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Acams/cams Question

Has anyone here joined ACAMS, the BSA/AML compliance industr secondcareerlawyer07/23/13
I'm actually in the process of studying for that right now. tickedoff4507/23/13
I've been certified since 2009 I can answer specific questio fompliance207/23/13
Ok. Great. I suppose the first question is whether you secondcareerlawyer07/24/13
1. It's banking not legal but u can get cle credit for going fompliance207/24/13
I'm in the NYC tri-state area but am open to moving around t secondcareerlawyer07/25/13
Trader surveillance I used to work next to that group an fompliance207/26/13
Also if u want to save money negotiate with acams for price fompliance207/26/13
Can you do that? The price for membership and test seem pre secondcareerlawyer07/26/13
Yea call them up and tell u can't pay that much what can the fompliance207/26/13
So.....updates ! C'mon I worked hard on This thread don't le fompliance208/02/13
Hey, I appreciate your help. I have been postponing payment secondcareerlawyer08/02/13
Well speak to them ask them if they can do a payment plan fompliance208/02/13
Hi, the account manager (salesman) for ACAMS got in touch wi secondcareerlawyer08/15/13
Tell him your poor but you wanna take the test what's the fompliance208/15/13
Ha! You were right. The account manager wrote up a package f secondcareerlawyer08/27/13
Well I got mine a bout 4 years ago I think I paid a little fompliance208/28/13
Wait wat live seminar ? If its the training u don't need it fompliance208/28/13
He said the package needs to be bought together not separate secondcareerlawyer08/29/13
Huh that's weird maybe it's a new thing Well up to u. U c fompliance208/29/13
Hate to dig up an old thread, but this thread basically enco jukebox11/28/14
hi all, I would like to take an CAMS exam in the future. D asher12/01/14
Going to bump this as well. The huge question not addressed loblawyer12/03/14
I'm not sure if a CAMS certificiation is necessary honestly compliancenoob12/03/14
It's not hard. Just go on indeed, linkedin, or simplyhired a secondcareerlawyer12/05/14
Agree with this agencies might get u in .. Look for shi tyie fompliance212/05/14
I am a former attorney who left for compliance and primarily shikes12/03/14
Mostly agree with shikes except for part 3 , that's complete fompliance212/04/14
Hi All, I am going to dig up on this old thread because I vihsyaj11/19/15
Same question. I'm an attorney with litigation experience th thenewguy01/17/16
Hi - I'm new to this site, but wanted to address Thenewguy. halaurent01/20/16
Hi, I googled the BeCertify test prep that you mentioned kholder04/12/16
Hi, I have noticed that you said that you are studying i sarah2901/21/16
Its tough to break into full time roles with no experience. compliancenoob01/21/16
Thank you. sarah2901/21/16
Yea I would agree reach out to recruiting firms in Aml space fompliance201/23/16
I am working as Business Analyst and working on systems/appl rickyj01/26/16
My instinct is to say no it is not worth it for you since yo secondcareerlawyer01/27/16
https://www.dumps4download.com/cams -dumps.html CAMS Brain albert6365002/13/18
ATTENTION PLEASE!!! THE CAMS EXAM UPDATED RECENTLY (May/2018 arianalacey05/11/18

secondcareerlawyer (Jul 23, 2013 - 11:19 am)

Has anyone here joined ACAMS, the BSA/AML compliance industry group? Just curious if membership has conferred any benefits. I recently finished my first compliance job (contract temp work) and kept running across many people who were ACAMS members. However, most were not attorneys but rather bankers or ex-brokers. Many also hold NASD (now FINRA) securities licenses.

The cost of membership and getting certified are very pricey. We are talking about a several hundred dollar a year membership fee and then the cost of registering for the test which is well over $1300.

You can find out more here:
http://www.acams.org/certification/certification_process

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tickedoff45 (Jul 23, 2013 - 7:31 pm)

I'm actually in the process of studying for that right now. The corporation I work for is covering all of the preparation courses since I'm a Compliance Analyst. My current manager and several other managers have this certification and it seems like it opens a lot of doors in that industry. Moreover, in my company, it's one way to separate yourself from the "regular" analysts when applying for internal openings. I've also heard that the test is much easier than the Bar Exam which was music to my ears when I heard that!

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fompliance2 (Jul 23, 2013 - 11:09 pm)

I've been certified since 2009 I can answer specific questions if u have any

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secondcareerlawyer (Jul 24, 2013 - 9:34 am)

Ok. Great.

I suppose the first question is whether you think the credentials have helped out on your job search or do you think other factors played a bigger role. Is it more of a banking or legal credential?

