Is CFA a good idea?

1st Year Analyst in Other

I finished school in 2017 and for the past 2-3 years I have been feeling stuck and have been stuck in temporary consultant back office positions at middle ranking banks. I worked mostly in regulatory, reporting, compliance areas. I really enjoy being an analyst and I will like to move up. I am thinking of ways I could move up and advance in my career. Mo mom keeps on nagging me to go get my master but I am unsure in what. Will taking a CFA be a good idea?

Comments (3)

Sep 1, 2019

a CFA will be a good addition to your resume to make a case for lateral-ing into a front office analyst position, be it at your current bank or others. a postgrad degree the likes of an MSc Finance etc can be a possible avenue for a 'reset' button on your career to have another shot at a front office position, but take note that you probably have to start from the ground up again, i.e. starting fresh as a year 1 analyst, unless you get an MBA.

Most Helpful
Sep 3, 2019
1st Year Analyst in Other :

I finished school in 2017 and for the past 2-3 years I have been feeling stuck and have been stuck in temporary consultant back office positions at middle ranking banks. I worked mostly in regulatory, reporting, compliance areas. I really enjoy being an analyst and I will like to move up. I am thinking of ways I could move up and advance in my career. Mo mom keeps on nagging me to go get my master but I am unsure in what. Will taking a CFA be a good idea?

The 'CFA' is not really going to 'advance' your career (not soon anyway). You won't even be able to pass L2 until 2021, which is when it starts to look good on your resume. But, not good in the way that opens doors like a T10 MBA. More of the 'icing on the cake' to a resume. Getting the full CFA charter might make you start to look moderately better, but that wouldn't be until 2022.

So its a lot of work and a road that will last a few years of taking these exams with little visible return on your attractiveness to companies. You could get lucky and connect with a shop after passing L2, but I wouldn't plan on it. Passing L2 might get you the interview, but it sounds like with your work experience that you're a bit locked into that kind of role for the near future. Also, the CFA exams aren't really for bankers. You would be switching to a different niche in the field if you wanted to go to some sort of asset management and you'd have to prove yourself before getting the role. If you wanted equity research or something, maybe taking the exams and working on that role and writing up a report on a company would be favorable for roles similar to that, if that's what you're looking for. But, you really haven't described what you want to do with the CFA exams besides 'moving up'.

Because the moment you sign up for these exams, they will be a time suck on your life with no discernible upside for the distant future. If you want results in a quicker manner in the form of 'moving up', you might want to consider an advanced degree. But, judging by your background, career experience might not be a shining star on your application. So you might want to work on really differentiating yourself to begin the framework for a good application for a masters degree (and crushing the GMAT or whatever you take).

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 9, 2019
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