The lucrative growth prospects of investment banking make it a brutally competitive industry. Having done a relevant investment banking course improves your odds of breaking into the industry. However, investment banking courses come in different shapes, sizes and forms. The elementary investment banking courses provide students with an overview of the industry and its functions, and advanced investment banking courses focus on niche topics such as M&A, Company valuation, or regulations in greater depth.
Choosing the right investment banking course involves taking into account a few key variables. In this article, we will explore how to get the right investment banking certification.
Reliability of the course
Hundreds of websites and individuals providing online investment banking courses claim to cater to thousands of students. However, it is important to spend time selecting a credible course provider, otherwise, you could end up with a fake degree.
When selecting a high-end investment banking course, it is advisable to stick with a top institute or certification provider such as NYU or the CFA institute. This will not only ensure a credible certification but would also provide assurance to investment banks that you have consumed relevant and industry-standard information, through these courses.
If you prefer going with a certification of your choice, here are some important guidelines to ensure the credibility of the online course provider:
- If the online investment banking course is offered by a university you can check the background of the university, its faculty, alumni and global ranking for reference.
- Check the credibility of the person who is leading the course along with their educational credentials.
- Check online reviews, on third-party platforms, such as Quora or University forums.
- To ensure that the organisation is well-accredited, you can look for national and global accreditations and approvals that the university has.
The Right Fit
While selecting an online investment banking course, you must consider your education, area of interest and the purpose of doing an online course. As a recent graduate or someone who’s planning to enter the industry, you should start with the elementary investment banking course. These courses will help you understand the industry, and its operations and develop the relevant technical skills required in investment banking. Moreover, these certifications will help you stand out of the crowd and demonstrate that you are willing to learn and are passionate towards the job role, assisting you in the selection process.
On the other hand, if you are a postgraduate or an undergraduate who is well aware of the technical skills, fundamentals of corporate finance and company valuation and is looking to pursue a job in a particular department such as M&A, or IPO financing, you should consider going for an advanced, niche course. Moreover, general criteria, such as eligibility and course specifications must also be checked.
Cost is the most significant factor affecting students’ choice of an online investment banking course. Free online investment banking courses rarely provide value and never impress the interviewer. You can evaluate an online investment banking course on the basis of these criteria:
- Course Curriculum
- The duration of the course
- Level of education (elementary, postgraduate, specialised, WILP – for working professionals)
- The type of course (diploma, certification, degree course)
- Networking and learning support services
The length of the course is the most difficult factor to evaluate. A longer course may not always justify a higher price. A student must evaluate the length of the course, along with the curriculum, level of education of the course and the background of the instructor.
In light of all these factors, longer courses, courses at a higher level of education, courses with detailed and comprehensive learning support features and degrees tend to cost more.
Flexibility is vital for students. Most online courses provide recording for lectures, encouraging self-paced learning with minimum restrictions. This allows students to pursue other prospects while continuing the course. Course providers are also flexible with examinations and provide a bracket of days, enabling students to create their own exam schedules.
However, some online course providers prefer a more traditional approach, which requires students to attend live classes, at a given time, with more constraints, such as minimum attendance. It is, therefore, important to go through the specifications of an online investment banking course to make the right choice.
Being able to complete an online investment banking course certainly helps you stand out from the crowd and improves your chances of getting a job in the industry. Choosing the right course requires consideration of factors such as the credibility of the provider, alignment of the course with your goals, monetary value, and general specifications. Students should prefer sticking with known, credible universities and certification providers to consume relevant and industry-standard content.