The CFA program, which is sponsored by the CFA Institute, is targeted at investment professionals such as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and investment advisors. It is a self-study, graduate-level program that consists of three exams. If you are planning a career in investments or finance, there are a number of benefits to becoming a CFA charter holder.
Extensive, Relevant Knowledge. The knowledge required to pass the CFA exams is extensive, practical and up to date. As a result, it is immediately useful to professionals working in the investment and finance fields. Topic areas covered in the first exam alone include ethical and professional standards, quantitative analysis, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, portfolio management, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments. Given the breadth of information covered, the process of becoming a CFA charter holder can provide a solid foundation of skills and knowledge necessary for success in the investment and finance industries.
Worldwide Recognition and Respect. The CFA designation is recognized and held in high esteem in the investment and finance industries worldwide. It immediately identifies the holder as an investment and finance expert.
Recognition by Employers. Having a CFA means immediate credibility with investment and finance industry employers, who recognize that the CFA credential stands for expertise and integrity. Employers know that preparing for and successfully passing the CFA exams is a grueling process that requires exceptional discipline. Therefore, being a CFA charter holder can help to set you apart from the crowd by identifying you as a serious investment professional with the qualities needed to compete and excel. Also, since it is a powerful credential on your resume, it may result in a bigger paycheck.
Career Flexibility. The CFA can be a valuable credential for jobs at a broad range of investment or finance-related companies, including investment firms, mutual funds, private client wealth managers, hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment banks, government/regulatory agencies, research firms, academia, consultants, and investor relations specialists.
Continue Working. You can obtain your CFA while working. Since it is a self-study program, there is no need to give up your job while preparing for and taking the CFA exams. In fact, since work experience is required to receive a CFA charter, it can be an advantage to continue working in the investment field while preparing for and taking the CFA exams. Also, some employers pay all or part of the cost of the CFA program.
Networking Opportunities. Currently, there are nearly 90,000 CFAs worldwide, resulting in an enormous network of potential contacts and sources of expertise and guidance that you can rely on throughout your careers