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Alphabet soup of financial designations

Mapping the financial services landscape

TORONTO, ON - August 12, 2012 - Marc Flynn, CSI, Special to the Toronto Sun - For those looking to begin or advance a career in financial services, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to educational options. Specialized masters programs, advanced financial designations, certificate-level training, day or week long personal development courses... the list goes on.

The abundance of choice, along with the "alphabet soup" of financial designations, can be overwhelming. What is the optimal path to success? Where is the best place to start?

Taking a strategic approach to career mapping can remove a lot of stress from the process. The key is clearly defining the end goal. What is a specific role or position as aspiring financial services professional would want to achieve in five to ten years? Once this destination point is defined, building a road map to get there is easier than it may sound.

The first step in nearly every financial services career is taking the Canadian Securities Course (CSC)® from the Canadian Securities Institute® (CSI). This "benchmark" credential is needed to meet basic licensing requirements.

Advisers must complete the CSC to trade general securities, such as stock, bonds or mutual funds. It is also a gateway to a variety of roles in the financial services industry, such as financial planner, mutual funds representative and investment adviser, to name a few.

In an uncertain economy, financial services institutions are looking for job-ready talent, whose credentials are nothing less than excellent and easy to demonstrate. Along with the experience on one's resume, designation letters serve as that stamp of quality in the eyes of the employer.

The professional bar is rising. A few years ago, financial designations, above and beyond basic licensing requirements, were seen as "nice to have"; today, designations are increasingly a "must have".

In an environment of lower tolerance to risk, there is a much greater demand for professionals who can demonstrate relevant experience, specialized knowledge and ethical standards needed to support increasingly complex and diverse investor needs.

The Personal Financial Planner (PFP®) or the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) are examples of financial designations that prove to clients and employers alike that advisers not only have the right experience and expertise, but also conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner.

Those who navigate the complex financial credentialing landscape don't have to go it alone. CSI's Financial Services Career Map at www.csi.ca/careermap is an easy-to-use, interactive tool that allows aspiring financial services professionals to search and explore multiple career options. Users can also map out their educational path to success.

About CSI
The Canadian Securities Institute® is Canada's leading provider of financial services credentials and education. Valued for its expertise in Canada and abroad, CSI offers more than 270 courses and credentials, ranging from the well-known Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) to popular designations and credentials, such as PFP®, CIM®, CSWP® and the Fellow of CSI (FCSI®). In 2010, The Canadian Securities Institute® was acquired by Moody's Corporation and now operates as part of the Training and Certification arm of Moody's Analytics. For more information, please visit www.csi.ca. Marc Flynn is senior vice-president, Regulatory Relations and Credentialing, CSI

Alphabet Soup of Financial Designations
Alphabet Soup of Financial Designations
Financial Designations
Career Map