Derivatives

Best Derivatives Courses (2021) ranked by Bankers

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

Derivatives are one of the best things to happen to finance and even large main street companies. They allow for cheaply and quickly hedging risks or underlying exposures in a highly liquid market. For all their beauty and complexity, derivatives are still not perfectly understood or utilized to their full potential. Nobel prizes have been awarded to economists for their efforts to price and understand derivatives.

I feel like derivatives are like fractals in a sense – you can keep going down the endless rabbit hole as you create ever more complex derivatives which have complicated relationships with underlying assets or market variables. Which is why I think dealing with derivatives is one of the most rewarding careers in finance. That can be derivative structuring, trading, research, or institutional sales. For all these careers, you need to know your product inside out. These are the best courses for derivatives that professionals dealing with them should take to get ahead.


1. Professional Certificate in Derivatives from NYIF

Why take this course?

  1. This is the certainly one of the best derivatives courses out there. NYIF has been educating bankers, traders and other finance professionals for 90+ years and that quality most certainly shines through in this course as well.
  2. All your favourite derivatives are covered – starting with forwards, futures, options, fixed income and equity derivatives to risk management with derivatives and asset backed securities. Delta, Gamma, Theta, Vega, Black Scholes, Hedging, CDOs, ABSs – it’s all in here and it’s all pretty good.
  3. For any of the careers that require a knowledge or understanding of derivatives, this should be your starting point. Traders, structures, hedgers, institutional sales, financial advisors, risk managers, asset and portfolio managers, wealth managers etc.
  4. You get a certificate from NYIF upon completion that will add value to your CV. If you need the CV boost before recruitment season or even if you are a finance professional looking to make a switch, this is it.

Highlights:

  • Time to Complete: Around 40 hours.
  • Available fully online in a virtual classroom or on-site.
  • A well-crafted derivatives course meant for professionals and pro traders.

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2. Derivatives – Options & Futures

Why take this course?

  1. This is a quick and beginner friendly look at the word of derivatives and trading them in practical scenarios. You will learn about options, market mechanics, basic strategies and everything else you need to start trading from Day 1.
  2. I would recommend this course to would-be day traders who want a solid understanding of the basic principles of how derivatives work first before just jumping into the market. The second half of the course that focuses on option strategies is meant to give you direct insight into using derivatives as part of your trading strategy.
  3. You also get access to a free demo Trader Workstation Paper Trading account that you can use to trade in a simulated environment while you are still learning the ropes. This is a nice way to build up some confidence before locking horns with real traders.

Highlights:

  • Time to Complete: Around 17 hours.
  • Available fully online and on demand. Complete at your own pace.

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3. Derivatives Markets: Advanced Modeling and Strategies from MIT Sloan

Why take this course?

  1. Another great addition to this list, this derivatives course from MIT Sloan is certain to add value to your CV.
  2. Topic coverage includes forward, options, futures, fixed income and commodity options, exotics, real options, mortgage and credit derivatives and so on. It’s a nice chunky course with immense learning value.
  3. There is solid focus on hedging and the course is suitable for all professionals that have to deal with derivatives. The course is actually part of a bigger finance specialisation. However, you are free to take only this course as per your requirement.

Highlights:

  • Time to Complete: Around 12 weeks
  • Available fully online on edX – an eLearning platform from MIT and Harvard.

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4. Options, Futures and Other Financial Derivatives from LSE

Why take this course?

Derivatives

  1. LSE is a great brand to have on your CV. This course has been created by their Department of Finance and is taught by their faculty. It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the best academicians in finance.
  2. The course focuses on understanding the required tools, pricing, methodology and application of derivatives. The course also goes into greater detail around more advanced topics like exotics, volatility modelling, interest rate derivatives, variance swaps, volatility derivatives etc.
  3. I highly recommend this for traders and institutional sales staff. The price is a bit steep so it would help if you can get corporate sponsorship from your employer.

Highlights:

  • Time to Complete: Around 3 weeks.
  • Course offered on campus in London.

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About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his finance career as an intern in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group in 2009, eventually ending up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Corporate & Institutional Banking division a few years later. By 2016, he was an independent consultant helping FinTech start-ups in London with product development and launch. Gaurav also helps banks with their digital banking initiatives and advises PE & VC firms with investments in the financial services and FinTech sectors. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from EU banking regulations and tradional finance to Blockchain startups and the future of banking itself! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.