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Career Insights

The Future of Skill Credentialing Programs

Interview with Paul Smith and Andy Temte

Directors and Senior Advisors, Financial Modeling Institute

Paul Smith and Andy Temte on the importance of developing a wide range of skills

Earning microcredentials from a skill credentialing program can give jobseekers a leg up on finding work and empower current employees to take on new roles. The Financial Modeling Institute is one such program, offering accreditation for finance professionals looking to develop their financial modeling skills. We recently spoke to Paul Smith and Andy Temte, both independent directors and senior advisors to the Financial Modeling Institute, about the importance of multidisciplinary learning and how programs like theirs can benefit individuals and organizations alike.

What skills can help jobseekers stand out today?

PAUL SMITH: Employers are looking for a T-shaped person: someone with people skills, communication skills and strategic thinking skills plus really deep technical knowledge. That’s why the concept of microcredentials is so important. Whatever your natural bent is in life, you need to add skills from across the spectrum. In finance as in other fields, employees are becoming increasingly specialized, but if you want to be successful in your career, it’s important to blend technical competence with broader competencies. That really is the way of the future.

How can organizations benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to finance?

ANDY TEMTE: A lot of people in various parts of organizations pass off all things finance to the finance department. Of course, there are experts one must lean on. But when a financial model is developed and that story is then supporting a broader story of an acquisition or a project, we’ve got to get more people from other departments like marketing, technology, operations and production to understand what’s happening. It’s the responsibility of leaders and managers, as well as individuals all across an institution, to understand what the numbers are saying.

How is Financial Modeling Institute paving the way in skill credentialing programs?

AT: What really sets Financial Modeling Institute apart is its focus on experiential learning. To gain the credential, you have to build a financial model. It’s one of the only financial modeling accreditation programs where you actually have to demonstrate the skill you’ve learned. And that is the future of skill credentialing. Worldwide, we have to shift from the current assessment environment where it's primarily multiple choice or short essay to being able to prove to an employer that you actually have the skills.

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