Is CAIA worth it for a first year?

Hi WSO community. I'm a first year ug student in LDN doing finance. I'm thinking abt taking the CAIA level1 exam in the spring 2022. And I got a few questions regarding it.I feel CFA is a lot better because I want to work in HF industry in the future. But I can't take it in my first year. My thought is, having a level1 CAIA on resume would look pretty good for the summer intern app next year.

Also, is 3 months enough for the preparation?After browsing the syllabus, I reckon its not that hard. However I would like to hear opinions from who's taken it.Any input would be much appreciated

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Comments (9)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 17, 2021 - 1:58pm

I know I'm also just a student but logically no qualification is worth paying that much for just to improve your chances at getting an internship next year. It might look good on the CV but it's probably never going to be the difference between you getting the offer and not getting the offer, or even you getting an interview vs. not. If it were me I'd save the money and try and get some sort of internship / work experience lined up for this summer, which will arguably add more value to your CV at a lower cost 

  • Analyst 2 in AM - FI
Nov 17, 2021 - 1:04pm

Tbh CAIA is only worth it for a select group of people working in WM, investment consulting, and FoF. Even then, most firms that want you to get it will pay for it on your behalf. Definitely not worth it to pay out of pocket as a freshman who wants to working at a HF

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Most Helpful
Nov 17, 2021 - 3:05pm

You can do the IMC (but be aware that it's UK specific) but tbh no certification is gonna be worth it's time for internship apps (even CFA L1). You'd have much better results networking for a first year internship.

HFs don't care about the CFA as much as you think. AM cares, ER cares but HFs? Meh.

As someone else said, CAIA isn't gonna do shit for you. I second the notion that its mainly held by WM/FoF/Investment Consulting guys (basically allocators) rather than anything that is on your target career trajectory.

Nov 18, 2021 - 7:59am

Thanks for the input. I had a look on IMC, it seems most of its contents are covered by my finance degree. I feel there is really not much I can get from it except a certification on my CV, so I'm gonna pass but maybe I'll do CFA1 in my third year.

Nov 18, 2021 - 8:12am

Trust me, neither the CFA L1 nor IMC is actually about learning stuff. It's just optics. You'll get to CFA L1 and probably have covered most of it (apart from the nitty gritty) by your third year. You're not doing it to learn.

IMC has regulatory implications too, some places will make you do it before you start FT

This isn't saying you should do it, just giving you some perspective.

Nov 18, 2021 - 2:44pm

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