I have about 20 years of work experience but not in the finance area, but in IT, I’m an IT engineer and I have no finance background at all. However, many of my employers have been banks, financial services companies or the stock exchange. I’ll be completing an MBA soon and thought to do a CFA afterwards, because I’m very much interested in all the finance stuff. I don’t plan to work as a financial analyst or something like that but I would like to complement my IT education and the MBA with a CFA.
Now I’ve read that to become a charterholder you need to have some kind of relevant work experience and being involved in the investment decision-making process, which obviously I’m not and won’t be. And there are also 2-3 references required. This is a bit worrying because I don’t want to spend 2-3 years in learning all that and pass all exams and then being refused to become a charterholder because of the work experience. I know that in IT, some certifications have similar requirements as the CFA and require relevant work experience but I saw many people become a member of that institution with work experience that is not really relevant to the certification, so they are very relaxed in terms of what counts as relevant work experience.
I know that I can manage to learn and pass all the exams but do I have the chance to become a charterholder without being involved in any financial decision-making process? What are the references needed for? Do they have to confirm that I work in a capacity that is involved in any financial decision-making process or is it more to confirm that I’m a good person etc.? Is there a charterholder out there with a similar background as mine who can confirm it works?