Venture Capital Associates


Education and Training Requirements

High School

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree—and preferably a master’s degree—to work as a venture capital associate, so be sure to pursue a college-preparatory curriculum in high school. Recommended classes include business, microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, mathematics, foreign language, and computer science. English and speech classes will help you to develop strong communication skills to source deals and network with others in the VC industry.

Postsecondary Education

Many venture capital associates have master’s degrees in business, finance, or a related major—typically from Ivy League schools or other prestigious colleges. Some are able to enter the field with just a bachelor’s degree in one of these majors.

Other Education or Training

Executive education programs in venture capital and private equity are offered by the University of California-Berkeley, Harvard University, and other schools. The CFA Institute offers a class on general capital that focuses on concepts such as general partner due diligence, determining investor cash flows, and assessing fees. Continuing education classes are also provided by professional associations such as the Alternative Investment Management Association, Financial Management Association International, and the International Association for Quantitative Finance. Contact these organizations for more information.


The Investments & Wealth Institute offers the Certified Investment Management Analyst program. In this online, self-paced course, you’ll learn about the differences between traditional and alternative investments, investment returns and risks, due diligence, risk management, venture capital and private equity, hedge funds, and other topics. Visit https://investmentsandwealth.org/certifications/welcome-to-cima for more information. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no specific certification designations for venture capital associates, but some earn financial certifications that provide them with additional expertise as they do their work. Some popular certifications include:

  • chartered financial analyst (administered by the CFA Institute)
  • chartered alternate investment analyst (Chartered Alternate Investment Analyst Association)
  • certified investment management analyst (Investments & Wealth Institute)
  • certified treasury professional, certified corporate financial planning and analysis professional (Association for Financial Professionals)

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most associates have two or more years of experience in management consulting, investment banking, or private equity—ideally in acquisition due diligence or deal making. A small percentage of associates are hired straight out of college, but have internship or co-op experience at a venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or financial consulting firm.

To be a successful associate, you need excellent communication and interpersonal skills—and a high degree of self-confidence—because you’ll need to constantly be reaching out to source deals, interact with your colleagues and managers, and work with the management of portfolio companies. Other important traits include project management, organizational, and analytical skills; a strong work ethic; the ability to effectively manage multiple tasks at one time; and familiarity with financial statements and data.