Posted By: Kaplan Schweser
Updated: August 4, 2020
If you’re interested in a finance career, odds are you are considering the alphabet soup of financial certifications. If you’re looking for a cost-effective certification that will give you global recognition and a deep understanding of finance, you should consider the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation.
Preparing for the exams can be a rigorous and demanding process, for good reason. The CFA charter is one of the highest distinctions you can earn in the investment management profession. If you’ve considered advancing your career by adding those three letters to your business card, we’ve outlined five good reasons you should enroll in the CFA Program and take the first step toward becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst.
While nothing on your resume guarantees you a job (even the CFA charter), the charter will boost your finance credentials. People in the industry know the time and discipline it requires to become a CFA charterholder. Earning the charter demonstrates your work ethic, analytical abilities, and ethical grounding to employers.
The CFA charter is not the golden ticket to landing your dream job; however, it will give you deep knowledge in the areas of investment analysis, asset management, and ethics. It will also speak volumes to your credentials and work performance. Firms that focus on the “buy side” (investing institutions like mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance firms that buy large portions of securities for money-management purposes) prefer CFA charterholders to MBAs. And that’s powerful motivation to ask how do you become a CFA.
According to CFA Institute, the top ten employers of Chartered Financial Analysts are:
While an MBA can cost over $100,000, the CFA charter only costs between $2,400 and $12,000, depending on when you register, what study materials you buy, and how many exams you end up taking. For a professional qualification, that is quite a bargain. You also don’t have to quit your job, unlike some full-time MBA programs. While hectic, it is manageable to study for the CFA exam while you work.
Completing the CFA Program allows you to become a CFA Institute member, which is a global network of over 135,000 investment professionals. That’s a pretty impressive club to join for the networking opportunities alone. The charter prepares you well for a variety of investment-related jobs, such as portfolio manager, risk manager, and research analyst. Seven percent of CFA charterholders even go on to be chief-level executives.
Like we said, CFA Institute has a global network of over 135,000 investment professionals. The CFA charter is recognized by regulators, universities, and certification programs in at least 30 countries and territories. You’ll gain unmatched career resources and relationships, as well as access to jobs around the world that require a CFA charter or candidacy.
A CFA charter is considered niche in the larger business world compared to the MBA, which addresses a broad array of topics with less depth. Getting your CFA charter allows you to gain analytical skills and expertise in quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting, investments analysis, and portfolio management. This set of skills and knowledge you will develop as you become a CFA charterholder will serve you well throughout your career.
Now that you know the top benefits of getting the CFA charter, you might be thinking of firing up Google and searching for “how do you become a CFA?” We’ll save you the trouble. You can instanly learn how to become a CFA charterholder by reading this article.