Students and business professionals have to spend a significant amount of time on becoming certified financial analysts (CFA), but it's more than worth it. Not only do CFAs earn more than most other financial roles, but a CFA certification can also open more doors in your career.
7 Reasons Why You Should Train to Become a CFA
Whether you're a student completing your finance degree or a senior financial professional, there are plenty of great reasons to train as a CFA.
Here are 7 you should know.
1. The CFA is a Prestigious Designation
If you have dreams of investing in yourself professionally, then you should already be aware of the reputation of the CFA institute and its charter holders. You won't find another designation with the same weight for asset managers, so the CFA gives you more bang for your buck.
Portfolio managers, research analysts, and chief-level executives often have a CFA because it allows them to stand out from their peers. In the end, a CFA can make you more hireable.
2. It's Not That Hard to Pass if You Prepare
No one would say that passing the CFA exam is easy. Of the three exams you need to take to earn your CFA, the first one, CFA Level I, has a 37% pass rate. With that said, many test takers fail because they're unprepared and not necessarily because the test is challenging.
We recommend looking at CFA mock exam providers to find a prep course that suits your needs and learning style. By taking a prep exam course, you can increase your pass rate.
3. The Curriculum Fills in Knowledge Gaps
Let's say you're a senior executive or a veteran entrepreneur who's worked in finance all your life. That experience will serve you well in your role, but it can't make up for certification in some cases. Even when it can, there's no guarantee you can move into other senior roles.
A CFA proves to employers that you know basic financial terms, specialized finance topics, and the ins and outs of wealth management. This can give you the confidence to apply for roles.
4. The CFA Charter Can Help You Network
The CFA charter is a global network that exists in over 165 countries. With over 155,000 members, your local CFA society can be a great place to socialize and network. Whether you want to use this network to build strong friendships, mentors, or business partners is up to you.
As a CFA charter holder, you'll gain access to exclusive job postings, even in foreign countries. A CFA could offer you peace of mind if you're concerned about your job ahead of a recession.
5. Financial Professional Can Work Overseas
As mentioned, CFA certifications can be used in other countries, but to what extent depends on the country. Some countries, like Mexico, Australia, and Singapore, will allow you to work as fund managers or financial advisors with a Level I designation, but most require at least Level II.
Fortunately, each exam gets easier to pass as you go, meaning getting a Level II or Level III designation is well within your reach. Plus, a Level III will make you attractive to employers.
6. You Can Work in Major Investment Firms
No certification will guarantee you a job, but a CFA will definitely help you land a role in a prominent investment firm. The top employers of CFA charter holders are global investment banks, mainly in the research divisions or asset management sectors, or large international accounting firms.
For example, BofA Merrill Lynch, UBS, and JP Morgan Chase primarily hire charter holders. HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Barclays prefer to hire CFAs, but don't favor them.
7. CFA Charter Holders Have High Salaries
Most people go back to school to improve their earning potential, but if you already have an MBA or a business degree, would a CFA certification make that much of a difference? Yes, CFA charter holders can make 50% or more per year than non-CFA holders in similar roles.
However, you need to find a firm that values the CFA charter, or you may not earn what you expect. Experience, the role, and the bank you work at can also determine your salary.
We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.