Is the CFA® Charter Worth It for Non-Finance Majors?

You were not a finance major in college, but find yourself wondering if obtaining a CFA charter might be a good career move for you anyway. Is it realistic? Worth the effort? The answer depends on your overall career goals, but if you are looking for a future in the industry, the CFA charter is easily the most effective way to further your knowledge base in the field. 

Considered the highest credential in the investment management industry, the CFA charter can also help you get a foot in the door at the best investment firms and banks. While the work that lies ahead may be daunting, the benefits and advantages of completing your CFA charter are well worth it. 

Here are a few considerations for non-finance majors wondering if the CFA charter is worth all the challenges of taking the CFA exams. 

Career Opportunities

The CFA charter opens the door to a wide variety of opportunities that are all great options for a professional looking to begin a fulfilling and lucrative career in finance. As a Charterholder, you can be considered for positions such as Consultant, Analyst, Financial Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Relationship Manager, or Research Analyst. If these career opportunities spark your passion, the CFA charter is probably a worthwhile pursuit for you, regardless of your undergraduate major.


There is no point in undertaking something as challenging as the CFA exams if there is no reward at the end of it all. CFA charterholders put in the work and preparation to pass the exams because it was well worth the effort. 

The advantages of being a CFA charterholder make all the effort worthwhile. As the most highly regarded credential in finance and investing, the CFA charter is a globally recognized certification that expands career opportunities worldwide. Some of the industry’s biggest and best investment firms require you to hold the Charter as a condition to working there. It is also a surefire way to become recognized as a true master of your craft. 


Since the CFA charter is recognized worldwide, there is no shortage of connections and networking opportunities available to those who earn it. Today, there are only about 100,000 CFA charterholders in the entire world—less than 0.002% of the world’s population. It doesn’t get much more exclusive than that. When you join that select group of finance professionals, you gain an unparalleled network of distinguished achievers who can help you take your career to the next level.


Securing the CFA charter requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, and for good reason. In studying to pass the CFA exams, one becomes a recognized expert in finance. The truth is, no amount of luck will help you earn a CFA charter. If you pass the CFA exams, you are indeed a master in the subjects tested.

Charterholders amass a broader and more in-depth knowledge of the financial and investment professions while working through the program. This knowledge transfers to a strong value-add to top employers and gives Charterholders a distinct advantage over their non-Charterholder peers.

This acquired knowledge makes the CFA charter an excellent way for someone with a non-finance educational background to break into the industry. Let’s face it – an anthropology degree by itself is unlikely to catch the eye of an investment firm that wants to bring expertise and add value to the company and its customers. But no one can ignore a CFA charter. If you want a foothold to jump into a new career in finance and investment management, the CFA charter is a great pathway to stand out from the crowd.

CFA Salary

Your career is about much more than salary, but compensation is important. While charterholders earn considerably more than their peers, they also report better job satisfaction. So, not only is the pay better but so are the career positions available to finance professionals. 

So, how much better is the salary for a CFA charterholder?

According to (as of January 2020), charterholders earn between $50,000 and $300,000 per year, depending on factors like academic background, work experience, the city in which they reside, employer size and industry, and career path. Charterholders with a bachelor’s degree earn a median total compensation of $162,500, and for those with a graduate degree, that number jumps to $237,357. While there are no guarantees, earning the Charter enhances your earning potential. 

Overall, there is no question that the benefits of a CFA charter are well worth the effort needed to achieve it – even for non-finance majors. Is the path ahead of you a little bit harder without a finance background? In a word, yes. Impossible? Absolutely not. And with UWorld Finance, we will make sure you have all the tools you need to pass the Level 1 CFA Exam. If obtaining the CFA charter is your goal, UWorld Finance is your roadmap to get there.

Preparing for the CFA exam? Click here for a FREE trial of our Level 1 Online Learning Platform.

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