Getting a job in compliance seems like a catch 22. Luckily I was able to get my first psuedo-compliance job earlier this summer. I say psuedo b/c the job was ostensibly doc review but it was done in a foreign language where we had to write LONG translations and explanations that cross referenced multiple email chains and file attachments. There was an extensive manual and training process where the client explained all the KYC, BSA, and AML terms. The countries involved are the ones you would expect to receive extensive scrutiny of financial transactions.

Although relatively short in duration, my hope is to parlay this experience under my belt to real, permanent or at least contract based recruiters (non-law) in compliance.

Second, Is the test hard? What issues are covered? Test format? I wasn't able to see a list of sample questions and answers so have no idea what the test even looks like.

Third, is it better to wait to get a job in compliance first where the employer will cover the cost of ACAMS testing/membership or shoot for it individually?

Fourth, do you think its worth getting ACAMS certified in a foreign language? They have the option to do it in Spanish and the job I just finished actually covered the Spanish speaking world extensively. I read, write, speak on a fairly advanced level but am not a native speaker. But I have traveled throughout Latin America and have family there.

Thanks in advance. I may have more questions later but these are the ones I can think for now.

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fompliance2 (Jul 24, 2013 - 7:02 pm)

1. It's banking not legal but u can get cle credit for going to conferences
2. Test is easy after taking the bar it's a joke . Format is about 150 multiple choose
I would say focus on euro directives and 40 recommendations although they changed last year
My knowledge of test is from 2009 so beware. The Test training materials cover it well but if ur nervous join
Linked In acams focus groups and such .
3 get the acams on ur own u don't have exp to be hired w out it an plus most
Senior aml mangers don't respect it enoigh to pay for it
4 not sure but I would say no just get it no one in us cares what language aml projects are
Not specific language projects like doc review

My advice get Acams ASAP and apply for aml jobs and agencies what region u in ?
What's ur background etc?

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secondcareerlawyer (Jul 25, 2013 - 9:18 am)

I'm in the NYC tri-state area but am open to moving around the NE corridor and possibly Chicago. Background is a liberal arts, Poli sci major trying to correct his course in life. Outside doc review, the most substantive legal experience I have is in divorce and custody.

I trade for myself by writing credit spreads on stock options and used to do the same for FX currencies. Besides the potential ACAMS test the only non-law certification I have is the Series 3 test which was a breeze for me b/c of my trading experience. That cert is still pending b/c I am trying to find a sponsor but the score is good for 2 years from the date of exam. I could become registered individually but am not eager to pay FINRA thousands of dollars in extra registration fees and annual continuing education courses.

Hopefully, there will be a job that can marry those two interests together - banking compliance and securities license registration. So far I have been targeting business staffing agencies and not individual companies b/c those tend to have more experienced staff requirements. I heard that broker/dealers and other bank arms have entry level compliance hire programs but that has not been my job search experience. Correct me if I am wrong.

Any other advice appreciated.

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fompliance2 (Jul 26, 2013 - 7:53 am)

Trader surveillance

I used to work next to that group and at least half the guys were ex traders
Figure out how u can spin ur trading from a compliance perspective

If u really wanna get a job in Aml or complaince and u are looking for semi entry
My advice is to look for agencies who staff remediation projects for transaction
Monitoring if ur looking for fte role easiest place for compliance esp aml
Is in Florida

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fompliance2 (Jul 26, 2013 - 10:51 am)

Also if u want to save money negotiate with acams for price of test
They will usually knock off a few hundred
And do 1 yr membership

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secondcareerlawyer (Jul 26, 2013 - 4:02 pm)

Can you do that? The price for membership and test seem pretty locked. Do you suggest calling them up and asking directly?

Also, when you talk about remediations are you referring to SAR reports and OFAC violation alerts? I've reviewed SAR (and its LATAM equivalent - SARLAFT) reports but never written one. Same with the OFAC alerts.

PS Interesting that you mentioned Florida. I know Citibank has a large compliance operations center (FX processing although they may do other things) in Tampa.

Thanks again.

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fompliance2 (Jul 26, 2013 - 5:28 pm)

Yea call them up and tell u can't pay that much what can they offer
Trust me they should knock off a 100 or 2 right away

As for remediation it's not necessarily sar filings but more of reviewing
Transactions for suspicious activity so basically way before sar filings

Yes you are correct Tampa is huge compliance center fr citi including aml
Monitoring but north Florida is home to many other banks as well

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fompliance2 (Aug 2, 2013 - 7:37 am)

So.....updates ! C'mon I worked hard on This thread don't let me down!

