Hi, I am a Software Engineer and am considering a switch to finance to become an securities analyst. So I am looking for some guidance. Could anyone help me with the related questions I have listed below? Thanks in advance. My background: MSc Computer Science, BSc Computer Science, 10 years work experience Questions: 1. What are the qualifications necessary (and nice to have) while looking for a Securities analyst position? 2. Is it possible (or common) for people (from different backgrounds) to get a securities analyst position while doing CFA? If so, generally after passing which exam? Level I , II or III? 3. For a person like me who is from a completely different backround, how many hours would it approximately take to prepare for CFA Level 1? The CFA institute does state 250 but I understand that varies with the individual’s academic/work background. 4. What is the average starting salary for a securities analyst? 5. What are the books and websites are recommended while preparing for the level I exam? 6. I know this is a very tough market right now- both for finance professionals and technology professionals. However, if someone completed Level I and II, what are the odds of getting a relevant position in this market?
- CFAI website. Register for the test and you will get the 6 textbooks to prepare for the Level 1 test. The price of the textbooks are included in your registration fee. There are Stalla and Schwesser that many claimed to have helped them in their preparation for the test. You can decide which one you will need. Search the posts in this forum for more opinions of which study guides to use. I don’t know the exact answers to the others. For salaries, you can just find from www.payscale.com/
Not sure how CFA will help somebody who has 10+ years experience as a developer or one with a non-finance background. Even if you clear all the 3 levels on first attempt, you will have to start from scratch (despite having 13 years exp) and compete with 20+ year old guys who have passed out afresh. You need to be prepared for a massive undercutting as far as salaries go as your experience will not be considered relevant. Not sure if the game is worth the candle unless you are willing to make this huge sacrifice of your IT experience. This is the view expressed by many in this forum.
crish_r2008 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Not sure how CFA will help somebody who has 10+ > years experience as a developer or one with a > non-finance background. > > Even if you clear all the 3 levels on first > attempt, you will have to start from scratch > (despite having 13 years exp) and compete with 20+ > year old guys who have passed out afresh. You need > to be prepared for a massive undercutting as far > as salaries go as your experience will not be > considered relevant. Not sure if the game is worth > the candle unless you are willing to make this > huge sacrifice of your IT experience. > > This is the view expressed by many in this forum. No, this is not the view expressed by many, and is completely incorrect. Your experience may not count toward the required for the charter, but will most certainly give you a leg up on finding a position. Who would you rather hire as a tech analyst: Dude with little experience, undergrad in business, and CFA, or Dude with MS in comp. science, 13 years experience in the field, and CFA? Seems to me that this is a no-brainer.
Wyantjs, Please bear in mind he doesn’t want to be a ‘Tech Analyst’. His aim is to become a Securities Analyst. So, I still stand by my words, unless you can prove me wrong.
Apparently you have a misconception about the nature of the job of a securities analyst. Let me clarify: They analyze securities. In simpler terms, boss says “You are to be responsible for following firms in ________ industry. Analyze them.” Place Technology in the blank, and you get Tech Analyst. It only makes sense that someone with extensive background in a technological field would be hired to follow the tech sector.
Got your point, that means anybody who has a sizeable (10+ years) exposure in the technology industry (not necessarily as a programmer, even as a Business Analyst having domain expertise) stand to gain with a CFA?
Yes. The point is that someone with any sizeable chunck of experience in business has a leg up due to the heightened business senses that come with it. I shouldn’t make it sound as if technology is the only sector someone like this would be able to cover. It just seems like a logical choice. So…any good experience + CFA > CFA
This is the only logical conclusion. You require (in many cases) a detailed knowledge of Industry X, coupled with the skills that are acquired through passing CFA exams and relevant work experience. As a side note for the original poster, have you considered consulting? Not sure exactly what you do, but the salary is decent and it might allow you to continue doing something you enjoy.
Have you looked into getting an MBA at all?