The CFA charter is a widely respected designation for most any position in the financial services industry. Level 1 and Level 2 are birds eye view approaches to the different aspects of finance, covering everything from derivatives to alternative investments to small busines valuation. The curriculum rounds out financial knowledge, and is applicable to any financial services professional.
The Level 3 curriculum is misguided. It forces candidates to cover portfolio management in detail, which is not applicable to many candidates. I work in corporate development where the CFA charter is still respected, but nothing in this level’s curriculum has anything remote to do with my position.
The CFA institute should make the Level 3 curriculum a “concentration,” where the candidate chooses which path he wishes to pursue. There could be plenty of different concetrations: Portfolio Management/Wealth Planning, Trading, Investment Banking/Corporate Development, Real Estate, Equity Analysis. This would give the CFA program wider respect among the different sectors in financial services. Thoughts?