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Do employers in the finance industry approve of courses completed on Coursera?

I am about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Science but I am looking to get a job in the finance industry. I am looking to bridge my knowledge gap by taking courses with verified certificates from top rated business schools such as Wharton from Coursera.org. Do employers take these verified certificates into account in their hiring decisions or am I better off doing another real bachelor's degree in finance? #financial-services #corporate-finance #commercial-banking #financial-markets

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Matt’s Answer

tl;dr: Yes, finish some Coursera courses. It's not going to hurt you. What was your GPA with your B.Sc (that wouldn't hurt you either)?


I've worked with people in a variety of roles at financial companies with a variety of cultures. Bear Sterns (jokes aside) was "famous" for having a culture where, if you work hard and deliver, and have a proven track record of doing so, they were happy to hire you regardless of your educational achievements. Some hedge funds are like this as well, but some are not. It seems like there is a good count of funds in NYC that are following the "Silicon Valley culture" and will respect the gained ground truth and your ability to exercise good problem solving methodology versus classic education. My strongest suggestion (since you haven't explained what B.Sc. degree you're receiving), is to focus on getting your foot in the door that will help you get into the position you want, which may or not may not mean getting an internship.


"Finance" is an industry, but doesn't describe your target role I'm happy to talk more directly about a path to a role if you mention your goal position. as there are a lot of roles where a variety of people with a variety of skills and backgrounds fit.

Thank you comment icon Hi Matt, I have a low GPA. However, I do well in math courses (A+ in calculus and statistics) so I thought I would do well in finance. My eventual goal is a senior leadership position (in maybe 20 years). Also, how do I find out which companies follow the "Silicon Valley culture" ? Flora C.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Matt! Flora C.
Thank you comment icon Sorry for my delayed response. I believe your best course of action would be to focus on getting an internship. Does your college have a career concounselor? Also, you should keep an eye out for summer intern spots at large banks or institutional investors, like Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and UBS. I recommend these banks because I am in New York City. As for identifying places that follow the "Silicon Valley culture," there is no definitive way to do this; just trial-and-error. Matt Brown
Thank you comment icon Thanks Matt, your answers were helpful. Tony C.
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Kevin’s Answer

Hi Flora,


To answer the "silicon valley culture" question, the best way is to speak with employees from the various financial companies to get a sense of the work-life balance. I've worked in Financial Services before and each company has its own culture. If you want more of the "silicon valley culture", you probably want to make your way out to the west coast but obviously, this limits the opportunities within the financial services industry. Alternatively, if culture is #1 for you, you may consider working in a financial role within a tech company. We have many people who worked in FSI/banking and have moved into financial / strategic roles at the top technology firms (e.g., Google, Facebook, Linkedin).


Good luck!


Kevin

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Robert’s Answer

I agree with Matt Brown that looking for local internships with the larger investment banks and financial services firms is worth the effort. Some of these firms offer internships with financial advisor teams in local branches. That is a great way to gain practical experience and decide whether that area of financial services is right for you. Also, many of these teams are highly respected across the firm so if you develop a great reputation you will find there is career mobility.

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