Finance is a popular career stream for young people setting off on their professional journeys. The field offers diverse choices, among which one of the most popular is investment banking. Many people are attracted by this high-flying career option, in which they arrange capital for companies, governments, and other entities. Toward this end, their tasks comprise facilitating M&As, reorganizations, and broker trades; and selling and underwriting securities.

A successful professional in the investment banking industry works in a high-pressure environment, with tight deadlines and heavy workload. The upshot is the chance to be a part of high-profile deals and to interact with senior management teams of different clients.

To this end, a great way to improve career prospects for a banking professional is to pick a great certification. Here are the top choices:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA is essential for anyone who wants to become a licensed CPA. Offered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), it is considered a foundation on which come numerous career opportunities in accounting. AICPA places great emphasis on education, examination, and experience for CPA candidates. A holder of the CPA license can work to advise individuals, businesses, and other entities to work toward their financial goals.

Aside from clearing the exam, candidates also need to meet the requirement of having completed a certain number of accounting hours, which vary by location. The exam includes a mix of question types, and even after clearing it, candidates will need continuing professional education possibly with ethics and compliance training.

Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP™)

Offered by the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA), CIBP™ is a certification for investment banking, serving as a great start to a career in the field. Equally, it is an excellent choice for an experienced professional seeking growth opportunities and the chance to take on the professional responsibilities of a higher order. CIBP™ is a good certification to add on to a business degree and is a testament to the professional possessing potential and promise. Here are its top features:

• Strong learning material including the IBCA Investment Banking Handbook, the flagship resource

• Online articles

• Exams from home, office, or other locations

• Digital badging, lapel pins, and printed certificates

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

From the CFA Institute comes the CFA certification. A professional with a CFA possess the know-how and skills useful for a career in the investment banking industry. It is proof that the person is an expert in analyzing investments and is committed to following high standards of ethics and professional behavior. Prospective CFA holders include students, practicing investment bankers, students, and those considering starting their careers in or moving to a career in this field. The top benefits are as below:

• Proof of commitment and knowledge in the complex world of investment banking

• Testament to the extent of skills and knowledge in investment analysis and portfolio management, bolstered with inputs from industry experts

• Well-suited to different career options for a banking professional within this industry and in other fields

Financial risk manager (FRM)

Considered the global standard for financial risk, FRM is one of the top certifications for risk managers. It is commonly sought by most banks and leading firms in the field and proves the candidate has the ability and know-how to deal with critical risk issues. The FRM helps the candidate stand out from other prospects, as it proves (s)he can add value to the organization by knowing the latest international standards in risk management. FRM holders are also part of a network of expert risk professionals around the world. Certified FRMs work in more than 190 countries across the world.