CFA Gurus, Before I commit to spending time and resources along the preparation for CFA L1, I would like to get your input as I am at a crossroad. 1-Would it make more sense to complete CFA (L1) and take an initial 20-35% salary reduction working as financial analyst for a number of years and eventually move up the ranks? 2- Given my qualifications, what would be the appropriate areas that could give me the best chances of succeeding in Finance (e.g., corporate finance, research) and make a decent $$$ living? Any feedback (even “constructive”) would be appreciated. Thanks. Background Education: BS in EE, MS Computer Science (Top Tier University), MBA Finance (Part-Time) Cons: Mid 30s, staled IT career (non-managerial position), time constraints (work & family), no accounting background, lost entry finance opportunities (and years of valuable experience) due to grueling/lengthy H1-B/GC process, unable to relocate Pros: Multidisciplinary IT/Business background, MBA Finance (2 -tier university), superior analytical/project management skills, VB/Analytics/Databases. Working for a major financial services company (IT Side), willing to commit to the entire CFA program.
You might try seeking out kkent, I think he’s in DC area. I always recommend people try the job sites (e.g. monster.com) to see what the market is like. Otherwise hooking up with a friendly headhunter in the right space can pay off in spades. “stalled XXX career” is a red flag. Throwing a new credential unrelated to your recent career arc onto the resume might not be the best move at this point. Very few credentials are a magic ticket to a mid-career change; what allows sucessful career changes is the person’s character. 100 interviews without a CFA is worth a lot more than 10 with it – what are you doing to switch fields? Why do you think you’ll be more successful in a brand new field than in your current one? Try hanging out with some professional societies in your target field and ask the folks over a drink what they think of crossover prospects.