FRM What other qualifications do you have (or intend to take) and why?

What other qualifications do you have (or intend to take) and why?

  • This topic has 33 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by DevD.
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    • Reena
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      FRM, CAIA, MBA, CFP, ACA/CPA, etc?

      Just thinking more about these ‘alphabet soups’ and wondered if there’s any words of wisdom from the more experienced folks here. I’ve just graduated, Level 2 candidate, and looking for a role in equity research.

      We had previous discussions about herd behaviour on these qualifications, but wondered if there are other reasons/circumstances that prompt people to take extra ones beside CFA?

    • Snippy
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      I am planning to do an MBA eventually, after i complete all 3 levels of CFA and my MSc Finance course. Which is probably, 3-4 years down the line.

    • hairyfairy
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      CAIA (maybe). Quite a few of my colleagues are pursuing that at the moment.

    • AjFinance
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      MBA seems too expensive at the moment. Keeping my options open, whatever the future situation demands and needs me to do. Also, it depends on where you’re working or plan to work. Some places perceive Work exp > No. of qualifications while others vice versa.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Wow @sidmenon, admire the ambition! Where and what do you want to work in eventually? Seems like an overkill with Msc + CFA + MBA?

    • AjFinance
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      @Reena which additional qualifications are you looking at?

    • AbdulQadir
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      I am ACCA and planning for CAIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Snippy
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      @Sophie Thank you. At this moment, i’m not very sure. I’ve had no prior work, so i don’t know what i’ll end up loving. Hopefully, post Msc, i get a job that i will like and from there, let’s see what happens. I want to work in the US, which is where i’m planning to do my MBA too.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @AbdulQadir, welcome to the 300hours community! Would you mind sharing with us more about your background then? Are you working in an accountancy firm? What are your career goals and why are you planning to take CAIA?

    • Sophie Macon
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      That’s great @Sidmenon! Going overseas does broaden your perspective and definitely try to find something to gain some work experience first, it does teach you a lot instantly of what you’d like to do and not.

    • christine
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      @AbdulQadir are you taking the CFA as well then? That’s a handful!

    • Snippy
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      That’s great @Sidmenon! Going overseas does broaden your perspective and definitely try to find something to gain some work experience first, it does teach you a lot instantly of what you’d like to do and not.

      Exactly 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
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      Target job sector at the moment @sidmenon?

    • Snippy
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      Um, corporate finance/risk management? Not sure really. 8-|

    • DollarsToDonuts
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      I’m currently one level away from earning the CAIA designation and will probably take level II in September. My career goal is to become a buy side equity analyst so it doesn’t really fit my career path, but I used it as a way to prepare for the Alternatives and Derivatives sections of the level II CFA exam, which I will be taking this June. Plus, I like learning about finance so I thought I’d at least get a stamp for my efforts. It also helped beef up my resume when applying for my new job.

    • Zee Tan
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      How did you find the CAIA @DollarsToDonuts? I’m curious.

    • DollarsToDonuts
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      @zee One of my coworkers who heads Alternatives research did it after he passed CFA level I. So I started to look into it and once I passed level CFA Level I myself I decided to follow in his footsteps. One of my motivations, besides what I’ve mentioned, was that it was a relatively new designation with a high pass rate. So a lot of people are trying to get the designation now while it’s “easy,” similar to those who earned their CFA in its early days.

      I didn’t think the test was easy at all and left the test center discouraged but was forgiven by the high pass rate.

    • Sophie Macon
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      And what do you do now @Dollarstodonuts? Would it be easy to switch from your current position to a buy side equity analyst?

    • tacheman
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      I know it’s good to keep improving, but after the CFA I’d imagine I have no more drive left to be enthusiastic about any kind of exam again.

      But I could be wrong…

    • Reena
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      I’m just looking to finish CFA for now @AjFinance. But the other thread discussion got me into thinking whether it’s necessary. Or maybe I should try to get some overseas experience. But easier said than done! If I had to choose, most likely an MBA option, but again depends on when, where and how much…

    • DollarsToDonuts
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      @Sophie Actually, I just landed a job with Capital Group in Los Angeles. I’ll be a Results Analyst for the Investment Group and if I do well enough I have the opportunity to move into an Equity Research Role after. I may have mentioned this before, but due to my current job (soon to be former), I have a lot of connections with asset management firms so as long as I keep my network up, I think I have a reasonably good shot of moving in eventually.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Sounds like a good plan @Dollarstodonuts, definitely ‘closing the gap’ to the target role here!

