Importance of Financial Modeling Certification
The modern financial analyst requires a financial modeling certification to compete in a crowded job market. This guide will explore the top 10 reasons why all professional financial analysts should obtain certification and the benefits they will receive from having one. We hope this is a helpful resource!
Top 10 Reasons for Financial Modeling Certification:
#1 Gain practical skills
Modeling is not widely taught in university programs. In the rare university courses that teach modeling, it is often done in a very theoretical way. Modeling should be taught by industry professionals who have been analyzing companies for years. A Certification program which is delivered by professionals that have worked in investment banking, corporate development, and other careers, will teach you the practical skills employers desperately want you to have. It’s one thing to know finance theory, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to open up a blank spreadsheet and start performing an analysis.
#2 Establish credibility
People talk about their financial modeling skills in interviews, but it’s easy to talk about modeling without any real proof of their level of competency. By earning a credential from a leading provider, you’ll be able to quickly establish credibility with your interviewer, boss, and colleagues. Adding the letters after your name is something that helps for sure, but having the confidence to talk about models in detail is what will truly establish your credibility.
#3 Learn industry best-practices
Industry veterans spend their entire careers building up a knowledge base of best practices for using Excel, building models, and performing valuation analysis. Traditionally, the only way to learn these same skills was to work alongside these people. Today that’s no longer the case and you can get full access to best practices by completing a financial modeling certification program. Instructors from the Corporate Finance Institute®, for example, have decades of experience teaching new hires at global banks.
#4 Demonstrate you take the initiative
Since universities don’t teach the skills of a professional financial modeler, it demonstrates initiative and commitment to enroll in a program, complete all the courses, pass all the tests, and become a certified practitioner. Most employers want hard-working and motivated employees who take initiative and responsibility for their own education. Some programs like the FMVA take over 100 hours to complete and require dedication to successfully graduate from.
#5 Learn different modeling methods
If you ask five different professionals how to build financial models you’ll get five different answers. The fact is, it largely comes down to preference and style when building models. By completing a certification program you’ll be exposed to at least one new method of building financial models, and if it’s a program like the FMVA® certification, you’ll be exposed to many approaches! In general, it’s best to keep a model contained to one worksheet and use Grouping to organize information.
#6 Become a master of Excel
Most financial modeling credentials focus heavily on Excel skills. For any type of financial analysis performed in industry, good excel skills are absolutely critical. The FMVA® program, for example, includes multiple Excel courses that cover everything from keyboard shortcuts to dynamic formulas and functions, as well as formatting. Some of these advanced functions include Index Match, Offset (combined with Sum, Average and others), Choose, Indirect, dynamic dates, conditional formatting, tables, and much more.
#7 Learn to present the results
Like it or not, presentation skills matter a lot in business. Any reputable financial modeling certification program needs to focus heavily on teaching how to make charts, graphs, and presentations that clearly illustrate the results form the financial model. The FMVA program has a heavy focus on insightful chats, graphs, and presentations, which employers so desperately want. If your analysis never leaves Excel to be presented visually, it’s unlikely it will every persuade or inform many people.
#8 Stand out from the crowd
While having a designation should probably be a requirement for many corporate finance jobs, there are still surprisingly few analysts who have one. For this reason, having a certification can still help you stand out from the crowd and distinguish you from other financial analysts that are competing for the same job. Employers usually only spend a few seconds scanning resumes, so having a credential listed at the top can really help you stand out.
#9 Build your analyst toolbox
A program like the FMVA® certification can help expand your analyst toolbox by building a database of Excel model templates, PowerPoint templates, and all sorts of different tools that will be at your disposal. Financial analysis is much easier to perform when you have a lot of templates to build from. The FMVA program includes hundreds of templates! The most popular ones include the three statement model, DCF model, LBO model, sensitivity analysis, M&A model, and various industry-specific models.
#10 Increase your confidence
There is a virtuous cycle between modeling and confidence. The more confidence you have the better your analysis will be, and the better you analysis the higher your confidence! Many people are intimidated by financial modeling, but when you’ve been through a program like the FMVA you’ll understand that building a model is not as hard as you may have thought. With the letters after your name, you’ll have the confidence you need to advance your career!
FMVA Financial Modeling Certification
If you agree with this list of top 10 reasons to get certified you should definitely check out the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® program. It consists of over 100 hours of online training and step-by-step instruction from trainers that have decades of experience training new analysts and associates at global investment banks. By the end of the program, you’ll know how to build models from scratch and perform advanced analysis with confidence.
Thank you for reading this guide to the top 10 reasons you should add a credential to your resume and how it will boost your job prospects! Hopefully, this will inspire you to take the steps you need to take to accelerate your career path.
To learn more about the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® program and corporatefinance.org, please explore these additional resources: