Will CFA help me switch careers?

Hello All,

well lo cut things short, I am a 26 YO mechanical engineer who recently realized that engineering is not for him. I have made a huge mistake becoming an engineer where I should have aimed for a financial degree.

Recently ive been reading a lot of books about finance and investing, and to tell you the truth I cant even put the books down.

I decided to take the CFA examinations, but I got really discouraged from the work experience requirements needed for charted status.

I have no investment relevant work experience and wont have by the time I complete level 3. However, my main question is: Will CFA help me switch careers when I pass level 3 examination? Or do you think I will be wasting a lot of time and effort pursuing CFA when I will not even be considered a charter holder?

Probably not, not nowadays. Only if you know someone…

But you are young enough to go for a MFE/Phd. It will take you less time, you have the relevant background.

Then you can always do a cfa.

I switched careers by doing a MFE and I’m now doing CFA (and I have a great job)

A masters degree (MBA etc) from one of the top finance schools (U.Penn, Columbia, Chicago , MIT) would be the most surefire way into the industry.

Of course you can! And yes CFA will help you out alot.

Pass level 1, then take a pay cut and get a job in finance. Don’t assume you’d be done all 3 levels before having the work experience, that’s pressumptuous.

I think it is an enviable position to be in to have an engineering background with CFA.

MBA (network + on campus recruiting).

Not just any MBA though. An MBA from your local neighbourhood 200th-ranked b-school will probably not help.

Depends if he wants to stay in his local neighbourhood.

Do the CFA…it’s probably worth investing into. And also look to join a CFA society local to you…at least after you cleared level 1…otherwise you’re just another hungry college student looking for a job. This way at least you got something to prove…even if it is just level 1 :slight_smile:

just my 2 cents

if I nail L3 this year. I will need two more years of experience. So it is possible.I got my job 1 month after passing L1 so it is helpful. I went from consulting to buyside ER. The 3 tests are a huge time commitment, but its well worth it. Knowledge compunds a lot faster than the equity markets. Remember that.

Just don’t make the tests hurt your work performance. You’re already working in a sector that most people hope to attain by studying for the exams.

Better than nothing, but don’t expect much given the amount of time you put in regarding getting a job.

Do it if you are a youngster.

Yes, it will help u get into anything investment management related. No if u want to become a plumber.

CFA is big among plumbers now. The IM industry is tapped out.


I graduated last year and currently working in an IT Financial Services company(9 months experience). Gave my CFA L1 this year and was thinking of applying for Entry level jobs(non IT) in Finance industry after clearing my CFA L1. Do u think it would be stupid idea and waste of time to try to go for those jobs if i fail to clear L1 this time??? or it would make sense of going for them early in my career as i guess not every recent graduate who works in finance is an MBA or CFA L1 passed?? Besides that I am trying to get my MS Excel skills up which i think would be helpfull and do have knowledge of Database.

I am not sure that is the right mentality. Just go for it if you can get it.

MBA full time or part time or 1 year MFE/MS in Finance from a good school, over CFA any time if you are looking for a switch in career, jump in pay or switching industry or job role. Once you have MBA or MFE or MS, get a CFA. CFA is just not that much worth, it is only a certification albeit hard to obtain.

I regret pursuing CFA and wasting three years that I could have easily put into getting a part time MBA from a good school and making $150k + salary. I know of 3 friends who got their part time MBA and now work in fixed income, corporate development and equity analysis but know of no one who said some company hired them because they had CFA.

Know nothing registered investment advisors doing wealth management care about CFA because they cannot get MBA’s from good schools working for them. However RIAs are not good pay masters. These are mom and pop shops gathering assets from relationships and mostly outsourcing their investment management!

Fixed income, equity, hedge fund, PE, VC, corporate developments folks want to hire people graduating out good schools. Do not hear much about companies going ga ga over hiring people who got their CFA.

The dynamics of increasing amount of AUM coming under ETF, closing of -prop desks, hedge funds and PE shops, mutual funds - leads to a trend of decreasing demand for investment skills. If I were you, I would pursue MBA or MFE with full confidence. Dont worry about tuition, higher pay will pay off for MBA but $3-$7k spent in getting CFA is money down the drain, as there aern’t any jobs offered to CFAs despite marketing by the institute. CFA is just not good enough!

is that u john rogers? ^