No specific education or training is required, other than for licensing, to become a stock broker. Some stock brokers have even entered the business with little or no college training. Most of them, however, use a career path that includes some type of bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is another step toward this career, though it is not a required one.
A high school diploma is very helpful for a career as a stock broker. A college preparatory course is advisable, as are higher math classes like calculus and trigonometry. Communications and language arts classes should be a part of any stock broker training as well. Foreign language classes are helpful to many stock brokers, as are economics and practical arts courses. Computer courses are definitely needed to help prepare for a career as a stock broker. After-school clubs like student council, 4H and Future Business Leaders of America are all good experiences to help future stock brokers hone in on their skills as well. Serving as the treasurer in any number of clubs and organizations is helpful, too.
Not every stock broker has a bachelor’s degree, but most participate in some form of higher education. Good choices for stock broker majors include economics, business and finance. This stock broker education path helps provide students with a solid background in finances, credit analysis, financial planning and many other essential skills. Stock broker preparation in college is also a good way to find a reputable company to complete an internship with, further enhancing the student’s academic portfolio and level of experience. Having this degree can also help stock brokers secure a better, higher-paying job. This degree typically costs about$6,500 per year at a public university.
Master’s degrees are not required for a career as a stock broker, but they are very helpful to those who pursue this education. Stock brokers with master’s degrees typically get the best positions available. The degree can be in business, finance and similar fields. Students can expect to learn about securities research, corporate finance, derivative pricing and asset management among many other subjects. Various tracks are available for those who want to pursue them, such as corporate finance and quantitative finance. Advanced mathematics courses are included, as are subjects like engineering and economics. A master’s degree in this field runs around $50,000 per academic year.
In order to become a stock broker, licensing is required. Unlike many other jobs, the stock broker’s exam, the General Securities Registered Representative Examination, must be taken after being employed at a brokerage firm for a minimum of four months. Also known as a Series 7 Exam, it is administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Depending upon the state of residence, other exams may also be required, such as the Uniform Advisor Law Exam and the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Exam. The registration cost for the Series 7 is $290.
During any studies and preparation towards becoming a stock broker, it is wise to maintain a stock portfolio for experience. Continuing education hours are also an important component toward maintaining certification. Becoming familiar with financial news, stock market information and economic laws are also important in this career.