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secondcareerlawyer (Aug 2, 2013 - 10:08 am)

Hey, I appreciate your help. I have been postponing payment for the ACAMS test b/c it will put a significant dent in my cash flow. Since the test is in late October I figured registration can wait towards the end of August/beginning of September.

In the meantime do you know of any other groups or industry associations in the AML field to recommend? Thanks again.

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fompliance2 (Aug 2, 2013 - 11:37 am)

Well speak to them ask them if they can do a payment plan
I would say you can do Cfe as well it's helpful
But I would also look into more regional chapters of these 2 organizations

Where are u located I can possibly help u

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secondcareerlawyer (Aug 15, 2013 - 9:51 am)

Hi, the account manager (salesman) for ACAMS got in touch with me. Any tips on what to discuss? This is more or less what he wrote me below.

"We typically only offer discounts for gov’t employees and when there are multiple applicants. However, I am sympathetic to your needs and will be happy to work with you. "

What exactly does that mean? PS I am in the NYC area. Thanks.

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fompliance2 (Aug 15, 2013 - 6:27 pm)

Tell him your poor but you wanna take the test what's the
Best discount he can give

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secondcareerlawyer (Aug 27, 2013 - 11:50 pm)

Ha! You were right. The account manager wrote up a package for me and despite stating that the discounts were only for government employees said that he is going to work with me to get the price down. And he did.
What do you think?

ACAMS 1 year membership - $245
CAMS certification test, exam materials, live NYC seminar 10/25/2013 - $1245

Total is $1490.

This is still expensive but he knocked off $190 from the original asking price. Do you still think that I can press for additional discounts or accept the deal as is?

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fompliance2 (Aug 28, 2013 - 11:05 pm)

Well I got mine a bout 4 years ago I think I paid a little
Less but I can't remember for sure just make sure to do 1 year membership only that's key
Keep me posted

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fompliance2 (Aug 28, 2013 - 11:05 pm)

Wait wat live seminar ? If its the training u don't need it

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secondcareerlawyer (Aug 29, 2013 - 9:48 am)

He said the package needs to be bought together not separately. The live training seminar is not required - there is also the option of watching a webinar but since I am in the NYC area already it doesn't cost any extra.

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fompliance2 (Aug 29, 2013 - 11:50 am)

Huh that's weird maybe it's a new thing

Well up to u. U can take the deal of try to play hardball for another 100
Or so but do a payment plan if anything and start applying

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jukebox (Nov 28, 2014 - 11:53 am)

Hate to dig up an old thread, but this thread basically encompasses questions I have about CAMS.

Secondcareerlawyer, I believe I have seen more recent posts from you in JDU that suggest you now work in compliance. If that is the case I would really enjoy hearing your story of how you broke into AML compliance, and what your experience with CAMS was like, especially its value in breaking into the field.

I have no doubts about whether I can pass CAMS. My bigger question is whether it is worth my time and money investment to become CAMS certified with no true AML experience.

I have no first-hand AML compliance experience. I have experience working document review for SEC exams / compliance-related cases, and I have also worked in a white collar crime firm that dealt 90% with financial crimes.

I am hearing a lot of mixed things on breaking into compliance in these forums - some people sound like they're having serious trouble getting their foot in the door in AML compliance, but I imagine a lot of those people don't have CAMS. Some people are saying CAMS is a huge leg up, but I'm not sure to what extent that is the case.

Basically, I am trying to do my due diligence on CAMS and also want to know what the "worst case scenario" is. Could I end up paying significant dollars to get CAMS certified, and not find a job in the field? I'll take bottom rung jobs in AML if I can just get my foot in the door and start getting first-hand experience.

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asher (Dec 1, 2014 - 1:45 pm)

hi all,
I would like to take an CAMS exam in the future.
Does anyone know whether it is advisable/necessary to become ACAMS member before taking an exam?

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loblawyer (Dec 3, 2014 - 11:43 am)

Going to bump this as well. The huge question not addressed enough here is how are these jobs even found, much less obtained, in all of these anecdotes?

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compliancenoob (Dec 3, 2014 - 12:52 pm)

I'm not sure if a CAMS certificiation is necessary honestly but I'm new to the compliance world (April 2014). I can only imagine that it can't hurt you aside from the out of pocket expense.

