Top IT Certifications for a Career in Finance

Obtaining finance-tailored IT certifications can enhance career prospects by showcasing expertise in areas such as compliance, data security, and cybersecurity.

Christopher Tozzi, Technology analyst

April 12, 2024

5 Min Read
person typing on keyboard with icons for certificates

If you're an IT professional interested in a career in the finance sector, you probably already have the essential skills necessary to succeed. IT in finance isn't fundamentally different from IT in most other contexts.

That said, obtaining IT certifications tailored to the finance industry may help give your IT career strategy a boost. Engineers with certifications that banks and other financial businesses care about are likely to stand apart from the crowd when they apply for jobs and promotions.

But what are those certifications, exactly? Read on for guidance as we unpack the best certifications for an IT career in finance.

IT Certifications for Finance: The Basics

Let's begin by noting that there are no major IT certifications designed for the finance industry in particular — which makes sense because, again, the core IT skills that are important to financial businesses are not intrinsically different from those that would matter in any other setting.

However, the finance industry does have some special priorities that impact IT, such as:

  • Extensive regulation, which requires IT engineers to be especially adept at responsibilities such as assisting with audits and demonstrating compliance.

  • High data security risks, which demand extensive expertise in discovering and protecting sensitive data.

  • A high rate of cybersecurity attacks, which means IT engineers must be adept at helping manage cybersecurity risks.

  • A need to support complex, sprawling IT estates that often include a mix of legacy and modern systems.

Related:5 Types of Cybersecurity Skills That IT Engineers Need

IT engineers who have the skills necessary to address these priorities — and the certifications to prove it — are best positioned to thrive in IT roles in the financial sector.

certification stamp

IT Certifications for Finance, Category-by-Category

Here's a breakdown of IT certifications that correspond to each of the areas of interest described above.

Compliance certifications

Data security certifications

  • The Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) demonstrates understanding of the technical procedures required to secure sensitive data, including financial information.

  • Becoming a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) also reflects mastery of both the conceptual and technical facets of data security and privacy.

  • The CIPP certification described above can also help attest to an understanding of data security best practices, especially insofar as they relate to privacy law and policy.

Related:8 Essential IT Operations Tools for Today's IT Pro


There are too many cybersecurity certifications to list comprehensively here, and virtually all of them will be attractive to finance businesses that want to know that their IT staff understand and prioritize cybersecurity best practices. We'll mention just some key offerings here.

  • CompTIA Security+. This is arguably the best certification for IT engineers who want to prove that they understand cybersecurity but are not interested in pursuing a career focused primarily on cybersecurity.

  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+), which dives deeper into cybersecurity topics than the Security+ certification. CASP+ may be overkill if you just want to show that you have mastered cybersecurity fundamentals, but it could give you a leg up working with banks or other finance businesses that make security an extra special priority.

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), another widely recognized certification that demonstrates cybersecurity knowledge among IT engineers.

Complex systems

There's no one-size-fits-all certification that demonstrates an IT practitioner's ability to work with whichever diverse environments a finance business operates. Instead, you should choose certifications that align with the technologies used by your company or a prospective future employer.

For example, banks that operate mainframes are likely to find value in credentials like the IBM z/OS Mainframe Practitioner Professional Certificate. Likewise, businesses that use SAP HANA may take particular note of job candidates who hold the SAP Certified Application Associate certification.

As for the more modern systems you may need to work with in finance, a wide array of certifications exist for specific cloud platforms (like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform), as well as modern practices, such as DevOps. Again, determine which technologies or platforms are most important to the company you want to work for, then pursue certifications that align with them.


Obtaining certifications won't guarantee an IT job in the financial sector. But holding the right credentials can certainly help IT engineers stand out, especially in a crowded job market. When considering a certification strategy, think about which types of IT skills matter most in finance and choose certifications accordingly.

Read more about:

Financial Services

About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Technology analyst, Fixate.IO

Christopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.

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