    • AjFinance
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      I’m just looking to finish CFA for now @AjFinance. But the other thread discussion got me into thinking whether it’s necessary. Or maybe I should try to get some overseas experience. But easier said than done! If I had to choose, most likely an MBA option, but again depends on when, where and how much…


      @Reena
      Overseas experience would help broaden your horizons. I am myself looking at it, but unable to find a way. Need some guidance on that myself 🙂 An international MBA can be expensive, and again you need to look at both pros and cons of getting into an MBA program.

      I can suggest you to read a book regarding MBA, “Beyond the MBA Hype” – Sameer Kamat. Its very well written, I’ve read it and it helped me introspect further and look at an MBA option from different perspectives. His website http://www.mbacrystalball.com is also helpful.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Where would you like to go ideally @Ajfinance?

    • AjFinance
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      @Sophie I’d like work in either Singapore or Hong kong within Asia. Among the western options, I would love to work either in US or London.

    • Sophie Macon
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      oh those places are nice 🙂 Any plans on how to ‘close the gap’ now that you’re nearly done with CFA @Ajfinance?

    • AjFinance
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      @Sophie I’ve been trying to find out more information on how to make a move. Being a regular member, I do have access to Jobline. But the job postings on there usually require some experience. Then there are some job postings that need a Masters level education. Also, there are some that ask you whether you have the required work authorization.

      I need more clarity on the process of applying in a different country. Do you apply for work permit in advance? How does the process work? Would you need a job offer before you apply for work permit and visa?

      These are some of the questions that I have. I’ve tried seeking out people who I know are working abroad. However, most of them happen to have studied there prior to working. In some cases, where I came across someone who managed to move abroad by applying directly, they either didn’t give me a clear picture or didn’t help at all. They just gave me a very vague outline like applying on global job sites would help. So I’m just trying to find my way here 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
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      Meh, that’s annoying @Ajfinance. I don’t have much experience but are some thoughts (may be obvious?).

      1. International companies tend to have friendlier policies to hire foreigners. If you see any jobs in these firms, it may be the first to start. At least you can try contacting the HR directly for their hiring policy.

      2. Singapore unfortunately tightened their visa requirements recently. But there are still open to hiring talented foreigners, and in comparison to other countries, friendlier in terms of international job search. Although also more competitive!

      3. Isn’t CFA a Master’s equivalent?

      4. US and UK seems more difficult to penetrate, especially the former. Despite tighter immigration policies, if there is a role that fits your skillset, and especially with an international firm, it is possible to get through.

      5. Would it be wise to first check out sample jobs in each country, note their policy on foreign hires (or call the relevant HR directly), then check out their visa requirements (general rules), then if you are brave, I wonder if it’s worthwhile visiting the ‘easiest’ country from your analysis in that list, and arrange meetings with various recruiters on ground. It just seems better to be in the country itself looking for roles. Does take time and effort, but I believe you get better feedback through this process rather than just applying remotely.

    • AjFinance
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      @Sophie Thanks 🙂 I kind of thought that would be the case in the US and UK. I’ve been to the UK for work in the past. I came on a Business Visit Visa. However, they seemed to have changed the rules for that, making it mandatory to have some kind of a work permit, even if people are coming down for training for a temporary period. Also, regarding point 2, I had heard abt it but wasn’t really sure.

      CFA should be considered a Masters equivalent. But unfortunately, I see many job posts mentioning CFA and Masters level seperately. So I assume they don’t consider CFA to be a master’s equivalent.

      I agree with you on point 5. Having said that, I have quite a few things on my plate right now. Need to clear it up and have a definite strategy before approaching the recuriters directly. I’ve to be sure of making the best of it before I can meet them in person 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
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      Good luck @Ajfinance, keep us posted on things. Now let’s focus to get the exams out of the way first!

    • Reena
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      Thanks for the recommendation @Ajfinance, I will check Sameer out and get the book then. I hope things go well on your job search front too! But I guess like @Sophie said, let’s nail this exam first arghh!

    • AjFinance
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      @Sophie absolutely!

    • AjFinance
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      Thanks for the recommendation @Ajfinance, I will check Sameer out and get the book then. I hope things go well on your job search front too! But I guess like @Sophie said, let’s nail this exam first arghh!


      @Reena
      Don’t just check Sameer out, check the book out as well 😛 JK 😀

    • DevD
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      Read Education of the Millionaires by Michael Ellisberg.Amazing book for networking and much more.

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