This 4 years work experience thing?

Alright, I’m confused. Am an I an idiot for starting to take the CFA Level 1 right after graduation? You’re required to have 4 years work experience before becoming a charterholder. What exactly does this mean? Can I still take all three exams and pass, but just wont be eligible for my charter until I have 4 years work experience under my belt? Or, does this mean I can’t even take the level 3 exam until I have the 4 years? I really hope it’s not the later.

You can take all the exams but have to wait to get the charter while you gain your work experience. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you pass level 3 and are waiting for the charter it won’t affect much in terms of finding a job or salary. Just focus on the tests for now.

Take exams anytime. But to officially earn the CFA charter, you must have BOTH passed all exams + 4 yrs approved work.

There’s a bunch of cases of people passing L1, 2 and 3. But have 0 related work experience. No Charter is awarded.

What they said. It’s nice to finish LIII and have your work experience already cleared so the charter showed up. I finished LIII and had to wait two years till I had enough work experience, it was a bit anti-climactic. But I will say, I’m glad I did it early and got it out of the way so I don’t have to worry about balancing the test with kids and such.

THANK GOODNESS. That is a relief.

I hear ya BS. That’s kind of not cool to basically have earned the charter and then wait forever for it to come. What happens after you pass level three but haven’t earned the charter yet? I’m guessing you can’t call yourself a CFA. Just have to say you passed level three?

Of course you cannot call yourself a CFA charterholder without officialy being awarded it. All you can say is “yes I passed all 3 exams”

People will evaluate your experience based on your resume anyway. Calling yourself a charterholder is more convenient and compact than saying you’ve passed all three exams, but ultimately that’s all an employer cares about (you having passed the exams). The one exception would be if they really want to be able to say they have a charterholder on staff for their website or marketing materials, in which case how many months of work you need until you are eligible becomes relevant.

^ agree. For some firms, there is something value added in marketing to clients etc… in saying your team has X charterholders.

I’ve never heard a firm say: “we have X number of people who passed all 3 levels of the CFA exam.”

If you have passed all three levels, most companies will treat you as a CFA.

I plan to pass Level 3 in June. If that happens, I will probably also lack the necessary experience to earn the initials. Does anyone think this will be a problem? I thought that if I can say that I passed the exams, then that is, for all intents and purposes, just as good as being a “real” Charterholder. BS seems to think so. Does anybody agree or disagree with him?

Also–FYI for all who might be in the same position–there is no requirement that you have to get the necessary work experience in a specified time frame. The tests never “expire”. That is, if you pass the exam today, but don’t get your work experience for another 50 years, then you won’t have to take the tests again, you’ll just have to wait 50 years to use the initianls.

^ HR does not know the difference between passing all 3 levels and having the charter. I try to explain the difference everytime to not be accused of an ethics violation, but I think I give up.

The hiring manager doesn’t care. Your experience and fit in the organization is 98% of the ball game.

^ mostly agree. The CFA program is really icing on a cake these days. I found that it’s greatest boost is during the tail end of the chosing process. If there’s 6 final candidates to choose from and they are all are pretty stellar and similar, the CFA charter tends to give you the lift

The other advantage is interviwing and getting technical questions that land on the CFA curriculum.