CFA® Charter: Opportunities and Advantages

Exploring the career opportunities and advantages that come with the exclusive CFA designation.

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CFA Career Opportunities

In the finance industry, the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA)® designation is widely considered the best path to career advancement. The designation adds significant value to finance professionals through more career opportunities for the CFA charterholder. For example, charterholders in investment analysis and portfolio management are qualified to manage a firm’s financial objectives. Discover some of the career opportunities and advantages of a charterholder.

While there are many career opportunities for a CFA charterholder, charterholders most commonly prefer the following roles:

  • Consultant
  • Corporate Finance Analyst
  • Financial Advisor
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Relationship Manager
  • Research Analyst

Charterholders also work in banks as investment bankers and in various positions in the accounting profession. In addition to gaining access to countless career opportunities, finance professionals who commit to putting in the time and effort to acquire the CFA charter will also position themselves to succeed in any career path they choose.

The value of the CFA charter continues to increase both in the United States and abroad, especially in countries with a shortage of charterholders. As a result, the demand for charterholders will grow along with the growing global economy, leading to more career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of financial analysts is expected to grow six percent from 2018 to 2028.

Due to its exclusive status, the CFA designation unlocks many additional career opportunities and more desirable positions because of added skills and increased expertise. According to the CFA Institute, the CFA designation gives charterholders notable advantages to candidates interested in a finance career. These include:

  • The framework for a secure and successful career
  • A strong ethical foundation
  • Earned recognition from the profession
  • Expanded knowledge for complex investment decisions
  • Connection to a global community

CFA Charter Advantages

1. A VIP Pass to the Major Investment Firms

While there are no guarantees in life, getting the CFA designation is a major advantage. With this distinction, you’ll enjoy a friendlier path to securing a job with some of the biggest players in the finance field. These include reputable global investment firms.

2. Extends Your Expertise in Finance

The CFA exam is incredibly difficult to pass since the material is thorough and extensive. But the difficulty isn’t in understanding; it’s retaining all the information and applying the knowledge that often proves to be the real challenge. The CFA Program is designed to cover everything related to the finance and investment fields. If you want to maximize your long-term career potential in the finance industry, studying the curriculum is an excellent way to ensure you have a strong knowledge base and top-notch technical skills.

3. Most Esteemed Credential in Finance and Investment

The CFA charter is the gold standard. It can be a launching pad if your goal is to invest professionally in one of the following careers:

  • portfolio management
  • pension funds
  • hedge funds
  • fund of funds

Other opportunities could be working in private banking and financial advisory. Anyone involved and/or hiring at these levels is already aware of the reputation of the CFA Institute (CFAI) and its charterholders. No other professional designation carries the same esteem for asset managers and other financial industry participants.

4. Gives You Industry Cred

For these professionals working as research analysts or asset managers, the CFA title is almost a must. Pursuing a career in these roles without a charter is selling yourself short. Most importantly, this designation helps you stand out from your peers. Financial firms are even seeing the value of having charterholders in other areas, including chief executive roles.

5. Opens Doors to Valuable Connections

It’s the exact same qualification all over the world and held to the same level of esteem. Today, about 100,000 charterholders are working in 130 countries worldwide. The CFA charter unlocks many doors because it is one of the most recognized professional qualifications in finance in the world. The great thing about global recognition is that the charterholder becomes more easily transferable across markets. This gives you the flexibility to work around the globe. Finally, the exclusive nature of the CFA designation affords you an unparalleled network of distinguished achievers you can leverage throughout your career.

6. Waives Licensing Requirements

Because the CFA charter is globally recognized, some countries have waived part or all requirements for other professional certifications. This is mostly in the fields of investment and trading. Also, unlike the accounting qualifications that are more geo-specific, the CFA charter is truly global. When your work takes you from Mumbai to New York or from London to Singapore, the value of your CFA designation remains the same.

Top Employer Chart

Top Employers of Charterholders

According to the CFA Institute, the CFA charter is the highest distinction in the investment management profession. As the highest distinction in the investment management profession, the prestigious credential unlocks many career opportunities, increasing the demand for their services. The CFA charter is also recognized worldwide as the gold standard in the financial industry, so feel free to move about the globe looking for your best career opportunities.

There are many global companies that make hiring and promoting charterholders a priority. For many employees, room for growth continues to rank atop the list of factors that keep them at a particular job. Employers who invest in their employees’ continuing education also enjoy many benefits, including a highly-skilled workforce, a positive impact on profits, retaining happy employees who feel supported, and identifying future leaders. 

Per the CFA Institute, charterholders offer employers more value. Whether your clients are hoping to invest in a new business or are planning for retirement, charterholders have the depth of training to look beyond today’s headlines. Charterholders annually reaffirm their compliance with the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, so you can be sure your firm’s and clients’ interests come first.

See Top Employer Chart to the left for a list of companies with the highest proportion of CFA-qualified employees.

CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by UWorld Finance. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

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