Utility of CFA and how it will help build my profile

Hi everyone,

I have been thinking about doing the CFA since quite some time. However, i am not sure on how it will help build my profile or help me in my career path. My current profile is stated below:

  • 2 Years experience in a Sales and Marketing Consulting firm. Most of the work ex. has been around Sales Force compensation plan design and operations for a leading Pharmaceutical client
  • Engineering in Electronics & Communication from one of the top Indian colleges

_ My questions are as follows: _

  1. If i complete my CFA level 1 and 2 before applying for MBA in the US, how much will it weigh in my MBA application?
  2. Would CFA help if i go for an MBA in marketing?
  3. If i apply for Financial engineering in top US universities, how much impact will CFA have on my profile

Thanks for your help in advance.


  1. Very little

  2. No

  3. Very little unless applying to the Berkeley Haas MFE or MIT MS Finance…who publicly say they view it as a positive since most who apply are mathematicians, engineers, or physicists. That being said, while they say it is a positive it weighs very little in the overall application for an MFE. You’re application will be heavily weighted on high GPA, near perfect or perfect quant scores on the GRE, and good performance in high level mathematics and programming courses.

My advice…you studied engineering in electronics…work in that. Its very hard to get into a top MBA program or top MFE program as an indian engineer because every other indian engineer is trying to do the same. Your work experience is also lacking. Take CFA if you want but it is not a ticket to a top graduate program or a top career in finance. The CFA serves much better if you already work in the industry.


In my opinion, It is the CFA who adds to MBA not the opposite. Comape CFA to PhD in terms of prestige.

It took 4 years on average for current charteholders to earn the charter (CFAI website). It is more difficault than many of PhD programs in finance.

It is not a a program that you can collect points from assignments and attendance. It is a program to master 18 books and apply them in 18 hours exams.

Know what you are going into. Yet it is doable if you work hard…Good luck

No and h*** no.

Why h*** why?

I have seen both types of people…PhDs and CFA candidates…lived with them…and saw the difference (in many cases)

http://www.analystforum.com/forums/cfa-forums/cfa-general-discussion/91308503 Go read this thread. Bchad is a charterholder and PhD.

With all my respect, it is a sole opinion. I know others who said the opposite.

PhD guys work to prove one thesis … one project all over the 3 or 4 years.They are “researchers”. That is not easy of course. But they rarely fail. They also have support of their professors. They are rarely stressed (compared to CFA)

But if you think more practically, CFA charterholders go through much more finanace materials (and have to understand most of it in depth in order to pass). Thus, for an undergraduate finaance student with a derivatives course, whom do you thing who would choose to explain him the course? a Phd guy or a CFA? I think the answer is clear. (I knew people in their masters degree who faced the same isuue and who couldn’t anderstand the materials withou changing their “Ph.D guy to a CFA”. (well this may not reflect population of course, but it gives you a clue.)

In my opinion, a CFA with an MBA combined definitely beats Ph.D (finance)

  1. While this may be true… I’m of the opinion it’s misguided.

  2. Well, to enroll in the CFA program, all it takes is a $1,000 (give or take) and be in the last semester of any undergraduate degree. The selection process is much more stringent to get into a doctoral program. People can pass all three CFA exams with scores in the 60s (otherwise known as a D). I wouldn’t exactly call that a “mastery” of 18 books. I don’t think there are PhD candidates that got through their respective program with all Ds.

  3. I’m sure defending their dissertation is one of the more stressful events in their careers

do not compare phD in finance to CFA.

like comparing 4th grade wrestling champion to NCAA Div I wrestling champ.

i know a friend who is doing his PhD and the stuff he is doing is close to rocket science…CFA on the other hand “what is the deferred tax liability in year 20xx?”

thank you!

cfapass…just read the link above.


PhD in finance has never been rocket science. Yes, it requires hard work but it is simply a research in a topic you choose. If your friend is complicating it to be rocket science then I would be glad to read his paper later on to see what he is inventing in finance!

By the way, he might achieve his rocket science project, yet he might do it without reading a single article about fixed income. Yet, he is a Doctor in Finance!!! but trust me, a finance undergraduate would not be interested in his project as much as he will be interested in understanding fixed income materials, which are highly mastered by CFA charterholder.

^You’ve officially “drank the kool-aid”

And you are officially a non-sense poor drunk

cfapass…pass some of that good stuff man…

as I said click on the link above and educate yourself on what PhD in finance goes through. I just wish I can agree with you that CFA is that good…but the truth is NO. I have couple ops guys here with CFA working for me. I have no PhDs here in ops team. weird

At best, you’re delusional. It’s totally irrelevant what an undergraduate student would be interested in when you’re determining who is more respected. You should present a clear and rational train of thought when trying to convince people you’re correct.

Respectfully, it seems as though you’re using your pursuit of the charter to validate your intelligence, which probably isn’t the right reason to undertake the program. This isn’t an intelligence test…

cfapasss has a point

I, for one, agrees with him/her on the fact that the CFA charter is more difficult to obtain. However, Ph.D is a must for academic life, and CFA is best for professional life.

Out of curiosity, how much experience do you have in rocket science?

I, for one, used to be a rocket scientist. (I was a warhead designer for 10 years.) I find it amusing to hear people who have no experience in recket science talk about how other things aren’t rocket science.

You can ask infinitybenzo who first referred to it

and of course it’s amusing how people with no “recket” science experience talk about “rocket” science

Whether it is relevent or not, at least I lived such an experience.

However, you stepped in into the thread just to give opinion about what I’m writing with no facts, which is completely non-adding value. If you do not have any experience about the issue, you better get a life.