If you’re interested in the CFA designation you're probably in one of a few different groups.
- You've heard of the exam and you're interested in learning more.
- You've researched the exam and you're undecided about taking it.
If you've heard of the exam and you're interested in learning more:
Begin by reading about the content of the exam to determine if you are truly interested in the material. Exam content can be found at http://www.cfainstitute.org/cfaprog/courseofstudy/topic.html. If you are not interested in the material don’t take them exam. If you are interested you must decide if taking the exam is right for you.
What kind of benefit will the CFA charter provide me? Monetary, upward mobility, increased knowledge?
- View a compensation survey of CFA charterholder statistics: http://www.cfainstitute.org/aboutus/press/release/05releases/20050506_01.html
Does taking the CFA exam make sense given my current career position?
- Is it favorable for a 50 year old CFO working 70 hour weeks at a major corporation to pursue the CFA designation? Probably not. Will taking the CFA be helpful to a college graduate who is two years out of school and wants to make the jump from marketing to an equity analysis position? Most likely.
Am I prepared to study between 10-20 hours per week for four to five months?
- If you cannot study for at least 10 hours per week for four months you have a low chance of passing the exam.
Do I have the will power to study this much? How will this commitment affect my life?
- The time you put into the exam will greatly take away time with friends and family.
Common reasons for pursuing the CFA designation:
- Interest in exam content
- Desire to increase knowledge
- Improve compensation
- Augment upward and lateral career mobility
- Signal competence to current and potential employers
- Career change to finance
- Career change within finance
- Prepare for the analytical side of an MBA program
- Facilitate admission to a high caliber MBA program