Individuals from diverse academic and career backgrounds pursue the CFA Charter, and some CFA candidates work in finance while others don’t. While the job opportunities available to candidates with a finance background may differ from those available to their non-finance counterparts, the CFA Charter is indeed worth the while of non-finance majors.
- A bachelor’s degree (or be in the final year of obtaining a bachelor’s degree)
- Four years of relevant work experience
- A combination of four years of education and relevant work experience
Note that the professional work experience doesn’t need to be investment-related. Also, internships are accepted as work experience if you are compensated for your work as an intern. The education and work experience requirements are meant to prepare candidates for the depth of study needed for the CFA Program.
Other criteria required to register for the CFA Level 1 Exam include:
- Having a passport
- Ability to take the exam in English
- Meeting professional conduct admission criteria
- Living in a country that participates in the CFA Program
Once registered for the CFA Level 1 Exam, you can start exploring careers that offer the most rewards for your Charterholder designation.
Jobs for Level I CFA Candidates With a Finance Background
- Investment Banking Analyst
- Junior Financial Analyst
- Personal Financial Advisor
- Risk Consultant
- Asset Manager
- Associate Analyst
- Junior Portfolio Manager
- Equity Research Analyst
Jobs for Level I CFA Candidates With a Non-Finance Background
A CFA candidate with a non-finance background typically possesses diverse knowledge in other business areas. As a result, they might have a more versatile skill set than someone who has only worked in finance. For example, a CFA candidate who has worked in IT can incorporate that background into their finance profession.
Also, suppose the CFA candidate has another credential such as an MBA or CPA and works in a non-finance profession. In such a best case scenario, they could potentially leverage the knowledge gained pursuing the CFA Charter to better understand the finance sector within their non-finance profession. Having this expanded knowledge could increase job opportunities and salary considerations.
A candidate without a finance background may be precluded from consideration for more senior roles, regardless of the amount of work experience. However, such individuals might still be hired in an entry-level position or an internship and obtain hands-on, real-world training. This will help them as they continue down the career path as a finance professional.
The bottom line is that CFA candidates who pass the CFA Exam will likely find a rewarding career in the finance profession if they choose to go that route. Or they will add tremendous value to their current position outside of the finance sector.
If you want to optimize your chances of success in the CFA Exam, click here for a FREE trial of our CFA Level 1 Learning Platform.