Would CFA Level I benefit me?

Hello all, I’m in need of some advice regarding the limitations and usefulness of signing up for the CFA Level I exam in December 2016, in my circumstances.

I don’t have a financial background but I am actively interested in the industry and would like to look for a route in. Educationally, I have a mixed history, I did well at GCSE, not so well at A Level but have a 1st class honours degree in Psychology (BSc). Since graduating I have been working as an Analyst in the public sector for the last 3 years (police as a criminal intelligence analyst and now local government as a community safety analyst). Mathematically I am strong and I have a lot of quantative/ statistical analytical experience.

Long term I don’t have a structured plan, but that is something I am working on. Financial analysis is something that I would enjoy and that would benefit me career wise in the future. To achieve this I need to demonstrate my ability to understand a broad range of financial topics given my lack of financial training and I think that the CFA is probably the best qualification out there to showcase this.

Given my circumstances,do you think that there is value in doing the qualification? I’m currently 26. I’m open minded and receptive to any alternative suggestions/ ideas, honest feedback is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Search your question on AF. This general question seems to get asked a lot. The common answer (which I agree with) is that networking and work experience far outweigh CFA.

Go get a job doing anything in finance if that’s what you want (even if less pay) and then work on CFA.

This will be very hard if you’re not well connected.

A good MBA is your best route.

you are fortunate that you are still young, so that’s in your favor, but years of working for the police trying tobreak into finance is not something I’ve ever seen before.

I second the MBA suggestion. Your background is more favorable for an MBA than for a finance job, and taking the GMAT requires less efforts and time on average.

I would agree with the MBA suggestions if you can get into a top 10 program or if it’s going to be free.

I’d say you need to develop a long term plan before you can answer your question. Without a background in finance, you’re signing up for 400-500 hours of study for L1. That’s not really a huge commitment, but once you’ve done that, and perhaps even passed L1, now what? 26 or 27 with unrelated work experience and the ability to put L2 candidate on a resume. There are lower level jobs in finance that you could get in to, some of them might even be good career paths, but if your aim is higher, you need to know that now because it influences what you need to be doing. Ask if you see yourself working in the investing side or the corporate finance side or wealth management or wherever, and make a plan based off that, because the next steps could be different depending on what you think you want to do.