As for jobs, I got ridiculously lucky. I've had two positions since April and both were a result of a connection that I had. I think w/o related exp., its really tough to break in. After I graduated LS, it took me almost a year to nail something. But, from what I have noticed, it looks like a ton of places are looking more toward those with law degrees. I would say keep looking on Indeed, careerbuilder, monster, etc. and make connections with a ton of recruiters. Perhaps meet some people you know or friends of friends to help you break in. Again, I got lucky so you can take this with a grain of salt.

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secondcareerlawyer (Dec 5, 2014 - 12:19 am)

It's not hard. Just go on indeed, linkedin, or simplyhired and type in AML/KYC into the search field. You will get dozens of hits.

The best way, I think, to get an entry level job is to go through an agency. This will give you a taste of the field and whether or not you want to continue in this area. The pay may be initially lower but hey, try to get a foot in the door and stay committed to the project for a minimum of 6-9 months (assuming your contract is renewed).

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fompliance2 (Dec 5, 2014 - 1:26 pm)

Agree with this agencies might get u in .. Look for shi tyier
Agencies they are more likely to submit ur resume

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shikes (Dec 3, 2014 - 7:21 pm)

I am a former attorney who left for compliance and primarily do BSA/AML work. Some thoughts:

1. As with many people who flipped, I got extremely lucky as I was doing compliance work for a client as an attorney and the client offered me a job at the end of the project. While this is certainly not typical, my experience based on attending numerous conferences as well as working at banks who hire analysts is that this job is not as difficult to get as many people seem to think on JDU. At a recent AML conference about a third of the people I met and spoke with were former attorneys, and the field is growing quickly. I also noticed that the JD is actually not looked down upon in this field. AML analysts really require one thing: Analytical skills (oh, and common sense). I work with entry level Analysts from time to time and their job is, in a word, easy. Any somewhat intelligent person can learn it very quickly, and until you move on to a higher position within the AML world, as an analyst you're not going to be working that hard unless you get unlucky and get stuck at a bank who is getting killed by the OCC and has MRAs every year. The banks that I have preformed staffing studies for all seem to say they would gladly hire a JD if they had a need for an analyst and the person was willing to take a smaller ~50K-ish salary. They will shy away from people with significant experience as those are huge flight risks, but at this point it seems like some banks recognize that people get JDs and have no interest (really, chance to, but they don't know that) practice and want to just analyze documents and contracts. An example of a entry level position is located here: http://www.simplyhired.com/job/anti-money-laundering-entry-level-aml-job/selby-jennings/7fgrof3ay5?cid=wlxxhbvhgwjufdymymumcoqcpclpkese

2. You probably want to use buzzwords like AML, BSA, OFAC, OCC, MRA, analytical skills, alerts, validation, risk assessment, etc. in your resume. Google all of those and try to pick up the lingo enough to at least show an interest and some basic understanding.

3. As far as CAMS, if you haven't worked in the industry I truly doubt you will pass CAMS. There are just too many parts to AMl that you , at best need to work on yourself to understand and at worst need to sit down with a pro and have them explain everything and answer the 100s of questions you're going to have. I feel pretty confident in AML stuff now because while I was working on my first compliance project at a mid sized bank I had partner who has been doing this his whole life and I had about 20 questions a day he was answering for the first week. By the end of the first month I barely had any questions, by the end of month 2 he was asking me stuff. Its very hard to substitute that experience, and you will likely fail CAMS without it.

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fompliance2 (Dec 4, 2014 - 7:40 am)

Mostly agree with shikes except for part 3 , that's completely
Ridicolous, first off the types of topics covered in acams are
Extremely high level fatf40, wolfserg, 4 principles , etc - these are things
No analysts actually come across on a daily basis so having
That experience is extremely limiting for cams purposes , any
Decently intelligent jd can pass te cams test easily without any
Exp I promise u , there's tons of idiots I work with who have it
An don't have a jd

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vihsyaj (Nov 19, 2015 - 6:47 am)

Hi All,

I am going to dig up on this old thread because I saw many relevant questions and replies here.

I am looking forward to get certified for CAMS and like many in this thread I have queries regarding the scope of this certification.

A little background on me.. I am banking and financial services professional(I know this is a lawyers forum) with a varied experience in banking primarily in Asset management and Private Banking Operations with J.P. Morgan for 4 years, Business Banker with RAKBANK in Dubai mainly into Business Finance sales for a year(just resigned), HDFC Bank Life Insurance sales for a year. In all roles i have had some exposure to AML and KYC though not directly.

