So i work in IT and i passed all 3 levels of CFA. My math is decent, but one thing is to take undergrad level math and another is to study for MFE program. MFE is very competitive and you will have probably > 60% of class who are Ph.Ds. I don’t want to compete against people like this.
CFA programm was very informative and i learned a lot, but did it make me more competitive? I don’t think so.
From my experience there are 2 paths for IT professional in Financial.
- Software Developer -> Senior Software Developer -> Team Lead -> Director -> MD.
This path is on a management / software architecture track, as you will be responsible for hardware procurement, resource management, budgeting. This is a very treacherous path and ridden with political (office) obstacles. You start at 100-120k total comp and end up at 300-400k total comp
- Quant Developer -> Quant/Trader -> Quant PM. This is a more lucrative path but A LOT more competitive. You start at 150k+ and upside is limited only by your ability to generate P&L.
In both these paths CFA is rather useless. Path 1) Would probably benefit from MBA. for Path 2) You need to have MFE (minimum) Ph.D much preferred.
As i have been interviewing, agents were like ‘Oh CFA… yeah that is nice…’ and no one ever mentioned it again.
I have chosen path #1.
Also, for 1) counts are as 1000 > 100000 > 5000 > 500 > 50. For ever MD there are literally thousands of foot soldiers.