Venture Capital Investor Relations Specialists


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Business, economics, accounting, marketing, public relations, English, and speech classes will provide you with good preparation for college and an eventual career in investor relations. Other recommended courses include history, social studies, computer science, and foreign language.

Postsecondary Education

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degrees in marketing, communications, public relations, finance, accounting, or business to work as an investor relations specialist. Many IR professionals have master’s degrees in one of these majors. Fordham University offers the only master’s degree program in investor relations in the United States. Venture capital partners can be very picky about whom they hire, so you should definitely attend an Ivy League or another top-tier college.

Other Education or Training

Many investor relations specialists keep their skills up to date by participating in continuing education classes, workshops, and webinars, which are offered by professional associations such as the American Marketing Association, Canadian Investor Relations Institute, National Investor Relations Institute, and the Public Relations Society of America.

Several organizations and colleges and universities offer short-term training programs for those who want to learn more about venture capital, including:

  • Venture Capital Institute:
  • University of Michigan Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance:


Students can earn certificates in public relations and marketing at many U.S. and Canadian colleges. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Investor relations specialists must be experts in finance, communications, marketing, and public relations. To obtain this expertise, many become certified by professional associations. The certification process typically requires a combination of educational and work experience and the successful completion of an examination. Here are some popular certifications for IR professionals:

  • investor relations charter (provided by the National Investor Relations Institute)
  • certified professional in investor relations (Canadian Investor Relations Institute)
  • professional certified marketer (American Marketing Association)
  • accreditation in public relations (Public Relations Society of America)
  • chartered financial analyst designation (CFA Institute)
  • certified public accountant (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
  • chartered alternate investment analyst (Chartered Alternate Investment Analyst Association)
  • certified treasury professional, certified corporate financial planning and analysis professional (Association for Financial Professionals)
  • certified investment management analyst (Investments and Wealth Institute)

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Investor relations managers must have at least five years of relevant work experience in investor relations, public relations, finance, and marketing. Associates need about two years of experience (which can involve a combination of both internship and on-the-job training) at a public relations or marketing firm—ideally one that provides services to the venture capital industry. 

Excellent written and oral communication skills and sales ability are needed to prosper in this occupation. Investor relations specialists must be able to translate complex investing and business concepts into plain English in order to convince potential investors to invest in their firm’s fund, provide clear and concise information to limited partners who may be worried about the performance of the fund, and interact daily with their colleagues in meetings and via telephone calls, web conferences, and e-mails. Other important traits include:

  • a strong work ethic
  • excellent business judgment
  • an organized and detail-oriented personality
  • strong Microsoft Office skills, especially in PowerPoint
  • well-developed project management skills
  • discretion and the ability to manage highly confidential and sensitive information
  • the ability to work under pressure and tackle multiple tasks and projects