Interviewing for a new job, targeting a promotion, or looking to progress your career?
Top tier firms know that the CFA Program produces results.
For your next career move, here’s a primer with all the facts and research showing how CFA charterholders and candidates have an edge over the rest.
A Hiring Primer for CFA Charterholders and Candidates
Therefore, we have crafted what we think is the most complete CFA hiring primer on the internet. It is designed for all CFA candidates and charterholders to use it as ‘talking points’ to:
- be successful in job interviews;
- get promoted;
- convince your firm to sponsor your CFA Program studies; or
- build a case to support the inclusion of CFA designation as part of your firm’s training and development program.
You don’t need to use all the items in the checklist, it is likely only some would apply in your use case. Just select a few base points, tailor and add relevance for your particular situation for maximum impact. Pick your mix.
1. CFA Charter is the Leading Investment Designation in the World
As of October 2019, there are more than 167,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 164 countries, with an annual growth rate of 7% for the 2012-2019 period.
In particular, the year-on-year growth has been accelerating since 2015 – we expect this trend to continue given increasing demand from emerging markets.
There are 3 main drivers contributing to this trend:
- The global nature and quality of the CFA designation creates a level playing field for investment professionals worldwide, contributing to its popularity;
- Increasing demand in qualification-focused emerging markets such as China and India; and
- Strong member support from CFA Institute: CFA Institute is the world’s largest association of investment professionals, with more than 164,000 members globally. CFA Institute continues to support its members with the latest financial research, thought leadership and continuing professional development opportunities.
2. The CFA Charter is a Quality Indicator
They have proven themselves by dedicating 1,000+ hours of intense study time to pass one of the most rigorous series of exams in the financial industry, while working full time.
This initiative for continuous self improvement would be an asset to any firm, especially in the competitive financial services industry.
Having a CFA Charter itself may be a stronger indicator of drive and resilience compared to an MBA.
3. The CFA Charter is Increasingly Preferred by Investment Management Firms
A key driver for this trend is the strong emphasis on ethics in the CFA curriculum. As part of the CFA program, candidates and charterholders adhere to a mandatory Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Upholding high ethical standards builds trust with clients, which is crucial to retaining business and attracting new clients.
With the evolving market landscape, there is also an increased focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment principles. CFA charterholders are well positioned to lead in this area of socially responsible investing.
4. CFA Program Offers a Uniform Measure for Diverse Job Candidates
According toMcKinsey’s latest research, diverse companies are more likely to deliver higher profitability and value creation. Diversity helps companies attract top talent, improve customer experience, employee satisfaction and decision making overall.
In fact, the CFA program itself can be a source of diversity, given its global popularity. According to CFA Institute, female participation in the CFA Program has more than doubled globally in the last 5 years, currently accounting for 39% of all CFA candidates. For Level 1 candidates – a key contributory signal of future trends – female participation in some markets, notably Australia and UK, is now at least 50%.
5. CFA Program is Likely to Deliver Good Return on Investment for Employers
Many leading institutions in the investment management profession pay for or reimburse their employees for CFA programs. Supporting employees enrolment into the CFA Program can be beneficial for employers because:
- It upgrades employees with no downtime: CFA designation is a thorough, self-study, graduate-level program that can be achieved while working full time.
- It retains highly qualified employees and reduces turnover through professional development, which in turn can further help attract top talent.
- It Increases employees’ engagement and motivation which leads to higher productivity.
- For finance, the CFA credential is relatively cost efficient compared to other qualifications: Assuming first passes, the total CFA exams fees for 3 levels ranges from US$ 2,550 – 4,800, depending on registration deadline. On the other hand, a 2 year MBA qualification typically cost US$60,000 – 100,000 in tuition and fees alone, excluding employee downtime, living expenses and the opportunity cost of forgone salaries.
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