How to
get started in
Sanctions Compliance?

Pursue a cross-disciplinary education

  • If you are still in college or exploring higher-education options, seek a degree in law, international trade, data management, banking, risk management, compliance, political science, engineering, artificial intelligence, business, cybersecurity, and take courses that focus on global legal issues, geopolitics or international relations.
  • Look for opportunities to take sanctions or compliance-related courses across schools or pursue continuing education online, in areas such as risk management or law.
  • Practice sanctions compliance skills through an internship or externship with a local company, government agency, think tank or bank. Learn how to work with technical, legal and business professionals.

Search for career opportunities beyond Big Banks

  • Don’t limit yourself as to where you might work or what your title might be. Nearly all companies and industries that do business internationally today require sanctions and trade compliance skills. Consider positions where sanctions is a component of the role that could grow, whether in more traditional companies that are expanding their presence into new markets, startups such as cryptocurrency companies or as part of larger teams within more recognizable global companies.

Write about sanctions issues

  • Pick a niche in sanctions that interests you, e.g. EU sanctions, or sanctions related to cyber security, get smart about it, and start writing — blogs, articles, papers, tweets.
  • Self-publish: Platforms like LinkedIn make it easy.
  • Submit your work for consideration to ACSS publications

Network, network, network: Engage with sanctions professionals.

Earn Sanctions Credentials

  • Take an ACSS Certificate Course, on EU sanctions, OFAC essentials or other topics
  • Earn sanctions related continuing education through conferences, trainings.
  • And ultimately, become a Certified Sanctions Specialist (CSS)

Find a niche

Dive deeper into a particular technology for sanctions screening, area of law, particular aspect of a sanctions compliance framework, like training or audit. You have to start somewhere and having a focus makes it easier to wrap your head around the intersection of sanctions laws, data, and technology. A particular interest also demonstrates to employers that you are dedicated to the field.