For those looking for better career opportunities after earning their finance degree, Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst certification is a necessity. This is what separates a regular professional from a world class financial analyst— and employers know it.

You don’t need to wait until you’ve left school to start this certification program. In fact, it can be just as beneficial to take while you’re a student.

Finding the right online FMVA course can help you excel on your exam and stay on track with the rest of your studies. That’s why we’re here: to help lighten your load by breaking down the best options that are currently available to you.

Here are the best financial modeling certifications, study guides and training programs for future finance professionals, along with an in-depth breakdown of what exactly makes each one so great.

Let’s get started!

#1 Corporate Finance Institute

CFI is one of the first providers you should check out if you want a financial or banking course. They have a ton of courses available, but their Certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst course is one of our favorites. After all, they’re the ones who created the certification program in the first place!

CFI’s self-paced course can help you obtain a certification in just a few short months while also augmenting your skills and abilities as a financial analyst.

Course Details

CFI provides a comprehensive platform that includes over 28 courses and a few hundred Excel/Powerpoint resources. This is the supplement to over 100 hours of video training. Additionally, all of these resources are conveniently available to you online, allowing you to study around your hectic schedule.

All of the instructors at CFI have over 20 years of training experience. And since they offer different subscription options at monthly and annual levels, you can save some money if you learn a fast pace.

CFI FMVA Review Features

  • Over 28 Courses
  • 100+ Spreadsheet Models & Powerpoint Templates
  • 100% Online
  • Professional Instructors
  • Multiple Pricing/Subscription Options

CFI Pros and Cons

  • PRO: Pricing – It’s difficult to find a better or more flexible approach to pricing than CFI’s. Enrolling in their Basic, Annual, or Full Immersion Annual subscriptions grants you full access to more than 70 courses without requiring you to spend an uncomfortable amount of money.
  • PRO: Large Variety of Learning Materials – Take advantage of quizzes, tests, and assignments— as well as Excel, PPT, and PDF file learning materials. This helps you apply the information you learn from their video lectures instead of just passively observing each one.
  • CON: Support for Premium Only – One of the most important features of any online course is a dependable and helpful customer service team. CFI has an excellent support team, but they’re only accessible to the Full Immersion All Access Membership.

Bottom Line

Students or professionals looking to obtain their FMVA certification can get a lot out of CFI. The amount of study materials on offer — even with their lowest subscription level — is engaging and full of practical applications.

#2 New York Institute of Finance (NYIF)

While it’s not specifically designed for CFI’s FMVA credential, the NYIF is a perfect supplement when preparing for the exam. This course is offered in both a classroom and virtual classroom setting and is held over a span of 5 days.

Course Details

  • Introductory Courses to Real World Careers
  • 5-Day Length
  • Classroom or Virtual Classroom Options
  • Undergrad-Level Prerequisites
  • Extra Courses For Additional Programming/Excel Skills

NYIF Pros and Cons

  • Pro:Data-Driven Curriculum – Excel and VBA are financial modeling skills that absolutely deserve their own courses. They’re part of a financial analyst’s responsibilities, and comprise difficult sections of the certification exam. Fortunately, NYIF offers a comprehensive course for these topics, ensuring you know enough to jump into your future job.
  • Pro: Supplementary Certs – While preparing for the CFI exam, you can also earn bonus certifications to enhance your professional resume. I recommend checking out their courses for Corporate Finance & Valuation Methods and Online Professional Certificate in Valuation.
  • Con: Prerequisites – If you’re a college student or recent graduate, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, it’s worth noting that many of NYIF’s courses have pre-reqs like a typical university course.

Bottom Line

This is an essential supplement when working towards your FMVA certification. Those who’ve obtained their undergraduate degree already would also probably enjoy this course, as they’ve already met the base level of prerequisite knowledge needed.

#3 Wharton Online

Those looking to better learn how to build business and financial models will love our next recommendation. Offered by Wharton Online, this course will walk you through skills such as using spreadsheets and financial models in order to create better business decisions.

Course Details

This course includes a user dashboard that tracks both your enrolled courses as well as your progress in each of them. This course differs from others in that it is actually referred to as a specialization.

Enrolling in any course with Wharton will enroll you in that course’s specialization, which means you have access to 5 courses instead of just one. You only have to complete one course in a specialization, however obtaining a certificate requires that you complete all of the courses as well as a hands-on project.

Wharton Online Features

  • Access to 5 courses
  • Self Paced Options
  • Readings + Course Videos
  • Practice Quizzes
  • Peer Feedback on Graded Assignments

Wharton Online Pros and Cons

  • PRO: Free Course – Sometimes, the best things in life really are free. You can enroll in this specialization which includes a total of 5 courses and a hands-on project.
  • PRO: Hands-On Project – Many courses out there call themselves self-paced and then just throw a bunch of videos your way to watch. This course takes it a step further and requires you to apply your knowledge with a hands-on project.
  • CON: Confusing Design – Looking at the website for this course it can be a little confusing to know exactly what the course entails. They should be better about communicating system strengths like their user dashboard which tracks progress in your courses as you go.

Bottom Line

The Business and Financial Modeling Specialization offered by Wharton Online is an incredible value. In addition to being free, it throws in 4 additional courses and a slew of modern study materials. Definitely give this specialization a closer look when looking for your next courses if you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to learning.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst FAQs

Still confused about financial modeling and valuation courses? Here are some quick answers to your burning questions:

Will FMVA Certification help advance my career?

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, FMVA certified professionals earn salaries of over $100,000 a year.1 This is above the average salary for a typical CFA2— so it’s statistically possible that you can use it to advance your career.

Are these courses only offered in English?

No. For example, the courses offered by Wharton Online have subtitles in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, and Spanish.

What certifications should I get for finance?

Getting certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst will lead to many career opportunities in finance. It’s also a good idea to become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) to increase your earning potential.

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.