Suddenly I’m becoming a bit pessimistic about my CFA prospects.
Let me try to make it short:
– I have a BSc in Computer Science
– I have been on IT employment for my last 3 – 4 years,
– A main reason to join CFA, was to get me a foot on banking/finance sector (wouldn’t mind a IT job there), + a desire for markets (more on technical analysis spectrum).
– In my early 40’s,
To hard (as curriculum), no finance background, with question mark about future.
Seems like I did wrong calculations.
The best I’ll get from it will be a “junior position” (providing pass all levels), probably with less pay.
Obviously, I’ll loose nothing if I sit on exams (already paid the fee), but not happy with my choice.
Sorry to share my pessimistic thoughts.
@altins, our current situations are not too dissimilar. I’m a bit younger and do have a background in finance but I’ve been in IT the last few years but I had the same concern about proceeding through the exams and not finding a “job with a pot o’ gold” on the other end of the rainbow.
I concluded that, for me, the CFA is a bucket list item. I want the designation just to say “I earned that.” The big unknown, as far as I’m concerned, is whether my prior work experience will count. If it doesn’t, I may not proceed past level 1. If it does, I’ll probably keep going. But it’s something I want for myself not for what it might get me professionally particularly since I am very happy with my career since leaving finance for healthcare IT.
FWIW, I feel the same way about an MBA which is why there’s really only one MBA program in the world that interests me.
Some of your doubt may be pre-results jitters. That’s natural. I had the same experience with law school applications. Some of it may be honestly confronting that you’re looking at a much bigger change of state in life than you thought you were. That, too, isn’t a bad thing.
My biggest obstacles are getting the fees and then making time on top of my job and my large family (5 kids…so far). But if it were only about career advancement I’d shelve it. Speaking only for myself.
One of the questions I had to ask myself before I started studying was my likelihood of success in passing.
What more than 1 CFA Charter holder told me was: it all starts with putting in the time. I don’t know if that’s true, but their basic point was you have no chance without putting in the study time, and that many people fail who might otherwise pass if only they did put in the time.
Anyone who actually has passed level 3 have thoughts to piggyback on this?
The CFA curriculum isn’t rocket science – you don’t have to be exceptionally intelligent to understand it. What @bobbarkerplaysplinko is absolutely right. It’s quite a lot to learn, so you need to allocate time to do it.
The most common mistake most failing candidates make is not to allocate enough time for it.
Thanks for your comments.
I agree that CFA curriculum is not rocket science, but it needs the allocation of time.
All I’m worried about is not the failure of exams(I still have to experience my first exam fail in my life, having a couple of science degrees — etc…(I know it’s always a first time 🙂 )), but will the time and commitment be paid off?
All considering previous experiences, background, and age.
Thanks for your replies again.
I like to think that education is never a waste and the time commitment usually pays off. I know of a few people with a purely IT background working in bank operations and using that in to move towards a more finance oriented position. I was actually talking to a recruiting agent yesterday and she was explaining that many people with a more technical background do that (at least in Canada).
Of course you have to take in account your own personal goals and aspirations.
Hi @altins, how would you measure how much the “time and commitment” has paid off? Would it be a monetary measure, and if so, how would we calculate it? Perhaps a NPV of all cash flow equivalents of all fees & materials as well as all hours you spent studying for these exams, including the opportunity cost of spending time with your family and friends, and on the other hand how much “extra money” a new finance job would bring you… which interest rate do you think should be used to discount all these CF equivalents? How about assigning some probabilities for the uncertain events that may take place? Not to mention the sensations, positive and negative, and lack thereof associated with your choices… At this point it should be pretty clear that it’s impossible to know whether it will pay off…
Being more than a few years older than most CFA candidates as well as a career changer myself (and currently starting a new chapter of the “big adventure” with this CFA candidacy), I think it is really up to us to make the most of our professional life. Do good things and good things will happen to you. Becoming a CFA charterholder will unlock many doors but it will be up to us to select which ones we want to open, to take a peek, and which ones we will want to enter to embark into our next career period.
You have already decided to take Level 1, as I have, so this is a sunk cost for us. How about taking a deep breath and making the best of this experience? In other words, learn as much as you can and have fun with this learning. Optimize your time so that you don’t have to sacrifice the things in life you value the most. When it’s time to register for Level 2, then we should think hard about whether the Level 1 experience was worth the while, and whether you think you can repeat it. If yes, register and repeat the above steps. If not, I’m sure you had to go through this experience to find out for yourself that this was not your thing. If you repeat it 3 times, then a whole new set of choices will present themselves to you.
Alternatively, you may give up now and never know what it would have been like to try… which one do you choose? I am choosing the adventure.
Best of luck in your reflections, and in your studies!!!
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