May 30, 2020  
2011-2012 Catalog 
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Services, Certificate

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Degree: Certificate
HEGIS Code: 5003
Curriculum Code: 0907
Campus Location: City
Business & Public Service Division

Program Description

Given the demise of the basic steel industry and the substantial decline in automobile- affiliated manufacturing in Western New York, private sector employment opportunities appear to exist primarily in a segment normally referred to as the financial services industry. This field historically embraces banking, insurance and real estate, with the later two requiring state licensing for many of the positions offered.

Buffalo is currently home to two huge banks, a regional center for three others and host to a number of smaller financial institutions. Erie County serves as a regional base for GEICO Insurance, Merchants Mutual and a handful of smaller operators. Our real estate market, compared with much of the nation, is strong and growing.

Human resources officers at many of these financial entities report aggressive recruitment efforts in place. They encounter bright, well-intentioned employment candidates. However, many of these job-seekers appear to lack basic job skills, including familiarity with the industry. Coupled with developmental work in math and English skills, a new certificate in Financial Services will do much to rectify this lack of job preparation.

This SUNY certificate is grounded in this belief: Major local employers have developed strong in-house training programs that focus on the business at hand. However, ancillary knowledge and skills make the student a more attractive candidate for employment and promotion. For example, M&T Bank is equipped to thoroughly acquaint new hires with the details of banking operations, but employees need collateral knowledge of business law, accounting, insurance, etc. to be truly effective bank assets. Ten of the 12 courses mandated in this program would also count toward the Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration degree. This program thus fills an immediate need and applies credit toward the A.A.S. in Business, a degree many employers are willing to subsidize.

Program Competencies

  • Interpret various accounting/financial statements.
  • Demonstrate good reasoning and analytical skills.
  • Understand the ethical and legal foundations of business.
  • Understand the basic concepts of business.
  • Be prepared to enter employment upon graduation in the financial field.


Total Degree Credits: 37

While technically a two-semester certificate, some students may need remediation in math and/or English early in the program, delaying progress. The mandated credit hours are rather high for a certificate, so the sequence shown below may be appropriate only for those with substantial available time. Most students will likely need one and a half years for program completion.

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