Critical information on designations, finance degrees and certifications for your career

Guides to Financial Designations

WSO has compiled an extensive list of the best finance designations to help you find the best fit for you.  This includes detailed information on a Masters in Business (MBA) and Masters in Finance (MFin) as well as certifications like the CPA and CFA.

Each of these certifications has various pros and cons for your career and can typically be measured in the following ways:

  1. Potential impact on your career prospects
  2. Time to study and obtain the designation
  3. Cost to obtain and maintain the designation

Some certifications are very rigorous and require hundreds of hours of studying while others are faster but may have less potential career benefits.  Some designations are very theoretical and have little practical application while others are designed to give you a more distinct skill set like financial modeling or valuation.

Whatever you decide, pay close attention to the specific sub-industries each designation is specifically targeting so that you are not collecting designations with no plan in mind.

Popular Designation Guides

Below are detailed articles on some of the most well-known and well-respected designations in the finance industry.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a credential provided by the CFA Institute. The curriculum contains a broad range of subjects but focuses primarily on portfolio management and financial analysis. It takes an incredible amount of dedication, knowledge, and motivation to complete the curriculum and is a daunting undertaking. This article gives you a detailed overview of the CFA designation.


A common question frequently asked amongst professionals in the finance industry is whether they should pursue a CPA or a CFA designation and which one will open up more opportunities. Both courses provide a unique skill set and cater to different professionals. Read on to find out more.

Financial Risk Manager (FRM®)

A Financial Risk Manager (FRM) is an accreditation offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). It is an internationally recognized accreditation that is considered one of the best designations for a career in risk management. One incredible advantage of this accreditation is that it is available to professionals worldwide and has a very low barrier to entry.

Chartered Business Valuator (CBV)

A Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) is a professional designation and accreditation provided to individuals who have successfully completed all the training and examination requirements. The charter is awarded by the Chartered Business Valuator Institute in Toronto, Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.


Accounting plays a vital role in the economy, some of which include making sure that businesses are maintaining good practices, helping promote transparency by having a universal standard of accounting and reporting, and organizing companies' financial statements. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) acts as a representative for the needs of all the state accountancy boards and aims to create a healthy relationship between accountants and the public.

All Designations Resources:


By:Hala Kiwan
By:Manu Lakshmanan


By:Ahmed Makki


By:Ahmed Makki
By: Ryan Durr
By:Josh Pupkin
By:Jackson Hartz
By:Elliot Meade
By:Ethan Sweeney
By:Patrick Curtis
By:Manu Lakshmanan
By:Josh Pupkin


By:Adin Lykken
By:Alisa Zhu


By:Hala Kiwan


By:Rohan Arora


By:Hassan Saab


By:Alisa Zhu


By:Yihan (Kyra) Du


By:Yihan (Kyra) Du
By:Austin Anderson


By:Ahmed Makki
By:Hajira Khan