Have you dreamed of a lucrative career on Wall Street, but thought that the barriers to entry were too high?  As of October 1, 2018, that bar will be lowered a bit.  You may have heard that the qualifications process for entering the securities industry is getting a major makeover.  The current Series Exams (i.e., Series 6, Series 7) are being replaced by a two-step process:  The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and a Specialized Knowledge Exam (SKE), or “top-off” exam, specific to the area of the industry the candidate is looking to enter.

It is speculated that this will have a big impact on industry hiring practices — for the first time ever, a candidate will not need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm to begin the registration process.  Anyone can schedule and sit for the SIE exam.  Passing the SIE alone will not qualify one to register with FINRA — candidates will still need to be sponsored by a member firm to sit and take the appropriate top-off exam (other requirements, such as fingerprinting and background checks, still remain).  The game changer is that job candidates with no prior industry experience, whether recent college grads or those looking to switch careers, can now take the first step towards registration on their own.  This will allow a candidate to demonstrate their desire and sincerity to their potential employers — a chance to stand out from the crowd.  Employers are likely to hire from this “prequalified” pool of job seekers.

FINRA seems to endorse this new hiring model.  Not only can anyone 18 years of age or older sit for the SIE, but a passing score will be valid for four years, giving candidates plenty of time to land that dream job.  The fee to take the SIE exam is expected to be only $60 (far less than the $100 fee to take the Series 6 and $305 for the Series 7).

So you want to take the Securities Industry Essentials examination?

Many details regarding the sign-up process are still forthcoming from FINRA, and an exam enrollment site on finra.org is expected to be launched this spring.  Any person wishing to take the SIE will establish an account, pay for the SIE, and then proceed to the testing center website (prometric.com) to schedule their test.  Sign-up through FINRA will not be available until October 1.

Keep an eye on this space for updates on the SIE exam and industry-leading FIRE study materials that include:

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