Is the CFA designation worth the stress involved in obtaining it? Is it better than other professional certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Masters of Business Administration (MBA)? In order to ascertain the value of the CFA certification, one has to decipher whether his choice of career will require a portfolio within a company that desires the CFA qualification. This post provides a better understanding of careers that attract CFA qualifications and you ought to be sure that you are certainly interested in pursuing these positions.
A large number of skills are desired by employers who value CFA qualifications. In order to attain a CFA designation, one needs to pass three exams. These exams cover diverse aspects of the course and these aspects include the following: Ethical and Professional Standards, Economics, Equity investments, Fixed Income, Corporate Finance and Quantitative Methods. Others include Derivatives, Alternate Investments, Financial Reporting and Analysis, and Portfolio Management.
CFA Charter: Career Opportunities
According to the CFA Institute, CFA charter holders can work perfectly in a wide number of roles. These roles include Chief Level Executives, Portfolio Managers and Research Analysts. Others include Consultants, Financial Advisor, Risk Manager, Corporate Financial Analyst, Investment Banking Analyst and Relationship Managers. CFA charter holders can also work as Private Bankers, Performance Measurement Specialists, Strategists, Traders, Brokers, Manager of Managers and Auditors. One viable strategy to ascertain companies that value the CFA designation is to study surveys that compare salaries of CFA holders to salaries of non-CFA holders. These surveys are often conducted by the CFA Institute and they span several countries.
CFA versus MBA
One argument making the rounds in recent times is the battle between CFA and MBA regarding supremacy. According to the CFA Institute, the following are the requirements needed to obtain CFA qualification: An average of four years, study time of 250 hours minimum and a preparation period of six months prior to each exam. Ideally, the program may prove to be difficult for some individuals to obtain due to a large number of reasons. These reasons may include life responsibilities, work responsibilities or academic skill. When choosing which of them to study, one needs to check the length of time required, the certainty of completing the program and the difficulty of completing it.
The advent of MBA courses that provide frameworks to help students with CFA certification indicates that an MBA may not be able to provide the necessary groundwork needed for people to earn meaningful careers in the investment sector. MBAs are reputed for providing students with a business background that is broad-based enabling these graduates to follow a wide range of career possibilities within a corporate environment and in entrepreneurial ventures.
Before the evolution of the CFA, the MBA was undoubtedly the necessary and sufficient requirement for employment in the investment industry. However, the trend has changed now as the CFA provides a specialized curriculum for that. Currently, most companies that are involved in making and managing investments insist on CFA qualifications for their senior managers. In some peculiar cases, employees are required to possess academic achievements in these roles. Due to the history involving MBAs and CFAs, a large number of individuals find it extremely difficult to decide between both programs.
It is also interesting to know that this degree of uncertainty cannot be said of individuals deciding between the CFA and other specialized business certifications like CPA. Due to the peculiarity of the CPA especially as it concerns the accounting industry, it is very different from the CFA. Anyone facing challenges in deciding between both qualifications is someone that is yet to decide his future career aspirations.