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Career Path: CFA course after MBA & PGDM- A Complete Guide
The CFA course is a highly sought-after professional certificate for investment bankers around the world. The CFA Institute offers the internationally renowned CFA certification program in investments and financial management. It is widely acknowledged in over 165 countries worldwide.
With a strong level of expertise in finance, the CFA charter has set a prestigious standard for financial analysts and investors at an international level. This comprehensive article details to help you understand what is CFA course, its structure, eligibility criteria, CFA jobs, and average salary. Besides, it also explains how to prepare yourself for this esteemed CFA course.
What is CFA Course?
The CFA full form is Chartered Financial Analyst. It is a designated program designed to equip investment professionals with in-depth knowledge and advanced skills in financial analysis, portfolio management, and investment decision-making. Professionals with these skill sets are high in demand in the finance sector as they help organizations to grow and expand.
This course is divided into three levels, namely:
- CFA Level 1
- CFA Level 2
- CFA Level 3
Candidates who qualify for all three levels of the CFA course are awarded the prestigious CFA chart holder by the CFA institute. This in turn increases one’s chances of landing high-paying jobs in the field of finance and investment banking. Furthermore, it provides access to job opportunities in a variety of industries, such as financial services, banking, and so on.
CFA Course Structure
The CFA course is carefully crafted and structured into three separate levels. The difficulty of each level increases as it goes up, testing various aspects of financial knowledge.
- Level 1 focuses on the foundations of finance and ethical and professional standards
- Level 2 covers asset valuation and the application of investment tools
- Level 3 centers around portfolio management and wealth planning
It is important to note that these exams are challenging and require candidates to demonstrate a thorough understanding of financial concepts and their practical application in the real world to pass.
CFA Eligibility Criteria
Interested candidates are required to meet certain educational and professional criteria to be eligible for the CFA course. These include:
- Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- Aspirants must have a combination of 4000 hours of work experience and/or higher education acquired over a minimum of three consecutive years.
- Please note that this expertise does not have to directly relate to investment, therefore professionals from a variety of backgrounds might choose to pursue the CFA charter.
- Candidates also need to possess an international passport.
- Additionally, candidates must speak and understand English well.
CFA Jobs and Careers
A CFA charter holder has access to a plethora of career and employment prospects in the finance sector. Because of their exceptional reputation, CFA charter holders are frequently given preference for senior positions in financial consulting, risk analysis, portfolio management, and investment management.
The CFA title is highly valued in the finance business due to its advanced skills and quality. It provides prospects for career progression, higher earning potential, and a respected place in the worldwide financial community.
Some of the popular CFA job opportunities available after the course are:
- Portfolio Manager
- Equity Research Analyst
- Equity Advisor
- Financial Analyst
- Investment Banker
- Risk Management
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CFA Salary in India
The financial services or the finance industry is considered one of the most lucrative industries around the world. With CFA certification offering senior roles in this coveted industry, the salary prospects are highly rewarding and promising.
While CFA does offer good salary compensation, the salary prospects nearly double for candidates with MBA CFA. Given below are the level-wise salaries of CFA holders and CFA+MBA holders:
|CFA Salary in India
|MBA CFA Salary
|CFA Level 1
|CFA Level 2 & 3
CFA Salary in the US
Widely accepted around the world, CFA-certified professionals command impressive salaries in foreign countries as well. In the US, the total compensation for charter holders can average around $300,000 per annum. The highly rewarding compensation for varied profiles in the finance industry is what makes it one of the most coveted industries.
How to Prepare for the CFA Exam?
The preparation for the CFA certification exam demands dedication and a strategic approach. These CFA exams are challenging and require a thorough understanding of financial concepts. On an average basis, it is recommended to invest an average dedicated 300 study hours for 6 months to prepare for the exam.
Numerous offline and online institutions provide CFA test preparation. PIBM’s CFA Training program is one such specific program that helps you master all the concepts and embrace yourself for success in the challenging CFA exams. The training helps you crack the CFA exam to shape your career in the in-demand finance sector.
Popular CFA Institutes in India
Many reputable institutions in India offer CFA-related courses and training to guide students to prepare for the CFA exam. These institutions support students in developing a successful career in finance by providing training, practice questions, and mock exams.
Some of the popular institutes offering CFA training courses are:
- Pune Institute of Business Management, Pune
- Narayana Business School, Ahmedabad
- IMS ProSchool, Pune
- Miles Education, Delhi
- Financial Planning Academy, Mumbai
The fees and structures of each institute may vary, but all of them are known for their quality education and comprehensive preparation for CFA certification exams.
The Future of CFA Professionals
The demand for CFA charter holders is expected to grow as the finance industry evolves. With their expertise in investment analysis and commitment to ethical standards, CFA-certified professionals are well-positioned to take on leading roles in the changing landscape of the finance sector.
The CFA certification is a mark of proficiency and commitment to the finance industry, and not just a certificate. Acquiring CFA requires your expertise in investment management, portfolio management, and strong analytical skills, which PIBM helps you achieve. You can pursue the PIBM-integrated CFA training to help you prepare for the CFA exam and open doors to a wide array of opportunities in the finance market.
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1. What exactly does a CFA do?
CFA charter holders perform various functions including investments, asset management, portfolio and wealth management, and financial market regulation.
2. What is the exam structure of CFA Level I?
There are 180 multiple-choice questions in the Level I exam, which is divided into two sessions. Each session covers a range of financial topics, from ethical professional standards to portfolio management.
3. What are the career options after CFA?
Career options after CFA are research analyst, portfolio manager, investment banker, financial consultant, and many more in the financial sector.
4. Is CFA more difficult than CA?
While CA is more focused on accounting, CFA is analytical and concept-based. That said, each course is challenging in its own way. The secret to passing any exam is having a strong determination and thorough preparation. For more details, read our blog on CFA vs CA.