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Productive Gap Years - How can I get Funding/Bursaries in the UK?

Hello,
I'm currently on a gap year and considering some self-study courses, some travel, and travelling (potential volunteering) - a mix of everything.

I am wanting to know if there are any schemes that would help me with funding this (especially the self-study courses/certificates which are most expensive) towards these costs - because I'm planning it all out and I would like to try save as much as I possibly can whilst still making this year productive & enjoying parts of it travelling also.
Original post by dcb3
Hello,
I'm currently on a gap year and considering some self-study courses, some travel, and travelling (potential volunteering) - a mix of everything.

I am wanting to know if there are any schemes that would help me with funding this (especially the self-study courses/certificates which are most expensive) towards these costs - because I'm planning it all out and I would like to try save as much as I possibly can whilst still making this year productive & enjoying parts of it travelling also.


Not for gap years specifically. If there are schemes, they are usually for specific job roles and for a more permanent position. (It makes sense for them to because they get a higher return on their investment.)

If you can specify the self study courses, and what would intend to do specifically in volunteering, it might be easier to pin point what sort of funding there is that could help (if any at all).
Reply 2
hey,
Got it thank you.

I will likely be looking at some sort of CFA institute qualification. Anything in Finance/Investing.

Thanks.
Original post by MindMax2000
Not for gap years specifically. If there are schemes, they are usually for specific job roles and for a more permanent position. (It makes sense for them to because they get a higher return on their investment.)

If you can specify the self study courses, and what would intend to do specifically in volunteering, it might be easier to pin point what sort of funding there is that could help (if any at all).
Original post by dcb3
hey,
Got it thank you.

I will likely be looking at some sort of CFA institute qualification. Anything in Finance/Investing.

Thanks.


I probably have a long list of questions to why you are doing a CFA institute qualification, but no I don't think there's any funding or scholarship for those sort of certifications. Normally your employer would be helping you fund those studies, since it's them that it will benefit (and they're not cheap either, as you will appreciate).

I also am not entirely sure which certificate you would be doing unde the CFA Institute that would be entirely useful in the workforce, especially when you are not looking at the CFA qualification (it requires a degree in any subject; see: https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs).

Do you have a specific job in mind? It would be easier to narrow down the list of qualifications that you would be looking at and opting for the cheaper ones (but still credible and valid in the UK) instead.
Reply 4
Hi,

Yeah - job in mind I'm working towards is investment banking, and will be applying to similar degree apprenticeships following my year out.
I also want to create my own stock portfolios and aid my own personal investing, so it would be nice to have a skill to show I can do this. These are the main goals I want to achieve from this qualification; and during my year out, I don't want to fall out of terms with education.

Was looking at this :

- https://www.cfauk.org/study/investment-foundations-program#gsc.tab=0 - doesn't seem to exist anymore though (https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/investment-foundations)

- https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/esg-investing. - Probably the only option; non-degree prereq. and no requirement of professional experience to go further,.

Again, let me reiterate I am a novice so I would love to hear your thoughts. I only know CFA as the go-to qualfication for me because I've not yet looked into others (something which I will do now).

Or if you have any other thoughts as to what I can do, I'd be interested in hearing them for sure.
Original post by MindMax2000
I probably have a long list of questions to why you are doing a CFA institute qualification, but no I don't think there's any funding or scholarship for those sort of certifications. Normally your employer would be helping you fund those studies, since it's them that it will benefit (and they're not cheap either, as you will appreciate).

I also am not entirely sure which certificate you would be doing unde the CFA Institute that would be entirely useful in the workforce, especially when you are not looking at the CFA qualification (it requires a degree in any subject; see: https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs).

Do you have a specific job in mind? It would be easier to narrow down the list of qualifications that you would be looking at and opting for the cheaper ones (but still credible and valid in the UK) instead.
Original post by dcb3
Hi,

Yeah - job in mind I'm working towards is investment banking, and will be applying to similar degree apprenticeships following my year out.
I also want to create my own stock portfolios and aid my own personal investing, so it would be nice to have a skill to show I can do this. These are the main goals I want to achieve from this qualification; and during my year out, I don't want to fall out of terms with education.

Was looking at this :

- https://www.cfauk.org/study/investment-foundations-program#gsc.tab=0 - doesn't seem to exist anymore though (https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/investment-foundations)

- https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/esg-investing. - Probably the only option; non-degree prereq. and no requirement of professional experience to go further,.

Again, let me reiterate I am a novice so I would love to hear your thoughts. I only know CFA as the go-to qualfication for me because I've not yet looked into others (something which I will do now).

Or if you have any other thoughts as to what I can do, I'd be interested in hearing them for sure.


OK, then it's still a broad-ish field, even though it's as competitive as h*ck.
Whilst a stock portfolio is nice for asset management or fund management, it might not have that much relevance to investment banking. I will still have one for your future pension and retirement plans, and it still looks impressive on a CV. If there are issues with the fact you own certain securities (conflicts of interest), you can sell them off later on when you get into the job.

See the following articles:
https://www.insidecareers.co.uk/career-advice/investment-banking-in-a-nutshell/
https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/careers/jobs/investment-banking-overview/
https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa/charterholder-careers/roles/investment-banker

CFA is more or less the gold standard when it comes in investment banking, but I also have seen some people go into corporate finance with financial accounting qualifications e.g. ACA, ACCA. I also have seen people do it with CISI qualifications in Corporate Finance (https://www.cisi.org/cisiweb2/cisi-website/study-with-us/capital-markets)

You can go into sales and trading with no qualifications. Sometimes you can do equity research without any qualifications, but a CFA is often a go to for these instances.

The second most difficult step is getting the job (this will be hard irrespective of what university or degree you have). The most difficult step is keeping your job, as people in investment banking are known to churn out people on a regular basis.

Some roles in investment banking won't require qualifications of any sort (those that do require qualifications often do for regulatory and compliance requirements). Your best bet is to make as many connections as you can with people in the sector. It will probably help you more than any qualifications you will get.

In terms of what degree you should get, it doesn't usually matter because the theoretical knowledge in your degree won't really help you progress in the roles. If you do get a degree, you would ideally get it from a top university (top 5) because that's where you will most likely get the more connections from the clients and employers that you want (investment banking remains a people business, not a quantitative analytical business where people hire you for expertise). High grades are almost always expected.
The CFA qualification will accept any degree subject, but you should ideally apply for the qualification soon after graduation (you have an 11 month window apparently, but you might want to check on that). The other qualifications mentioned won't have entry requirements above A Levels (some you can do without any previous qualifications).

In terms of investing, you require zero qualifications to do it for personal purposes. You will need to be at least 18 for FCA compliance, as far as I know. The qualifications for investing would only teach you the investment principles, not the specific tactics nor the specific investments to go for. You can learn most of the basic investment strategies and tactics off online platforms, however I cannot vouch that they would work or be of the same quality nor allow to say they would necessarily for regulatory purposes.

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