Hi everyone, welcome to another comprehensive article on the benefits of CFA certification.
This article will help you understand the hype behind the CFA certification.
We’ll give you a detailed explanation of what one stands to gain by earning the CFA charter.
The CFA benefits we’ll cover include:
Let’s kick the discussion off with the career opportunities!
Creates Opportunities to Advance in One’s Career
As the gold standard in the finance industry, the CFA certification is a great addition to one’s resume.
Straight up, it shows the employer that one has knowledge in asset management, investment analysis, and work ethics.
It boosts one’s credentials, since the CFA programs take blood, sweat, and tears to earn, and employers know it.
Earning the CFA certification sets one apart from their peers.
It’s a clear indicator of one’s aspiration in the finance world.
CFA charter-holders use the designation to enhance their career in different sectors.
Investment professionals aspiring to work in the buy-side of investment firms will particularly find CFA certification extremely important.
This is because insurance firms, pension funds, and mutual funds mostly prefer CFA charter-holders or MBA holders.
The charter opens up one’s job prospects in the investment industry.
Additionally, asset managers and research analysts professionals will find the CFA charter crucial for their career development.
Furthermore, fund managers, financial strategists, and relationship managers can enhance their careers with a CFA credential.
Apart from finance professionals, other professionals, such as attorneys and lawyers, also pursue the CFA program to break new ground and advance in their careers.
Another CFA benefit is that it gives one an edge in securing jobs with renowned financial institutions.
Some of the top CFA employers, according to CFA Institute, include JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Ernst & Young.
We can all agree that these are the big fish in the financial field.
In addition, many companies prefer chartered financial analysts to work in the investment division.
If it’s not clear yet, let’s reiterate that the CFA certification can create many opportunities for investment professionals to take their careers to the next level.
However, the charter is not a direct ticket to getting a job or advancing in one’s career.
A CFA credential will definitely boost a candidate’s resume, but it will take more than a CFA to secure a job.
Interview skills are paramount.
It’s only by demonstrating to the employer that one is well-equipped to handle a particular role regardless of the CFA designation that one can secure a job.
There is Potential for a Higher Salary
Research shows that CFAs earn more than their counterparts without the certification.
In fact, a chartered financial analyst earns more than a non-charter holder in the same position.
300Hours surveyed over 700 respondents.
The research revealed that CFAs who’ve successfully completed the level I exam earn 6% more.
CFA candidates who’ve passed level II experience a 23% increase in pay.
And finally, those who’ve completed level III earn 39% more.
Part of the reason why CFAs earn higher salaries can be associated with the fact that the charter opens up doors of opportunities in the investment industry.
The CFA certification gives finance professionals the boldness to seek higher positions in well-paying companies.
Moreover, CFA charter-holders are employed with global financial institutions, which, of course, pay higher wages compared to other firms.
While earning the charter increases one potential for higher pay, other factors also influence salary.
Things like work experience or location play a role in what a chartered financial analyst earns.
The CFA Charter is Relatively Cheap
The cost of taking the CFA exam varies depending on several factors, including the prep materials, the registration time for the exams, and the number of exams one takes.
With all these factors put into consideration, a CFA program can cost anywhere from $2,600 to $8,000.
As a professional qualification, we can say that it is cost-effective compared to other alternatives like an MBA program.
Pursuing the CFA program is hectic, as most people balance work and studies, but it’s manageable.
MBA, its rival, requires $100,000 or more to cater for the registration fee, living expenses, and tuition fee.
We’ve not even mentioned the time commitment that comes with studying for an MBA program.
This is not to say that an MBA program is not worth it.
It all depends on priorities, situations, and personal goals.
Professionals who want to enhance their career in finance will definitely find CFA a perfect fit for this goal.
Provide Extensive Training in France
The CFA exam is difficult, and for a good reason.
The CFA program is thorough and extensive.
Historically, the pass rate for the CFA exam is below 50%, according to the CFA Institute.
Those who’ve gone through the CFA program reveal that the program’s content is not challenging to understand.
The challenge is to retain all the information while juggling work and studying.
The CFA program is regularly updated to include recent innovations and events.
And so, CFA candidates gain the most recent information in the finance industry from the experts.
The CFA Institute usually works with experts in the finance industry to develop and continuously update the learning materials.
Thus, finance professionals who’ve passed the CFA exam prove that they have a solid knowledge of finance.
It equips one with a strong knowledge base on everything related to investment and finance.
The CFA charter gives one confidence to tap into opportunities and specialize in their desired field.
Therefore, professionals ambitious about having a successful finance career will find the CFA charter a great way to launch their career.
The three levels of exams cover all areas of finance in detail.
CFA level 1 exam takes candidates through corporate finance, alternative investments, statistics, financial accounting, fixed income, and ethics.
CFA level II delves in-depth into asset valuation and other specialized topics.
The Level III exam thoroughly covers wealth and portfolio management.
The level III exams require candidates to apply knowledge learned in class to real-world scenarios.
The exam is mainly essay questions.
By the end of the three CFA exams, one will have gained expertise in financial reporting, portfolio management, economics, investment analysis, and quantitative methods.
More than that, these professionals gain strong analytical skills.
Provides Networking Opportunities
The networking opportunities afforded by earning the CFA certification are immeasurable.
The CFA certification is one of the professional qualifications that are recognized worldwide.
There are around 167,000 CFA charter-holders working in 165 countries.
Being part of these professionals unlocks doors of opportunities across the globe.
One can connect with distinguished financial professionals.
They can leverage these connections throughout their career path.
The CFA Institute is found in several major cities across the world.
The CFA Society is also in over 70 countries.
Through the CFA Societies, the charter-holders benefit from the job opportunities the society posts from companies actively looking for CFAs.
CFA Program is Recognized Globally
The reputation of the CFA charter is commendable.
The program is recognized by other certification bodies, regulators and universities worldwide.
There’s no other designation in the finance world that holds so much weight for asset managers and research analysts working in portfolio management, funds and funds, pension funds, and hedge funds as the chartered financial analyst certification.
The certification also proves useful for professionals in investment banking and financial advisory.
The charter-holders can get jobs in top finance and investment firms across the world since qualification is valued everywhere.
Because of its global recognition, CFA benefits charter-holders since it is highly transferable across different finance roles across the globe.
Since it’s the exact same qualification, one can go to Asia from Europe and still get the same recognition among the hiring team as the value of the CFA credential remains the same.
Licencing Requirements Waivers
In some countries, the requirements for other professional certifications are waived in part or in full if one has the CFA credential.
The benefits of the CFA charter are many.
The charter-holders are recognized worldwide.
They enjoy many job opportunities, from local firms to global financial institutions.
Not only that, but there’s also the potential for increased pay, high-value connections, and, of course, extensive knowledge of finance and investment.
CFA benefits far outweigh the money and time commitment that goes into earning the certification.
And so, if one has a long-term goal of furthering their career in the finance industry, a CFA charter may be just the right credential.