Certificate & Certification Programs in Banking

If you're interested in a career as a banker, you can sharpen your skills by earning an undergraduate banking certificate, a professional banking certification, or both. Read on to learn more about certificate and certification programs. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Get a Banking Certificate?

An undergraduate certificate in banking is ideal if you want to begin or grow your career in banking. Many community colleges and some four-year schools offer certificates in banking and related areas that can be completed independent of any other academic study track. Other colleges allow you to earn banking certificates as part of a related finance or business associate's or bachelor's degree program, or before embarking upon your degree. Some programs focus on a specific area of banking, such as financial lending, and others teach general banking concepts. Completion requirements vary widely by school, but programs typically consist of anywhere from 12-28 credit hours and can be completed in one or two semesters - virtually always less than a year. While the majority of colleges' certificate programs are on campus, some schools allow you to earn a banking certificate online.

Basic Certificate InformationUndergraduate certificates can be earned in a year or less
Common CourseworkFoundations of lending, money markets, credit analysis, and consumer types
Professional CertificationsRequire completion of courses and passage of an exam in a specific area of banking

What Will I Learn in a Banking Certificate Program?

Banking certificate programs will give you a foundational understanding of all the various products and services you might encounter while working in a bank, including loans, markets, and different types of bank accounts. You'll also learn about the difference between commercial and private banking and how to perform the bank operations unique to each one. Most programs also have required courses teaching bank managerial skills, since many people earn certificates to help them start careers as bank managers. Some certificate programs require completion of an internship in banking, and many such schools have affiliate or partner banks at which you can work as an intern. Common course topics in banking certificate programs include the following:

  • Fundamentals of finance
  • Personal selling of financial products
  • Legal and governmental regulation in banking
  • Cash inventory
  • Fund management
  • Mortgage lending
  • Commercial banking
  • Creditworthiness
  • Customer relations
  • Money markets

Can I Get a Professional Certification in Banking?

In addition to academic programs, you can also sharpen your banking knowledge by earning a professional certification from one of two independent continuing education groups, the American Bankers' Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Both groups offer various designations in specialized areas of the banking industry. The ABA also offers professional competency certificates. These are different from its professional certifications, which its website describes as nationally recognized designations in specific areas of banking. Different areas of ABA and ICBA certification include:

  • Consumer lending
  • Commercial loans
  • Anti-fraud regulation
  • Financial marketing
  • Regulations compliance
  • Securities
  • Credit analysis

Earning any of these certifications requires completion of continuing education courses or attendance at a multi-day seminar, in the case of the ICBA's certification programs. Though exact requirements may differ slightly depending on the governing body and certification type, the classes and seminars generally conclude in a competency exam, which you'll need to pass to become officially certified. Some certifications also require experience in the exact job role in which you're looking to become certified. You'll also need to pay fees to take required certification classes, attend seminars, or sit for exams. You may also need to pay an annual fee to maintain your certification after earning it, or take continuing education classes, also for a fee.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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