What the CFA Charter is Good For: A Look at Employers and Job Roles

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By Sophie

What is the CFA charter good for, exactly?

Somewhere along the way, in the haze of studying, you may wonder whether the CFA journey is worthwhile, or why you even took it in the first place. 

It’s not surprising that a large proportion of CFA Program candidates cite career development and advancement as a reason to register for the CFA Program. 

But while the CFA Program is rigorous, prestigious and is a good indicator on your resume, is it suitable for your career path?

A Quick Look into CFA Charterholders’ Typical Roles and Employers

To answer this question, the first port of call is to have a quick look at what current charterholders are doing and their typical employers. The chart below summarizes the job roles that are held by CFA charterholders.

As expected, Portfolio Managers (Asset Management) and Research Analyst roles top the chart – the CFA charter is an investment-focused qualification after all. Both these roles cover 36% of the sample of CFA charterholders out there, meaning that while not mandatory for these roles (yet?), the CFA charter is quickly becoming the de-facto qualification for asset management and investment research roles. You probably knew these though. 

What is interesting is actually the remaining 64%: from consulting, corporate finance, wealth management, investment banking, trading, accounting etc – there’s a broad variety of roles where CFA Program knowledge is relevant and applicable. The huge 30% categorised under “Others” reinforces the breadth of the CFA charter. Fundamentally, working in finance usually relates to valuation of some kind of assets, which is one of the key concepts we learn in this challenging qualifications.

The chart above shows the types of companies that employ CFA charterholders. Typical institutions are from the finance/investment sectors (e.g. banks, family offices, asset management firms). However, what one may miss again is the other sizeable 25% of sectors that is outside this ‘typical’ finance sector (e.g. corporates, endowment funds, regulatory agencies, accounting firms, insurance firms).

So, is the CFA charter suitable for me?

So, would CFA charter work for you? It depends on your circumstances: what role you’re currently in, what’s the targeted role, years of experience. Here are the key points to remember:

  • The CFA charter is globally recognised and highly relevant for finance-related roles. Regardless what sector you’re in, as long as you’re valuing some kind of asset, assessing risks of an investment, compiling analytics, determining return on investment on a project, projecting future performance of a firm or looking over annual reports of companies etc – it’s highly likely that the knowledge obtained from the CFA charter would be useful.

If you’re looking for a new role, good luck for your job search and interviews! Do share your experience (so far) in the comments below – we’re here to lend an ear, exchange tips and feedbacks which could be helpful in your next interview.

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan

300Hours founder.

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3 thoughts on “What the CFA Charter is Good For: A Look at Employers and Job Roles”

  1. So we know the CFA charter is aimed at investment roles. It is pretty much ingrained in the DNA of the CFA Institute. However, it is cool to see so many people in non investment roles taking the CFA exams! In terms of the use of the CFA designation, it’s really important to leverage it once attained. Make it known to your bosses/superiors. Become an advocate for the CFA in your Firm. Perhaps – if you work in a big firm – you can start a CFA social!

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  2. I have pass CFA L1 in 2019 and after that due to domestic problem and relocation to UAE. Then I appear in CFA L2 in 2019 and got Pass. Now I am applying for entry level job in investment industry as my current job experience is non finance. And now enroll in L3. And not a single call I receive even for interview and still not losing hope.

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