Engineer going for a CFA. What are my chances?

Hello All,

Ive just registered for the december level 1 exam, but having asked around, everyone says that my chances of passing are very low since I lack the proper background.

Ive started studying on the 1st of June using Schweser notes, and so far completed economics which I found really hard. FRA seems much easier till now.

What do you think my chances are? Is it foolish of me to think tha tI can pass all exams?


I am also an engineering, but i have my master’s degree in finance. it does help a lot.

If you don’t have any finance fundamentals whatsoever some of the topics will be challenging.

But i would say it really depends how you study and how much you want to pass.

Lv 1 is doable for everyone as they provided detailed enough materials even for a person who is completely new to the curriculum . In my opinion what separates people who pass and fail is effort not background. However it will be much easier for someone who possess prior knowledge to the material.

Why oh why does someone want to go from a respected and highly demanded profession into finance where opportunities are few and far between and are declining all the time. I will never understand it.

we undervalue what we have, we overvalue what we dont have…Finance is the most expanding and evergreen field in the globe

keep going my friend, people always talk and thats what they can do at best…many discouraged me before entering the CFA program because I didn’t know a dime about finance but I entered to prove them all wrong…and here I am, waiting for level 3 results :slight_smile:

I like this debate. I happen to agree with Optimist not because of the positive nature of his name, but because of my first hand experience in the finance world. I am, however, curious to hear the reasoning behind Geo’s pronouncement.

chances of passing exams are just fine, there’s no rocket science here and the books are in plain english.

the real question is what do you plan to accomplish by passing these exams.

That is absolutely false. Its OK to want to change careers due to passion or what not. Its not OK to sell false hope and nonsense that finance is a good field for late career changers right now. If this guy wants to play finance man, he should go do an MBA. That’s what career switchers do. The CFA charter may open doors for established professionals but in most cases passing three exams won’t give you a future

^ 100% agree

you do realize that apart from the bitter fact regarding finance field in developed country, there might be a different scenario in the other part of the world, dont you.

Thank you FrederickF! I couldn’t have said it better. I am originally from West Africa and currently work in corp finance at one of the Big 5 banks here in NY. I am fortunate and extremely grateful for the oportunity I’ve had here in the US, but my short term plans are to work in finance (PE or investment management) in one of those developing economies such as the very many Africa currently offers. Interestingly, those same countries desperately lack the expertise of a lot of people on here offer. So yes, the CFA and financial expertise in general is in high demand in the developing world where a premium is still paid for it.

Your chance is not slim, you just need to study hard. I am from science background myself. The terms may initially sound foreign though, make AF your best friend.

Guess you are from Nigeria

Well, best of luck. If you have a passion for finance, then by all means. If you’re a real engineer (not one of this flakey Indian ‘engineers’ we hear about here), then you probably won’t have much difficulty with the program. This would be a breeze compared to engineering.

^ Haha…love this guy :stuck_out_tongue:

I have an undergrad degree in engineering … and with no finance background whatsoever (I do also have an undergrad degree in economics, but from a liberal arts school, so I’m not counting that) … the CFA program is definitely doable for ANYONE that has the proper interest and motivation (and, especially for an engineer, the quant stuff is almost asininely easy). Best of luck!

Guess you are from Nigeria

Not quite. More like Gambia/Senegal. How is it going in Cap Vert? Beautiful place and beautiful people.

Well to be completely honest, I recently developed a huge intrest towards finance and investing. I am doing a lot of buiness evaluation and investing my own capital in equities based on where I think I could find some value.

I want to study CFA for to reasons:

  1. To try to break inot the finance world where I can do something I love more than engineering, hoping that someday I will run my own investment fund.

2.If No.1 wasnt possible, worst case, I will gain massive additional knowledge of finance which will definitely help with my investment decisions. Myabe in10-15 years I will have enough experience to start something on my own.

I might be stupid for thinking that, but what I know for sure is that I dont want to do something I dont love for the rest of my life.

I’m an engineer, and I passed all three levels. There are chances but you have to put efforts in.