Best Derivatives Courses (2021) ranked by Bankers

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

DerivativesDerivatives 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.


  • Time to Complete: Around 40 hours.
  • Available fully online in a virtual classroom or on-site.
  • A superb derivatives course that I can confidently recommended to everyone in finance.

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2. 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 needs.

Note: Unfortunately, the start of this course has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Time to Complete: Around 12 weeks
  • Available fully online on edX.

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3. Options, Futures and Other Financial Derivatives from LSE

Why take this course?

  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.


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

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! 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.