CFA as a career changing option

crish. it depends how you describe your work experience to CFAI. The work has to involve investment decision making. you need to frame the experience to show that you actually made investment decisions. crish_r2008 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks a lot for all your advice- yes, some of > them are harsh but if that is the reality, so be > it. However, a couple of points: > > “…2) I strongly believe he will not be > able to land the job within the next 2 years” > > I will not be landing a job within the next 2 > years anyways because the earliest I will be > completing L-3 is only in June 2011. > > What I fail to understand is that why my > experience of 8 years in accounting will not be > counted especially since FSA forms a significant > part of the CFA curriculum. I have done all those > ratio analysis, balance sheet analysis, debtors > management etc etc during those 8 years. If they > are giving so much weightage to FSA during the > exams, why won’t they give due consideration to my > FSA experience as well? > > A major contributing factor towards my decision > (to do CFA) has been an edge (presumably) in terms > of my FSA experience. Am I wrong in this judgment?

Wilier, I am not talking about the experience for getting the Charter, but for landing a job!

If you have restricted yourself to developed markets like Europe, U.S and some parts of Asia, then you have the price of self-restrictions to handle…the challenge with the markets will still be the lower pay though…

Crish, for whatever it is worth to you, I am also on the wrong side of 35 and have 15+ yrs of IT experience with a Masters degree in Computer Science. I am good at what I do and paid well accordingly (upward of $150K). The job is not very challenging anymore as I know my field very well and am senior enough to be able to delegate the grunt work while providing strategic support. All that said, I got started on the CFA track as I heard it is very tough and prestigious. I calculated it will cost me less than $5K total to earn the charter, I will burn about 800hours of my personal time studying interesting topics and will learn a whole lot more than what I currently know about the investment analysis and management process. Will it help me get a new job in non-IT field that will pay me even half as well at the start itself? NO. not now for sure. Will it help me break the glass ceiling and make more than $350K/yr ? possibly. This is the only path I can think of. so net summary, I am making a good living in a comfortable job currently. Even if I quit this position, I can pull about $800-1000/day in a similar profile elsewhere. the CFA related learning gives me a significant edge over other IT professionals for sure and if I can come across the right kind of job opening (a senior BA role with slightly better pay than current position and significantly more exposure to the investment teams). not pinning any hopes on it for now other than boasting rights at the water cooler and the chip on shoulder that will help shutup a difficult user who would otherwise try to show you down saying “you dont understand the business”.

Ambyk, how about a Business Analyst with around 10+ years of IT experience? Based on your views, a CFA will take him places, right?

I started a career in real estate as a commerical broker right out of college - I found this interesting, yet not very challenging at the time so I started taking night classes to earn an MBA with an accounting emphasis. Shortly after enrolling in the program I joined a regional public accounting firm and worked in the accounting industry for about 5+ years. After a few years in accounting I realized that I couldn’t do the mind numbing work forever, so I started working on the CFA program and completed level 1 the first time. I managed to land an interview for an associate position and talked to two people that had very similar backgrounds as mine (one with brokerage/public accounting and another with public accounting. Believe it or not, accountants are very detailed oriented with a good understanding of financial statements both are very valuable in my current position. Bottom line, I think accounting experience IS very valuable and was part of the reason I ended up with the job I have (now a research analyst/portfolio strategist). You might have to take a few steps back, however, I think with CFA/accounting combo, you can move up pretty quickly. Also, for the accounting pieces on Level 1 and 2, I didn’t have to study too hard, because many of the topics understood pretty quickly. You will be surprised at how many CPA/former accountants are now in the finance industry. (although this market is very challenging)

Great, badbeat88- very encouraging piece of info indeed! Looks like a CA+CFA combination with around 8 years of accounting and 5 years of IT experience as a Business Analyst in the investment banking domain is not all that bad after all! Aha, this gives me the (badly-needed) impetus to go full throttle for L-1 in June 2009…thanks everyone, guys!

No problem. My advice is that the day you enroll/start studying is to put CFA candidate on your resume. Start networking now - send your resume to everyone you know in the field - offer to take people to lunch and find out what they do. Show interest and enthusiasm for the investment industry. I did this for about a year and a half before an offer finally happened. It was hard for nothing to happen over that time period, however, just be persistent and network. After I received a job offer, I received numerous call from groups that I networked with in the past. There are still jobs out there believe it or not and you never know when the economy will recover and jobs will start opening up again.

I have experience in the field but not a lot. I worked at a good boutique in San Francisco as a Research Associate before I was caught up in the down turn. I stil have my 7 and 63 and am working hard here on Level 2. Other than efinancial careers, what other job websites would be a good place to search for jobs? I don’t know that it’s the best way to look for a job but it’s a way to look for a job. I’ve been concentrating on networking but it hasn’t been going so well. Thanks in advance for advice regarding this topic.

I also have an MBA and an MIM (Masters of International Management from Thunderbird)