CFA CFA Level 1 Picasso Baby!-Arts Degrees and Finance

Picasso Baby!-Arts Degrees and Finance

  • This topic has 8 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Sep-17 by Anonymous.
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    • Anonymous
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      Forgive me if this has been addressed in another discussion and for any redundancies from other posts.

      I have a BA-Criminology/Sociology and I currently work at a Bank in Financial Services and Personal Investments. I managed to get into the retail side so far. I structure and write credit proposals and processes for individual borrowers (mortgages, credit lines (equity/non-equity), credit cards and loans and also sell mutual funds to personal investors.

      I’ve grown an interest in credit risk analysis and risk management (and also open minded to other areas in finance/IB/Wealth Management) so I decided to enhance my financial knowledge and skills by starting off with challenging the level 1 exam.

      I’ve come across very few if any individuals in finance with BA’s… especially Criminology. I don’t want to generalize because I am sure there exists BA’s in finance out there, just haven’t met any, yet.

      I’m concerned the BA, and specifically the ‘Criminology’ or ‘Sociology’ label might serve to be a stigma for me in my career transition to finance. Especially coming across very high caliber individuals (Bcom’s MA’s MBA’s and P.Eng’s) in the industry.

      My excel skills are basic but I am working on learning excel for financial analysis and modeling at the moment.

      Any tips, advice, or stories on your experiences with level 1 and applying for jobs with a BA, or non-finance related education?

      Cheers

    • Maroon5
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      I don’t think your degree should count against you, and you have relevant financial experience, which carries more weight. I’d like to think that it’s an interesting differentiator in interviews, you have more of a story of how you get into finance and why you want to pursue that particular path.

      What areas of finance or roles are you looking into? I think starting off with doing Level 1 is a good start!

    • Anonymous
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      Thanks @maroon5 I appreciate your comments.

      I have been looking into commercial banking roles (credit adjudication and analysis of companies) and Associate credit risk roles so far

    • Maroon5
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      Hey @Substance, then I think your current experience is very relevant. What you did for your degree becomes less relevant the more experience you have to talk/show in your CV. I’d focus on that in the interviews to explain how you’ll add value from day 1!

      Good luck with the job search @Substance, criminology is cool 🙂

    • christine
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      hey @substance – I doubt it would count against you, but it depends on your location as well – where are you based?

    • Anonymous
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      Thanks @christine I am based in Calgary, AB, Canada. How could the location potentially play a part?

    • Anonymous
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      Thanks @maroon5 🙂 I have similar sentiment about the work experience standing out more than the degree moving forward… Cheers 🙂

    • Zaraq
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      You degree matters a lot when you’ve just graduated, but the finance world is full of high-rank directors/partners/etc with completely random degrees (which often aren’t shown in their company website biographies). As time goes by, your work experiences and (especially) connections will definitely become the most relevant factor. That being said, a CFA and/or a post-graduate degree in a economics/finance related field are sure to help a lot, by serving as proof that you’re a finance person with a non-finance degree instead of a non-finance person who just wants into finance.

    • Anonymous
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      Thanks @Zaraq that’s a good point you make about the CFA designation/continuing education in strengthining credibility. Appreciate your input and advice.

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