For candidates seeking careers in finance, breaking into Wall Street can seem as likely as winning the lottery. Success requires time, determination, and a willingness to push your game to the next level. The following three strategies offer the potential to accelerate your career transition, bolster your résume, and provide an edge over the competition in a competitive job environment.
Professional Certifications & Associations – Find the Inside Track to Careers in Finance
Professionals seeking careers in finance might consider the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations. Other niche credentials include the Certified Hedge Fund Professional (CHP) or Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). These programs come with access to such associations as the CFA Institute, the CFP Board, The Hedge Fund Group, and the CAIA Association, along with networking opportunities through events, LinkedIn groups, and education programs. They can also provide a higher level of credibility in the industry, and in business as a determined, dedicated professional. The CFA is a great choice for many professionals, but particularly helpful for new graduates seeking to gain an early-career edge over the competition.
MBA Programs – Open Doors to Careers in Finance
Many careers in finance require or strongly prefer an MBA, which can open doors on Wall Street. Bulge bracket firms scout for top candidates from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business, Columbia Business School (places almost half of its graduates in financial services), University of Michigan (Ross), and other top MBA programs. This is an excellent option for someone looking to make a career change from a corporate environment into Wall Street.
Seminars, Classes, and Workshops – First Steps to Careers in Finance
Not ready to launch into a professional designation or MBA? Seminars, classes, and workshops can arm you with new skills, new résumé content, and new industry contacts that might later get your foot in the door. Consider taking classes in accounting, corporate finance, financial statements, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management, economics, capital markets, derivatives, foreign exchange, equities, fixed Income, and other finance related topics. These can show initiative, and may go toward an eventual MBA.
None of these strategies are quick fixes, but they will move you closer to landing a position and launching a career on Wall Street. The key to making these strategies work is commitment, of which you will need plenty to be successful on Wall Street.