Becoming a chartered CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) is a time-consuming and difficult process. To become a CFA you have to finish certain education and work experience requirements as well as sit for three separate grueling exams.
Overall, it takes at least four years and usually longer to achieve a CFA charter.
So why do people choose this path? People decide to take this arduous journey because the benefits of being a CFA can far outweigh the hard work and dedication it takes to become one.
Getting your CFA charter takes very hard work, great dedication, and hundreds of hours of study and preparation leading up to the exams.
It also takes superb time management skills to keep track of your study hours and ensure that you make the strictly scheduled registration and CFA exam dates. The exams themselves take extensive knowledge, skill, and determination to pass as well.
On top of passing the exams, earning the charter requires additional work experience, educational qualifications, adherence to a code of ethics, and references.
All these traits and actions work together to prove to yourself and others, especially future employers or clients, that you have a strong work ethic and commitment to your career.
Being able to add the CFA acronym to your title and resume is a benefit that many do not realize the importance of until they have it.
The CFA designation is akin to the MD (Doctor of Medicine) or the PE (Professional Engineer) in the finance industry. That sort of prestige is hard to pass up and hard not to be very proud of.
One huge benefit to undertaking the strenuous CFA adventure is the financial boost it may provide. Studies show that having a CFA increases your likelihood of earning a better income more than any other certification or degree.
While having your CFA and MBA seems to lead to the largest salaries overall, having only your CFA was still largely more profitable than having any MBA degrees without a CFA as well.
Plus, generally going through all the steps of the CFA program is less expensive than going for a master’s degree and you can maintain a full-time income and gain work experience simultaneously unlike many master’s programs.
Having your CFA also appears to heighten your chances for selection during the job application stages and promotion later on in your career.
The CFA charter holder is more specialized than an MBA and employers tend to view that quality quite positively.
The CFA addition to a name gives such an advantageous impression that many employers require it for the higher echelon positions and many MBA programs now even include CFA coursework to help achieve the charter as an end goal.
These factors prove well just how important a CFA is to the financial trade.
One of the most important assets gained by obtaining a CFA is access to an extensive network of potential employers and the top names and influencers in the business.
The charter is a profoundly accepted and recognized indicator of proven ability due to its highly intensive and strict nature.
It is also one of the most widespread markers of financial capability, being sanctioned and preferred in over 20 countries worldwide.
The international and eminent contact opportunities alone can make the CFA designation worth the trouble.
Earning your CFA might be one of the toughest tasks you will ever undertake, but the gains greatly outshine the difficulties.
Your CFA charter may make you feel more worthwhile, help you obtain good standing, be far more profitable, take you to higher heights, and connect you with some of the best and farthest reaches of the financial industry.
With all these possibilities, it would be your loss not to go for your CFA!