Career Switching to the Investment Profession


I am an IT professional working in the Financial Industry with more than 5yrs of experience. I work for a reputed organization and I am on work visa, working in the US.

I am Level 2 candidate in the CFA program. I eventually want to make a shift in to the investment industry.

My major issue is the VISA for working post the profession switch.

I do not mind entering at a lower leverl, I am ready to work my way up the ladder.

I have spoken to a couple of Charterholders, who have adviced me on the unique knowledge i posses - a bridge between the IT and the business side ( I would say a typical Business Analyst role but I know the technical aspect of it too ).

Any guidance on how to go about in switching my career and which firms I might need to contact or check out.

Thank you for your patience and time taken to suggest me.



what are you interested in?

Research, Banking, Trading?

Take a number, there are probably tens of thousands of people trying to do the same

Sadly, this is very true. It is extremely difficult.


there are a few thousand asset management “firms” just in NYC… its not difficult to work in finance, but dont expect to pass the three cfa exams and work at the broad st office for goldman.

Sorry man, it’s going to be very difficult for you to make a move, especially given your visa. There are US citizens with CFA levels passed that are competing for the jobs you want.

Not saying you cannot do it, but it’s just that the financial industry is different from other industries. Here small numbers of people handle huge amounts of money, and as a result, there’s a shortage of quality positions and oversupply of applicants.

Thank you all for replying and providing your inputs.

I do not expect to work in a big firm and make extra big money every month. I want to first move, not really happy with my career path, have discovered that this is what I want to do(investment profession). Currently very interested in portfolio management. Would like to first get my feet wet and then think on specializing.

So you guys are saying that no big / small firms look at people like me ?

Does this mean that to take a career switch, I have to do an MBA(majoring in Finance) too ? That really sucks !

Here’s the thing, everybody is interested in portfolio management (including me and many others on this forum). I’m younger than you, I have passed L2, and have a degree from a good US school, and I’m finding it difficult.

MBA is a good option especially for a foreign graduate, but I believe a top MBA would be preferable, and those are difficult to get into.

But what you’re doing is good, asking questions and trying to get as much information as you can. Since you’re a L2 candidate, you may as well focus on passing this exam, but I wouldn’t immediately have high expectations for this job market. Keep scouring for information, and keep looking for opportunities, but do keep in mind that there are few good positions and many good applicants for them. Perhaps targeting smaller RIA’s could be a venue after you pass L2.

Also start following the markets on a daily basis and develop your own ideas about them, so when you do get an interview you can speak confidently.

Thanks Palantir for your suggestions.

One major disadvantage I feel that I have is not having a finance background. But I am confident that after studying for the CFA exams and over the years learning about the Banking and capital markets domain, I have a stunderstanding.

I am currently concentrating hard on the level 2 exam. Do not want to waste another year for resitting for this exam next year. Failing is not an option for me.

I am looking at finding different avenues as you suggested for information.

What did you mean by RIA ?? - did you mean small firms and/or research firms ? I feel post passing L2, it would be a good selling point for me as a first step.

Targeting smaller firms is a nice idea except for the fact that smaller firms don’t like to have to sponsor anyone’s visa, it’s more costly, there’s more paperwork and annoying government crap to deal with. Smaller companies will flat out reject you based on that alone. Plenty of people with green cards and US citizens to choose from