CFA CFA Level 1 Getting a Job as Financial Analyst after CFA level 1

Getting a Job as Financial Analyst after CFA level 1

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    • Avatar of kocojackkocojack
        • Undecided

        I graduated Philosophy in college and I was wondering if I can get a job as a entry level Financial Analyst right after I passed CFA level 1. I am working as an account manager at an insurance firm. I don’t think is much related to Finance, but it definitely provides experiences in professionalism, costumer service, account managing, and interpersonal communication. I am planning to take the exam in December. Any ideas to whether or not the exam is worth its time and money given my background? Thank you.

      • Up

        You might want to check out Claritas and see if it’s a better fit. These may help:

        All About The Claritas Program, From the People Who Created It

      • Avatar of JaminioSilvaJaminioSilva
          • CFA Charterholder

          So no sugarcoating: Most entry level analysts get in via a grad scheme. If you are under 25 then strongly consider this route. This will also give you an honest evaluation of whether you can “break in” to the industry because if you can’t get on a grad scheme, it is extremely unlikely you will get hired straight in. As has been posted here many times, the CFA is not an entry exam for the industry. That is, having the designation or passing the exams does not give you guaranteed access to a job as PM/Analyst. What it does do is show you have commitment to both yourself and the industry which certainly helps convince a hiring manager. Passing CFA level 1 won’t be a major help here as recruiters have a set template they are looking for in Grad scheme hires but it certainly won’t hurt.

          The other two most common (and i use that term loosely) ways in are 1)  from industry and 2) from Back office.

          From industry is your best bet, it involves understanding the industry you came from inside out, from the latest products, to who the people are and what the trends are. A good example is Doctors going to work as Pharma analysts. This usually requires a fair number of years working your way up in said industry so you can prove you know it better than a current industry analyst. You’ll need to learn how to model too so those XL skills need to be razor sharp. CFA will be a big help here as it shows commitment to what will be a very difficult transition but not essential.

          The other way is to work in a bank’s back or middle office and try to work your way up. Frankly, this is a pipe dream for most as pretty much everyone wants to do this. Again, you need to dedicate yourself to a particular industry as above only you won’t be working in it so is much harder to get up to the required level. Completing the CFA program is virtually mandatory for this route as that is what everyone else will be doing that you will be up against. The key to this route and any others i haven’t mentioned is networking. You have to have some face time with analyst department heads that you can plant seeds of why you would make a good analyst over a reasonably long period. If the back office is separate (i.e. the front office is in new york and the back office is in Texas) then there’s no point in working for that bank if your goal is to become an analyst.

          Good luck

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