Seeking help in order to take decision on CFA certification


Good morning to all.

I am one of the aspirant for CFA and trying for L1 in upcoming december. I started reading all the books to gain the confidence before i take any decision. I have decided that, by hook or by crook, i have to crack this exam-- as per my current understandings on CFA and its use in defining my career path.

Before i throw any questions, i would like to introduce myself to all CFA aspirants and who have already achieved their milestone/s. I am a business and data analyst in a software company. I does lot of data analysis and competitor analysis too. Since i am a business anlysts, domain is a very important aspect in my career. Hence i thought of pursuing this course. At the same time i got so many questions which clout on my mind everytime when i think of CFA.

The questions goes like this…

  1. How CFA helps for Business Analysts in Financial Domain

  2. Is it necessary to switch to any banks, broker firms or any other financial institution from IT arena?.

If YES, how they would treat us, whether they treat us as fresher OR experianced ones

If NO, what would be career path within IT arena

  1. If anybody has same scenario, like i explained above and has done CFA and suceessfull in their career----Please

do share your opinions and thoughts

The other thing i would like to mention here, i am 35 year old and have spent more than 11 years in IT as Developer and more as Business Analyst from the past 7 years.


if nobody able to answer my question, i consider that its not good to do CFA for an IT person.

Question is too long. people don’t like reading long winded questions

and then this


I don’t think the CFA is a very good fit for you. I touched on some Business Analysis work in my prior role as an accountant/analyst in industry and the CFA was completely useless for that role. I think you will end up investing alot of time and energy into the CFA with pretty much no benefit.

Sound like an IT, do more backgroup research on the CFA…here is a clue, CFA is not a certification.

Hi, I am a mechanical engineer and want to enter into finance by taking up cfa. I have a huge gap of 6 yrs between 12th and engineering. Taking this into consideration,I stand a chance to build up a strong career in finance.

Ok, I’m gonna have to address this misconception because sooooo many candidates have this thought process. The CFA will NOT get you into finance. If you want an example, I have one for you. This morning I applied to a Junior Business Analyst & Project Manager, Investment Research Operations role over at Citi. About an hour ago I received a rejection letter. Passing the exams is not a golden ticket. However, I do think the CFA will help you understand the investment process better. If you can network with an analyst and communicate your opinion of what’s going on in the capital markets, I think that will help in your career prospects. If you’re looking to get into finance ASAP, your best bet is through networking.

WARNING:- This is a negative post, do not read if you do not like negative stuff.

I entered the CFA program because I liked investing and like countless others thought that passing the exams would help me get an entry level job in investment management ( I mean I would like anything, filing, cleaning desks etc). So far I have passed 1 and 2 nd just sat my level 3. Nd honest to god it has got me Zilch. Not even 1 interview. My previous experience has been in govt (accounting and IT and admin). I know bit all over the joint…

but at this point in time, my sincere advice to people is this;

  1. If you already have a successful career that makes half decent money in an another field, stick to it coz the time and effort that you put into studying the CFA would be better spent in trying to advance your existing career.

  2. If you have plenty of time, an extremely dead end job, no social life and lots of time on your hands and like investments, then by all means do the CFA.

BUT LET ME WARN YOU–> If you are an average student like myself, be prepared to spend a minimum of 25 hours a week for 6 months prior to each exam to study. Which actually means no Social life…

The final word: Experience >>>> passing L1, L2 and L3

In today’s horrible job market in finance, there are many qualified and over-qualified people with experience fighting over the same few openings . Almost everyone working in finance already is doing the CFA program either to try to add more value to themselves to avoid the next mass firing, or to look better when the ax falls and they have to look for a new job.

I’ve interviewed with a couple firms where I developed such a good relationship with the manager that they admitted to me they are only interviewing because they realized they can get an experienced person at a cheap price in this market (for even the most entry level jobs). And he was going to let go current workers that were more expensive.

So, why would a company bring in a person with 0 experience just because they passed a test, when there are plenty of people that have passed the same test that have the work experience.

This is the worst time to try to transition to finance. Unless your daddy is a senior person in a financial company

+1 to all three posts above this one.

The CFA didn’t go much for me career-wise as I never went back to finance, but I never regretted obtaining the CFA.

There was a time when the CFA was a reasonable approach to “breaking in” to the industry. Unfortunately, the industry is contracting so hard that this is not the case any more. It’s not that the CFA is useless, it’s that it’s not sufficient.

For people who have industry experience and can credibly talk to an interviewer about what they did for other employers, the CFA is an advantage over those who don’t have it.

If you’re a star portfolio manager with an excellent track record. It doesn’t really matter. Your record will speak for itself.

CFA was never intended to be a break-in tool, even if - for a little while - it worked for that. Originally, CFA was intended as a mid-career professionalization designation to launch mid-level professionals into more senior CIO and PM roles. Then it was a break-in tool. Now it is starting to be an assumed activity for anyone who wants to continue in the industry beyond their 20s.

^ haha nice.

Awesome!. Thanks for all your replies. You guys have saved lot of time and energy of mine. I will look into other career options within IT.

Can’t put it better. CFA is neither meant to be an entry level qualification to investment world on its own nor is enough to make one expert in ‘investment’ industry unless one is a practitioner (probably that is why the 4 years work experience even to get the charter!). In the investment world this qualification is at the best like a ‘trouser’ in the civilised world - if you are wearing one no body cares but if are without one every one (specially the recruiters) notice it.

Aspire, just wanted to point out one path into finance that may be open to you given your tech background, and that is Equity Research as an industry expert in e.g. Networking/Comm equipment. Having a CFA and industry experience would likely get your foot in the door for an interview as an Associate in ER. Check out the job boards and make your decision.