Bloomberg Certifications Augment Career Potential
Students and recent alumni of the School of Business Administration and Economics are enjoying the professional paybacks of having earned their Bloomberg certifications.
Hundreds of students in the School of Business Administration and Economics have gained a competitive advantage in the financial marketplace—and they did it outside of the classroom.
SUNY Brockport is one of approximately 150 schools across the globe to have introduced a Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab on campus, allowing students to earn the Bloomberg Essentials Training Program and the Bloomberg Market Concepts certification that integrates classroom theory and real-world practice.
Donor support over the past five years has enabled the College’s School of Business Administration and Economics to acquire six Bloomberg terminals that constitute the lab, referred to as an “information gateway” by Professor of Finance Sandeep Singh. A Bloomberg terminal is an industry-leading computer software system that provides real-time financial news, market data, research, analytics, and forecasting to more than 320,000 financial organizations globally.
“If I want to look up the price of a stock that is traded on an exchange in Ghana, I can look at it right now from my desk,” said Singh.
In order to become certified in Bloomberg market concepts, students take a self-directed course on the terminal composed of four parts: economics, currencies, fixed income, and equities. The multimedia lessons are interspersed with questions that test the user’s expertise.
Singh estimates that between 50 and 60 students, mostly finance majors, earn their certification each academic year. The course requires anywhere from 9 to 10 hours to complete.
With graduation around the corner, finance major and economics minor Barbara Boakye ’17 is maintaining a positive outlook about her professional potential, largely because of her Bloomberg certification.
“[The course] is self-paced,” explained Boakye. “You have the freedom to decide how quickly or slowly you want to move through it. I took it piece by piece, because I wanted to fully absorb the information.”
Thanks to the terminals, most finance majors at Brockport will be Bloomberg certified by the time they graduate. Singh has encouraged numerous students, including Boakye and alumnus Nickolas Alexander ’13, to be among them.
“To be honest, I never thought I’d actually use Bloomberg [long-term], but I was proven wrong,” said Alexander, who was one of the first Brockport students to earn his certification when the software was introduced to the School in 2013. Today, he works at M&T Bank in Buffalo, NY, as a flood specialist. “When I was in the finance department, we used it every day, with almost every assignment we had. I didn’t realize what a leg up on the competition it actually gives you.”
Not only did Alexander’s certification allow him to circumvent Bloomberg training and “jump right into assignments” when he was hired at M&T, it prevented him from facing long-term unemployment after being laid off by JP Morgan Chase when the site at which he worked closed. Alexander remembers seeing the M&T interviewers’ eyes light up when they found out he was Bloomberg certified.
Singh believes the benefits of exposing students to Bloomberg software are threefold: It provides a comprehensive knowledge of financial markets, allows students to quickly access pinpointed financial information that is pertinent to their studies, and serves as an indication to employers that Bloomberg-certified Brockport students are pre-trained with a qualification that exceeds their degree requirements.
Dean of the School of Business Administration and Economics Joy Bhadury says he is thankful for Singh and the other faculty members who have worked to establish the School’s Bloomberg program and encourage students to take advantage of what it affords them.
“The ability to offer our students the opportunity to obtain Bloomberg certification is one of the distinguishing hallmarks of our education and highlights our commitment to incorporating high-impact educational practices that enhance the employability of our students,” said Bhadury.
Boakye’s Bloomberg certification distinguished her during a summer internship at Morgan Stanley. She was invited to return as a full-time financial analyst in New York City upon graduation.
“My exposure to Bloomberg has been a good addition to what I’m learning in the classroom,” said Boakye, who has her sights set on a Master of Business Administration. “The terminal is one of the major applications that a lot of banks and other firms use for research purposes; you just need to know it—the language, the jargon. It helps you learn how finance professionals talk, and it’s made me feel like I’m more a part of the finance community.”
Singh has high hopes for the growth of the program. Faculty and staff members aim to expand the Financial Markets Lab into a larger space with 10 to 12 terminals dedicated to Bloomberg learning.