Top 5 Stock Market Certification exams

Career in financial markets (particularly stock markets) is considered very lucrative these days. It has actually become a mainstream career option for fresh college pass-outs as well as veterans who wish to change their job profile. There are many opportunities in banks, hedge funds, mutual fund houses etc for the people who are skilled in this field. The compensation offered is very competitive as compared to any other job. There are many popular certifications related to Stock market which would help you to assess and prove your skill. Passing these certification exams would definitely add an extra edge to your profile in order to get placed in a good organization. Also, it’s equally useful for people from other professions who want to learn about stock markets. We have compiled a list of Top 5 Stock Market Certification exams:

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

This is probably the most popular and recognized certification related to financial markets. It is offered by an American based CFA institute and theChartered Financial Analyst candidate who passes this certification is awarded ‘CFA Charter‘. This certification covers a broad range of topics related to financial markets like Stock, bonds, derivatives, interest rate etc. But the passing % is very low owing to the difficulty of exam. As of 2014, there were only 120000 CFA Charter holders across the globe. The top employers of CFA Charterholders globally are UBS, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and BlackRock. CFA certification exam is conducted in 3 levels in online format. Read more about CFA curriculum and fee structure here.

Financial Risk Manager(FRM)


This is another internationally recognized certification exam offered by Global association of risk professionals (GARP). This is particularly useful for individuals who want to build a career in risk management be it credit risk, market risk or liquidity risk. FRM holders perform a broad variety of functions related to risk management within investment banks, asset management firms, as well as in corporations and government agencies. The basic requirements for becoming certified as a Financial Risk Manager include passing scores on both the Part I and Part II exams, as well as a minimum of two years’ full-time work experience in financial risk management related positions including portfolio management, risk consulting, and other fields. Read more about FRM certification here.

Chartered Market Technician(CMT)

This certification will add enormous value to your profile if you want to pursue career in Technical analysis and chart reading. This is offered by Market Technicians Association(MTA)  based out of USA. It is conducted in 3 levels and evaluates basic and advanced concepts of Technical analysis, Dow theory, chart patterns etc. This is one of the hottest certification offered today due to the recent boom in the field of Technical analysis. Almost every hedge funds are looking for Technical analysts in their organization. To earn the CMT charter you must be a Member of the Market Technicians Association (MTA), successfully complete three levels of examinations and obtain approval from the MTA Admissions Committee and Board of Directors. Read more about CMT certification here.

NCFM and NISM from National Stock Exchange of India

NCFM and NISM are online testing and certification program offered by National Stock Exchange of India. It’s suitable for beginners in Stock marketNCFM Exam who want to learn and evaluate their skills. There are many beginner, mid-level and advanced modules available ranging across all areas of Capital markets. It’s a good alternative to international certifications like CMT and CFA (discussed above) which require a hefty certification fee. Though these certifications are not recognized internationally, yet they are very useful to assess and expand you knowledge. Below are the articles we posted long ago about these certifications:

NCFM Experience- Financial Markets: A Beginner’s module

NCFM Experience- Technical Analysis Module

Chartered Financial Technician (CFTe)

It is another Technical analysis certification similar to CMT. If you are based out of Europe or UK then probably CFTe is more recognized than CMT. This certification is designed for self-study, with an examination at the end of levels I and II. Upon successful completion of both levels, the candidate is awarded the “CFTe” designation, which certifies that the candidate has a thorough knowledge of the field, and is able to understand and apply advanced technical analysis concepts and tools. It is currently offered in English, German and Spanish. Arabic and Chinese will be offered at a later date. Read more about CFTe here.

If you are seriously looking for a career in financial markets then go ahead and opt for any of these Stock market Certification exams. Let us know if you have any queries.

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    • Hi Raj,
      There is no popular undergraduate courses related to stock market presently. We recommend going for a course in finance along with any of these certifications.

  1. What is process to become SEBI certified analyst ?
    What are all exams we need to clear ?

  2. Hi I am looking for a carrier in Finance, and i do have lot of interest & little bit knowledge in stock market…. plz suggest me how to go about this… which certification should i opt for…

  3. Hello, I’m recently pursuing CA, graduation, but still asa a backup i wish to do an certification course which may help, so please suggest me some courses for finance, nse, bse…..

    • Hi Hemashree,

      If you can devote some time, then I would recommend CFA. Otherwise you can go for basic NSE certification like NCFM, NISM etc.

  4. Hi,
    I was trying to explore job prospects for a Technical Analyst in India but couldn’t find much info.
    Can yo give an idea , say if one completes CMT, what kind of initial salary & future carrer growth can be expected.


    • Hi Amar,

      At India currently, CFA’s are preferred over CMT. But in the coming years, there would definitely be huge demand of CMT certified candidates owing to the growth of algorithmic trading at India.

  5. Hi there,
    Thanks a lot for the information. I am bit confused my friend. I am mba finance and looking for some online pocket friendly courses to boost my cv.
    No doubt CFA is the best from the above but when i saw the fees of CFA i was shocked. It is way too much for middle class man. So i was asking does this NCFM courses are really helpful for me as i am mba (fin) and if it is so, than which module will be more suitable for me?
    Plz guide me yaar!

    • Hi Satyajeet,

      Yes, NCFM is a pocket friendly course which can boost your CV. I would recommend to enroll for any 3 modules of NCFM one by one. Passing 3 modules will get you NCMP Level 1 certification which holds good value. Since you have already completed MBA in finance, go for advanced modules rather than the basic ones.

  6. Hi i want to learn technical anaylsis and options trading.
    where can I learn in Mumbai. ?

  7. Hi
    Most of the CFA® pursuers believe that CFA® Program tests are very difficult and arduous but that is not the case unless you make them difficult for yourself. CFA® level I syllabus is directed towards covering wide range of topics related to finance rather than going deep into specific topics. While CFA® aspirants can expect CFA® Level I exams in December, studying alone won’t help you to clear this exam. Planning your study schedule will prepare you to cope up with the extensive study syllabus.

  8. Hi I am looking for a carrier in stock market, and i do have lot of interest & little bit knowledge in stock market…. plz, suggest me how to go about this… which certification should i opt for…

    • Hi Vikas,

      If you are based out of India, go for NCFM or NISM first, gradually you get target CMT.

  9. Hi
    I am not in financial field and i want to get more knowledge in stock market area in order To manage my personnal portfolio. Could you advise on some course or certifications équitable?

    • Hi Jean,

      You can start with NSE’s NCFM certification if you are based out of India

  10. Hi vikas
    If you want to start your career as a professional trader do clear nism research analyst exam and ncfm technical analysis test .all the best

  11. Pls help me about share marketing exams in karnataka I want to become a trader pls help me

  12. EXCELLENT article!

    I’m in the UK. I trade Forex, stocks, gold, oil, metals and Indices.

    Which certification would increase my chances the most to get a job as a trader in the UK?

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