What is the CAIA and should I get it?

As with the CFA and CPA, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation will not get you a job by itself. The designation is geared towards people interested in a career in alternative investments (private equity and hedge funds are a couple of industries where it is respected, as well as by funds-of-funds or FoFs). However, due to its recent entry into the world of finance certifications, it will not hold as much weight as a CFA. While the knowledge gained from studying for the CAIA will be applicable to what you are doing, the CFA is more well-known and a designation secured by many in the alternative investment industry. As far as certifications go, the CFA would be the best place to start early in your career, and the CAIA will be more helpful after a few years' experience.

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