Man contemplating reasons to earn CFA charter - Kaplan Schweser

Posted By: Kaplan Schweser
Published: October 14, 2016

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, the CFA® designation might be for you. This article explores 5 perks of deciding to become a CFA charterholder.

1. Better Job Prospects

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.

According to CFA Institute, the top ten employers of CFA charterholders are:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • HSBC
  • Bank of America
  • Merrill Lynch
  • UBS
  • Ernst & Young
  • RBC
  • Citigroup
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Wells Fargo

Considering the CFA charter? Download this free Before You Decide to Sit for the CFA Exam eBook.

2. Affordable

While a 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.

3. Career Advancement Opportunities

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.

4. Global Recognition

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.

5. Real-World Expertise

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 some of the benefits of getting the CFA charter, learn more about the process involved in becoming a CFA charterholder.