Careers Military career change into Finance

Military career change into Finance

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    • bradgarwood

      Good morning all. I’ve been searching this site for a specific question but have yet to come across any info. I’m currently a serving member of the RAF (6 years). I have a BSc in marketing and have recently completed the IMC. My next step would entail completing CFA L1 and then possibly start applying for research analyst positions or something similar. My question is whether or not my military experience (managing/leadership etc) combined with a CFA will make up for my lack of actual finance experience? Also instead of the CFA, would an MBA be a better choice for my situation? It probably wouldnt be from a top university as money would be tight. I am currently 28 so hopefully age shouldn’t be an issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Sophie Macon

      Hi @bradgarwood‌, welcome to the community!

      It depends what you want to do in finance? If it is a research analyst role, I’d say CFA is the qualification to go for. It’s cheaper, takes less time than MBA. Although MBA gives you a broader career possibilities, brand/ranking of the MBAs does carry some weight. I’d say for smaller firms it may matter less, but if you’re aiming for top firms it would make a difference. The best ‘value for money’ MBA course so far I know is INSEAD’s 1 year MBA, but that’s still miles more expensive than CFA, and less relevant for your career objectives.

      As you career route is unconventional, I’d recommend reaching out to your network, or even approach some partners/directors of local research firm (the beauty of LinkedIn) to have a chat about this to see what they think – ask for their advice. They are ultimately the hiring firm, and you’d get good insights on what they are looking for, not to mention building your initial network of people you know in the finance industry. I’d say having a military background is not a deterrent, there are always transferable skill sets (e.g. discipline, leadership etc) that you can bring on board. Demonstrating that you’re taking the CFA exams shows some commitment that should play well for your case (and you’ve the IMC already, so Level 1 should be straightforward).

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