Top 5 Finance Certifications To Aid in Your Private Equity Career

A lucrative career in private equity is every graduate’s dream who takes up finance as a ‘majors’. Here are the top 5 certification programs to aid in your quest.

Chris Gilbert
4 min readMay 13, 2020

A career in private equity is desired by all those who graduate in subject disciplines such as finance or business studies. However, very few get to break into the said industry straight out of college. Only a few get selected from tier-1 business schools and stand a chance to work for the coveted private equity sector in the US.

For undergraduate and master's degree holders, who, due to any chance, missed the opportunity to enter private equity post completion of their degree courses, we would like to suggest some much-valuable certifications. Acquiring these, your candidature for the PE job roles will strengthen manifolds.

Skill-specific professional certifications in finance are highly preferred by recruiters in the private equity sector. One gains a competitive edge over others while being equipped with an added private equity qualification, or credential.

Individuals armed with industry-specific finance certifications are highly sought after by recruiters across the world.

Top 5 Finance Certifications That Can Aid to Breaking Into Private Equity

👉 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

👉 Chartered Private Equity Professional (CPEP)

👉Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP™)

👉 Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

👉 Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

🔗CFA — Chartered Financial Analyst

A large number of finance graduates opt for this certification program each year given its relevance to the industry and the significance. It is considered the best for those seeking specialization in investment and financial management. The CFA certification alone can help you build a lucrative career in private equity.

It has got three levels that you need to clear. Besides, you must have at least 4 years of full-time experience to get certified with a CFA credential. Rigorous study and immense hard work are required to acquire the CFA certification, given the pass rate below 20%.

🔗 CPEP™ — Chartered Private Equity Professional

CPEP™ by USPEC is a comprehensive private equity certification program for the PE aspirants who would want to excel professionally in the said domain. The certification helps you elevate your finance skills up to a level that is expected by the top private equity and VC firms. CPEP™ helps skyrocket your career growth if you are an individual already working in the PE sector. Added to that, it prepares accounting, finance, and business-study students to take an impressive start in their respective private equity careers.

Candidacy Tracks for CPEP™:

Track 1:

MBA/ Master’s in Finance with a minimum of 2 years of work experience.

Track 2:

A Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minimum of 3 years of work experience.

Track 3:

Individuals studying MBA/ Master’s (Finance) programs in business schools, universities, and institutes, recognized and accredited by USPEC.

Track 4:

Presently working in any of the finance sub-domains with an undergraduate degree and an active credential issued by either FRM or CFA, or any other global certification entity recognized by USPEC.

🔗 Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP™)

CIBP™ prepares you for a wide range of jobs in investment banking. And stays with you as you grow in your career. Your journey in investment banking typically starts off at the Analyst level, though you can even begin earlier, as an intern, during your formal education. You can visit IBCA to learn more

🔗 FRM (Financial Risk Manager)

If you are aiming to become a financial risk analyst or would like to work in the risk management sub-division of private equity, this certification is custom-made for you. Risk manager, as a private equity job pays you handsomely. By acquiring the said certification, you can serve clients that seek advice on investment decisions from private equity investment professionals. It’s cost-efficient and will make you spend only about $1500.

There are two main examinations that you need to clear within a year’s time to acquire the mentioned certification, i.e. FRM-I, AND FRM-II. Being regulated by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, the pass rate is approximately 50%.

🔗 CFP (Certified Financial Planner)

If you aspire to become a financial planner one day, you must look to obtain CFP. Client-relationship is one major aspect of finance the certification stresses. To clear the rigorous and testing 7-hour qualifying exam for CFP, you will need to study a minimum of 1000 hours.

Post successfully passing the qualifying exam, you can break into varied disciplines with the PE sector, which comprises retail banking, wealth management, and private banking. It will cost you about $2,000. The pass rate varies between 60 and 70 %.

I hope you get your hands on at least one of the above-mentioned valuable credentials specific to the private equity sector.

Much love! :)

📫 My other Stories on Private Equity:

  2. Understanding Private Equity and its Education
  3. 5 Questions Private Equity is Asking about Coronavirus
  4. Private Equity Buyouts Will Surge This Recession