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Why I Took the SIE in College

Jake Geller got the idea to take the SIE exam the summer before his junior year at New York University as a way to stand out.  

“I transferred into NYU’s Stern School of Business my junior year and felt I was behind other students,” Geller says. “Taking the SIE gave me a leg up. It was also a resume booster. I also thought it would help me get into a more important role sooner.   

This month, Geller starts a full-time role, entering the asset management space as an associate with Newton Investment Management Group through the BNY Mellon Emerging Leaders Program.  

“I’d definitely recommend training for the SIE exam to other college students.” says Geller, who just started a job at BNY Mellon.  

The SIE Advantage  

One of the youngest students to train with Knopman Marks for the SIE exam, Geller thinks passing the SIE boosted his confidence and appeal as a prospective employee. “The SIE credential is something my classmates didn’t have,” Geller says. “It gave me an advantage over other students. I would definitely recommend training for the SIE exam to other college students.”   

Passing the exam not only looked good on Geller’s resume but became a point of interest during job interviews.  

“People brought up the SIE in a number of interviews,” he says. “Passing the SIE got me initial interviews and then gave me something interesting to talk about during the interview. I think it helped me stand out. Plus, it was one less exam to need to take. It was good to gain an understanding of basic economic principles and understand the news better.”  

Training with Knopman Marks 

Geller felt prepared on exam day after spending a lot of time during his training at Knopman Marks watching the video lectures and taking the quizzes, especially the ones that he could design to focus on the topics he found most challenging.  

“If anything, the actual exam was a little easier than the practice exams I took with Knopman Marks,” Geller says. “I hope more college students recognize that taking the SIE can help them stand out and even get hired.”  


Should I take SIE exam in college? 

  • Since candidates do not need to be sponsored by a FINRA member to take the SIE exam, passing the this exam before graduating can offer an expedited path to getting a job with a brokerage firm down the road.  
  • The SIE credential can be added to your resume help you stand out.  

What percentage of people pass the SIE exam on the first try? 

  • 74% according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  

Is taking the SIE worth my time? 

  • If you pass the SIE Exam, employers realize that you have a much higher chance of passing your qualification exam because you’ve dealt with the foundational information on which the qualification exams are built. 
  • Passing the SIE exam before applying to firms shows recruiters that you’re motivated and serious about the financial industry, and that you’ve taken education into your hands. 

Interested in learning more about the SIE?



Suzanne Riss is an author and Director of Communications at Knopman Marks Financial Training. Previously the award-winning Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine, she is a fierce advocate for issues facing working moms and an authority on work/life trends. Her expertise has been tapped in interviews by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CNN. Suzanne's third book, Work Disrupted, published by Wiley, was released in January 2021.