Do you have the passion to become a great financial manager? If your answer is yes, that’s great! But what are you supposed to do to get the career you want?

Well, nowadays, becoming an expert in any field and fulfilling your dream career requires a critical foundation in terms of education and work experience. So, to help you get your dream job in financial management, here’s a comprehensive guide you can follow:

How To Become A Great Financial Manager

What Does a Good Financial Manager Do?

First and foremost, you must know the roles you’ll play when you become a financial manager in any given institution. Ideally, you’ll help business owners develop strategic long-term business plans, monitor cash flows and predict future financial trends. Along the way, you’ll also act as a risk manager, treasurer and even credit manager. You’ll likely need to spend most of your working hours in an office, but the good news is that your remuneration will probably be well-above the national average.

Qualifications for Financial Managers

Just like any other well-paying careers, the field of financial management requires candidates to have an excellent educational background coupled with exemplary work experience. You can get started by:

1. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree

In most cases, the minimum educational requirement for becoming a financial manager is to earn a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. This can be a degree in business administration, finance, or even accounting. During your undergraduate years, you will learn about financial planning, finance principles, portfolio assessment, macroeconomics, and securities. In addition to classroom learning, students taking the above courses are advised to go for internship programs to acquire work experience.

2. Earning a Master’s Degree

Thousands of candidates turn up in job fairs or walk into companies’ HR offices with the basic educational requirement – a bachelor’s degree. In these cases, someone with a higher level of education than a bachelor’s degree stands a better chance of securing the job. So, if you want to have a sharper competitive edge and get your dream job and/or be promoted at work, it’s advisable to acquire a master’s degree. In most cases, a master’s degree in business administration, economics, or finance is all what is required to keep you at par. Common courses at this higher level include global financial markets, financial research, corporate financial management, and financial theory, among others. Again, it’s important to gain work experience related to business management or finance while you’re studying for your master’s degree.

3. Earning a Professional Certification in Financial Management

The educational roadmap to professional financial manager is not complete without professional certification. In fact, if you want to demonstrate a high level of proficiency and competency, you have to earn voluntary professional certification such as the Chartered Financial Analyst credential. This is not limited to master’s degree-holders only; it is also open to bachelor’s degree-holders with suitable work experience in financial management.

 Going Forward in Your Career

From the above overview, it is clear that career and education roadmap to becoming a professional financial manager requires both extensive education and work experience. But you shouldn’t just stop at earning degrees and getting a job; if you want to advance your career, you should also invest in continuing education. When you have extra time, for example, use it to take comprehensive financial management courses. Doing this will help you improve your skills and knowledge, gain a sharper competitive edge and become even more employable.