The finance industry is known for being an exciting if challenging career path - and one that can make you a lot of money if you're good at it. In order to engage in securities business, you are first required to pass the FINRA Securities Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Security Industry Essentials exam.
Applying to financial firms with your SIE credentials in hand shows your potential employers that you already know the profession, and have taken the initiative to learn about and pass this required test. Not only that, but hiring a pre-qualified applicant also saves them the time and money of training someone without the credentials.
If you were hiring and there were two similar candidates - one with the SIE and one without - which would you think is stronger?
Practically every role in finance requires passing the SIE.
- Research Analyst
- Wealth Management Adviser
- Investment Banker
- Investment Adviser
- Equity Trader
- Bond Trader
- Insurance Sales
- Mutual Fund Sales
- Compliance Officers
- Operations Analyst
- Financial Consultant
... just to name a few.
The hiring profile for major financial institutions is changing: as the industry is becoming more people and service oriented, employers are hiring smart and driven folks outside of people who majored in finance in college.
Our corporate clients are actively hiring former service industry personnel, liberal arts majors, and more people outside of the old profile. But their biggest concern is whether you can handle the content - and that means passing the SIE will give you a BIG advantage over other applications by showing your mastery of the material.
The SIE is an entry-level, medium-difficulty exam, meant to be challenging but approachable to anyone - including people that do not have a traditional finance background. Calculated from the first 16,000 individuals to take it, the SIE Exam pass rate came out to be 74%, right in line with FINRA's expectations.
It is expected that experienced students can study for about 25 hours and pass the exam, while those who are just learning the material for the first time should expect to spend 50 hours to be suitably prepared.
The SIE Exam tests three major skills:
You will be expected to use logic and the evidence presented to deduce the correct answer from multiple choices. This isn't too different from what you've already done with the SAT or in school – the difference is the subject matter and remembering which rules or calculations apply.
Finance has math - there's no way around it. Fortunately, the math in the SIE is straightforward and more a matter of how you apply it rather than doing complex calculations. It's the standard PEDMAS: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
Achievable has adaptive, memory-tracked flashcards built into our course to ensure you'll remember all the material you've learned on test day.