Careers CFA for career changers?

CFA for career changers?

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    • sv2308
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      Will taking the CFA exams and eventually earning the designation help me change careers?  I have a BA in Poli Sci work in government (unrelated to finance).  Will earning my CFA credentials help me land interviews with successful investment houses and top companies?  Or am I better of working on an MBA?

      I am really lost, could use all the help I can get.  Thanks ahead of time.

    • mitch895
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      Depends what you want to do.  The Charter is only really recognised and relevant to certain fields of work.  Many (and I would say most) occupations prefer someone who has a well-rounded but shallow understanding of many areas and can sell (well articulated, willing and able to pitch) than someone who is brilliant at numbers.  MBA is generally better recognised, partly because most people have never heard of “CFA”.  If you are just after some letters after your name, then CFA might not be the best investment of your time.  

      So as a starting point I would suggest starting by working out what you want to do.  If you don’t know exactly that’s fine, but you need to have some idea as to the “type” (very broadly) of job that you want (i.e., behind the scenes analysis, pitching to clients, banking, relationship management etc etc…).  Read (and Youtube) interviews and biographies about those who have (and/or still do) what you want to do.  Make sure you focus your research on all the crappy stuff that comes with the job.  Reassess whether if will suit your personality and areas of interest (they have to fit in with you, not the other way around – otherwise you will either have a short or depressing career).   
      Then  get in touch with a recruitment company or two and take their banking & finance guys/girls out for coffee and interrogate them.  They are the ones who should know what employers want AND by getting on the front-foot it will show them that you’re proactive (which, as an employer, I can tell you will help set you apart from the competition).  When you have an idea of what skills they look for in a potential hire, focus your study on those areas.  
      Put together a business plan: work out how long it will take you to study before you are ripe to take the leap across, then plan for it.  Study the employment market well in advance and time your transition so that you win.  Despite what some may think, employers don’t find desperation particularly attractive when they are selecting staff.  Remember too that for the right staff many employers will be happy to wait 1, 2 or 3 months for the new hire to come on board (so if you’re still working your other job you can make an orderly exit).

      Good luck…

    • sv2308
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      This is the best advice I have received.  I will start talking to recruiters to get a better perspective of the job market and desired qualifications.

      Thank you for your time! 

    • kithorner
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      Useful advice @mitch895‌ – I’m also in a similar situation, although I HAVE already decided to go for CFA as this is something I can do in parallel with my current situation. Currently in my family’s business (agriculture) and already performing a financey role, but looking for something meatier. Any further advice for my situation much appreciated!!

    • AMK65
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      Hi everyone, I am new to the forum. I am also in the very similar situation here. I would want a career change and have aspiration to work in portfolio management or research. I am thinking of doing the June exam but most likely will consider the Dec one. My questions to all of you is that I have been working in process and change management. My BA is in Economics. I worked in the banking industry but never in a finance or investment position. I am getting close to 40 with 2 kids. Is it even realistic to consider this career change. I am in a pretty decent job but really want a change. I am confused and don’t know what is the best decision. Any comment is much appreciated. Thanks!

    • manish84002
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      guys , just because u like some thing or want to change your profession u r considering CFA is a bad idea.. My advice if u feeling excited on identifying the which investment is best or would consider when u need to put your money….. CFA core education is the base of stock market stock identification for investment…..  just u want to change your career is very risky when it comes to choosing CFA….

    • medve
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      A CFA is much more focused than an MBA. With a CFA you will mostly be working in the investment/finance fields maybe in a marketing/sales role or as a junior analyst to start. With an MBA almost any industry is open to you. As for cost, the CFA is a fraction of what an MBA costs these days. Rotman in Toronto wants almost a $100K for their 2 year MBA! Ouch! If you have always been interested in investments/stock market, then the CFA is your ticket.

    • sam_hoosier
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      I recommend investing in an MBA if you don’t have prior finance/investments experience. Its easier to get your foot in the door for finance jobs especially if you graduate from a good b-school. You can always get your CFA charter later if it seems valuable then.

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