CFA Help / Advice

I am going to be graduating from a top 60 university in december and am looking for a job preferably as a financial analyst. I have one internship at a highly respected worldwide company in the operations department but did some light financial work. I also have accounting and managerial experience managing a small restaurant along with part time jobs for 9 years straight. The account experience is through primary bookkeeping.I have an admittedly low GPA at 2.93 and am a double major with a minor; a B.S. in Econ ,a B.A. in English, and a minor in business. Both major programs rank in the top 30. I am also a certified excel specialist. I was wondering if I should start studying for the CFA exam and hopefully can sit in December for Level 1 (I have a good amount of free time to study from Sept-Dec) or take the new Claritas Certificate offered by the CFA. Admittedly price is one factor in the decision of potentially choosing the claritas, it is about half the price and seems more attainable in the short term compared to the CFA level 1. Is the claritas a good investment to hopefully get my foot in the door for an entry level position and then start my CFA journey or is it something employers will simply not care about?

claritas is a waste of money. you can watch videos online or register for coursera and learn the same stuff for free. btw what is a “certified excel specialist”?

Not that I want to put you off the CFA, but have a read through the threads here and you’ll see that the Charter is no guarantee to getting an entry level position. Given that I’d forget about Claritas and pass striaght to Level 1. It’s not going to help much getting in, but at least you’ll be on your way if you want to pursue the Charter.

In my opinion Claritas is there for employers who want to train their employees, more than for an employee who wants to advance themselves.

You are right, the price of CLARITAS is about 50% of CFA but its utility and recognition in the market is perhaps only 10-20% of CFA too. Indeed it is attainable in shorter term but then the impact of having it on professional growth will also wear off in much much shorter time than having the CFA. In fact after 6 months of getting into a new job (may be because of it or not) it may just have no add on value in terms of professional qualification in investment industry when as you said emlpoyer will simply won’t care about it.

If you have the time to ‘ínvest’ in Level 1 you must go ahead for it but keeping in mind CFA (even with level 3 passed) is not an entry qualification into investment field. Type and amount of experience is the deciding factor. You need to look for relevant experience earning job (which you would also require for the Charter) and focus your energy on learning the ‘tricks of the trade’. Your 9 years managerial experience should help you to find such an opening. Focus on the type of assignment and your field of liking i.e. financial analyst, if you are not very particular about the designation as you may have to start at a lower level functionally, in 4 years time (presuming all goes well) you will have enough credentials to succeed in the chosen field and the Charter. Best of luck.