My interests lie more on the Analytical side and with recent global developments in the banking industry, rising terrorism financing and money laundering I have developed a keen interesting making a career in AML and Financial Crimes investigations. though being in the industry landing a job in this field is next to impossible with and prior direct experience or qualification (I have done my bachelors in Commerce specializing in Banking and insurance)

Now my question how can this help my to get an entry in the field? Its said this this is the gold standard in the field of AML.

Thanks,
Jay

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thenewguy (Jan 17, 2016 - 5:58 pm)

Same question. I'm an attorney with litigation experience that is only vaguely related. I'm fluent in Spanish and have some professional connections in LATAM. I interviewed for a FCPA / AML investigator position at a consulting firm recently. They liked me but ultimately they said they could not hire me due to the lack of experience. I doubt they would hire me -- at least not for that particular spot -- even with the certificate.

I'm nonetheless considering getting the certificate to give myself a shot at other opportunities in this niche. But I would like some assurance that I can use it to get my foot in the door.

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halaurent (Jan 20, 2016 - 3:01 pm)

Hi - I'm new to this site, but wanted to address Thenewguy. I work in Compliance Training at a bank and am getting ready to take the CAMS. We are working with a study group of several very motivated people and bought the BeCertify test prep program for the 10 of us (you can buy a single user package for $59). From what we have been able to find from others who took the test, most of the questions are accurate. I went through this with the ACAMS book and found that 11 questions were wrong and that 10 (from a test taken recently) were not included. This means that if you learn all these questions - you can take the practice tests every day if you like - you could still pass the test.

As far as changing careers, I have done this several times during my life. I started out as a university professor, went back to school for an MBA, went into banking briefly, became an IT consultant/trainer, financial software trainer, and now, I'm back in banking full-time. I am the regional compliance trainer for my bank (Latin America, Canada). They had a hard time finding someone with compliance experience and Spanish, so you should have a good chance of getting a good job if you pass the CAMS. That, coupled with a JD, will help. I happen to be working for a Japanese bank, so I suggest that you look at the foreign financial institutions.

Go to www.dice.com to check on available jobs. The ACAMS site also has compliance job listings. I believe that Compliance Week does, too. FIBA (fiba.net) sometimes has job listings. Your best bet will be to go to as many conferences as you can and network.

Good luck!

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kholder (Apr 12, 2016 - 2:00 pm)

Hi,

I googled the BeCertify test prep that you mentioned, but didint find it. Can you send me a link? getting ready to take the exam later this year. Did you already take it?

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sarah29 (Jan 21, 2016 - 7:39 pm)

Hi,

I have noticed that you said that you are studying in a small group, does this means that you avoided paying the $1495 for the entire CAMS package and will just be sitting the exam? I have been trying to get into compliance for 1 solid year put attempts have been unsuccessful. I pretty much have no experience, just the JD. I am doing FINRAs training course to gain some more insight into the field of AML/KYC. I have knowledge of FPCA, EU Directives and UK Anti-Bribery Law, being as I am from that side of the world. Any tips and ideas. I have been on a few interview but without the USA experience they won't budge.

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compliancenoob (Jan 21, 2016 - 7:48 pm)

Its tough to break into full time roles with no experience. Try some entry level consulting gigs where you can gain some quick experience. Some consulting gigs turn into full time roles if you impress enough. I would apply to all consulting jobs asking for less than 3 years of experience highlighting what you know as well as Lexis, WestLaw, etc.

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sarah29 (Jan 21, 2016 - 8:13 pm)

Thank you.

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fompliance2 (Jan 23, 2016 - 11:39 am)

Yea I would agree reach out to recruiting firms in Aml space there's tons of them, look for entry lvl consulting Aml jobs with cams u should be able to get something - make sure you have in your resume how much due diligence you've performed in previous roles -

Btw the cams test is really not hard no need to stress about it just study the materials you get from them - don't need study groups - it's not like law school there are no difficult concepts or anything even close
Remember acams is a for profit organization they want u to pass the test they want to grow their membership and they want to collect your dues

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rickyj (Jan 26, 2016 - 5:05 pm)

I am working as Business Analyst and working on systems/applications that deals with CDD/ AML/ KYC. I am curious to know if getting CAMS certification will help in career advancement.

Is the certification really worthy of its money for someone working in IT field? I found CFE less costly but in all the threads I found people talking about CAMS.

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secondcareerlawyer (Jan 27, 2016 - 11:31 am)

My instinct is to say no it is not worth it for you since you are in IT. Presumably certifications in SQL, oracle, PHP, database administration, etc are what IT employers are looking for. Also keep in mind that this is a lawyer's forum so our focus may not necessarily be able to help you. With that being said why not post on an IT forum and see what they say?

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