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Which Investment Banking Certification to Consider: CIBP or CFA?

Becoming an investment banker is a dream for a majority of finance graduates across the world, but the skillset needed to become one is extensive. And learning a plethora of skills needed in an investment banking job remains the biggest challenge for aspirants. However, there do exist a solution to acquire banking skills fast, by acquiring industry-relevant banking certifications. Such certifications especially help those in the final year of their college degree programs in finance, and early-career industry professionals.

Hefty Pay in Investment Banking is Worth the Hard Work

Earnings of Investment Bankers in the US by Experience Levels

Source: Payscale

As per Payscale, an entry-level investment banking professional in the US earns an average annual pay of USD 78,906, while an early-career professional (1-4 yrs) makes about USD 95,829 per year on average. The median annual salary of a mid-career level (5-9 yrs) investment banker is USD 122,634 in the US. The experienced professionals (10-19 yrs) in the said domain make a whopping $146,448 per year.

CIBP vs CFA: Which Banking Credential to Opt For?

CIBP (Chartered Investment Banking Professional) offered by globally-recognized accreditation body namely IBCA (Investment Banking Council of America) and the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) issued by the highly reputed CFA institute are the two top professional credentials for every banking aspirant in the US.

However, both fair equally good, people have their specific preferences basis their long-term career goals. Investment banking industry in the US does appreciate and prefer individuals holding any one out of the mentioned two investment banking certifications.

Let’s discuss briefly about CIBP first.

Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP)

CIBP is an international qualification for investment banking professionals. The comprehensive credential offers a quick launch to aspirants in the banking sector. For early-career professionals too, it’s highly valuable as you get to grow much faster along the hierarchy having CIBP to your name.

CIBP, when added to your college degree, creates a great impression before recruiters at the top banks and financial services firms located across the globe. You gain a distinct competitive edge with CIBP while at the interviews for entry-level banking roles.

The said professional credential help young finance graduates and early-career industry professionals upgrade their competence and skillset upto the level of the top bankers. It’s a perfect international credential to hold for any banking aspirant having or pursuing an MBA in finance or related subjects. CIBP enhances your job readiness by manifolds.

Now is the time to discuss the CFA Program in brief.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

CFA is as good as a CIBP, and both offer very similar training to the aspirants. This too, is a very comprehensive credential to acquire for a banking aspirant, or an early-career working professional. CFA is highly popular across the globe among the finance graduates, and hence, more than 170,000 individuals till date had registered for the said industry-relevant program.

Why Consider CFA?

As a practicing or aspiring banker, you need an extensive skillset to survive or break into the said sector. CFA is specifically designed to make you adept at the real-world skills used in the investment banking industry. You will get to learn the fundamentals of investment analysis in a pretty comprehensive way while undergoing the CFA curriculum which will eventually help you advance your banking career a few years down the line.

The said credential serves you in multiple ways, whether you are starting in the industry, or looking to switch careers within the financial markets. Besides, CFA is recognized worldwide across banks and financial services firms.

To conclude, we would advise the aspirants to consider both, but choose the one that fits to your long-term career goals. Best wishes for your prospective career in banking. Cheers!


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