When is the Best Time to Enrol in CFA®: in College or after Graduation?

When is the Best Time to Enrol in CFA®: in College or after Graduation?

If you are considering a career in finance, earning a CFA charter is an excellent way to advance your career. The right time to enroll for CFA is dependent on your confidence, schedule, and availability because the course requires intense studying. You can choose to enroll for CFA when in college or after graduation. Let us explore the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling for your CFA when a student or after graduation.

Enrolling for CFA when in college

The CFA Institute requires you to hold a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent or be in the final year of your undergraduate studies. Therefore you can enroll for your CFA while still in college.

Advantages of enrolling for CFA when in college

You have a more flexible schedule

Generally, most college students have more free time than after graduating, although this might not be true for all students. However, if you can afford it and do not have to work part-time, it is ideal to enroll in the CFA curriculum. You can take advantage of the flexible schedule and time to focus on attaining a CFA charter.

It can make it easier to find a job

Enrolling for CFA as a student will help you stand out to your professors, who can help you in both studies and industry connections. Additionally, having enrolled or passed Level, I of CFA will enhance your CV and boost your chances of getting jobs after graduation.

It might be cheaper

Enrolling for CFA as a student might be more affordable because you can take advantage of CFA exam prep student discounts. Exam prep companies offer student discounts to make it more affordable for students taking the course. In addition, you can apply for scholarships from the CFA Institute, which provides financial support to students who cannot afford to pay the enrollment and exam registration fees.

Cons of enrolling for CFA when in college

You will study for longer hours

The CFA curriculum is intense and requires you to put in long hours of study. In addition to your college studies, we recommend putting in at least 300 hours of study or each CFA level. Consequently, you will need to sacrifice extracurricular activities and limit social activities to pass both courses.

You will have limited time to network and search for jobs

Networking is essential to achieve the ultimate goal of employment. Searching for jobs after completing your studies requires time that you might not have to concentrate on your CFA studies.

You need relevant work experience to earn a CFA charter

One of the requirements by the CFA Institute to become a charter holder is evidence of at least four years of relevant work experience. Therefore, you will need to work even after passing all three levels of the CFA curriculum before earning your charter. Consequently, even if you enroll for CFA in your final year of college studies, you will not become a charter holder any sooner.

Enrolling for CFA after graduation

You can choose to wait until you graduate or secure employment to enroll in the CFA course.

Advantages of enrolling for CFA after graduation

You can focus on your studies

One advantage of studying for your CFA exams after graduation is that you do not need to combine your college studies with exam prep. Although you may not have much free time, you will only have CFA studies to focus on.

Some employers compensate you for studying

CFA charter is an internationally recognized professional accreditation considered as the gold standard for investment professionals. Consequently, employers value this certification, and some compensate you for earning a CFA charter. Although not all employers are willing to pay you to study, you can secure employment with a company that allows employees to study on the clock.

You are more likely to study with your peers

It is common for employees to enroll for CFA after securing employment. Therefore it is likely to study with peers if you wait to study CFA after graduation. You could form a study group and get the opportunity to thrive in this competitive environment.

Disadvantages of studying for CFA after graduation

It can take time away from searching for a job

You will likely need to study for your CFA exam while working because it might not be possible to dedicate three or four years to study. Searching for a job is time-consuming, and it might be ideal to finish CFA level I before you graduate to give yourself time to find a job before advancing to level II.

Your schedule might not be flexible

It is wrong to assume that you will have more time to study after graduating from college, but the demands of a job and other responsibilities might make it more challenging. You will still need to make sacrifices to prepare for your CFA exam to put in the required study hours.

You might slow down your career

One of the main reasons for studying for CFA is to enhance your career and help you stand out in the workplace. Therefore, you might delay career advancement if you put off your studies until a few years into employment.

Whether you decide to start your CFA exam prep while in college or after graduating, enrolling in CFA study packages from Analystprep.com will help you pass your exams. Contact us and access guided studies from our experts and additional study materials.

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