of introductory CFP courses. Additionally, getting to know the fundamentals of economics and the time value of money are both valuable for anyone looking to pursue a career in the finance industry.
As a student works through the next levels of a CFP certification program, they will learn more about taxation and tax benefits as well as gain an understanding of business and organizational structures. Also beneficial is the exploration of personal investing planning, retirement income planning and estate planning. There is also a dive into insurance needs, which like the other elements of the CFP Canada courses, is of benefit to just about anyone regardless of their future career aspirations.
The Canadian Securities Course (CSC) Canada allows students to learn about the various securities products available in Canada while preparing to write their CSC exams and ultimately apply for a mutual funds license if that’s what you choose. The CSC course is the first step a student can take towards gaining a license for trading stocks and bonds. Like the CFP course, this information is valuable for one’s own needs, but can also lead towards a greater career if it’s the right fit.
The CSC Canada course gives students a thorough understanding of how financial advisors should work with clients, analysis of investments and portfolios, basics on the Canadian investment marketplace and much more. This kind of education is for those who want to understand the inner-workings of the investment world and the managed products (like mutual funds) within it.
When you start your education with finance courses you will be better prepared to not only determine the best aspect of finance to specialize in, but also to know the details in a number of areas like the two mentioned here: Certified Financial Planner and Canadian Securities.
Having this background will open up career options in areas like banking, mutual fund representative, financial planner, portfolio advisor brokerage representative, estate planning, taxation planning and much more. Certainly the majority of these areas will require further education and/or examinations and licensing, but if a program feels like the right fit, the job is likely to be as well and you will be on your way to the right career by having spent some time and money to explore your best options.