Guide to Careers for CFA Alumni
One who wishes to pursue a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) career can venture tow possible avenues. One path is to actually become a CFA charterholder and then work in a CFA career that supports the designation. The other would be to become a CFA member, which does not require passing of the CFA Examinations, and work for the CFA institute. These two options vary greatly in the type of CFA career one would maintain.
CFA charterholder jobs tend to concentrate within an analyst type of position. Some of the more typical CFA careers are portfolio manager, financial/securities/investment analyst, financial analyst, senior financial analyst, vice president of finance, chief financial officer, and corporate financial analyst. Some of the top providers of CFA jobs are companies, private practices and firms, foundations and trusts, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, self employed CFA’s, hospitals, the federal government, franchises, colleges and universities, and schools and school districts. The greatest impact on a CFA career would be the designation itself. Earning such a prestigious designation demands respect and shows that an individual has taken serious stake in their career to put in the necessary time and effort to complete such an undertaking. Many CFA careers are offered by previous CFA charterholders who expect a similar level of dedication from their employees.
Becoming a CFA member would allow an individual to pursue a CFA career at the CFA institute. Working in this capacity would not require the CFA designation. A CFA career at the CFA institute could have be in education, member and society coordination, interactive and external relationships, marketing and communication, finance and technical support, information technology, human resources, and within the office of general counsel. To gain CFA membership, an individual must first pass a self-administered ethics examination and then apply for membership. The prospective member must have sponsorship from a regular member to apply.
The CFA institute will then perform a background check on the applicant’s educational experience, work experience, and professional conduct. After all the material has been reviewed, the CFA institute will issue the applicant the type of membership that best fits their background check. The three types of membership are regular, charterholder, and affiliate. The CFA member must then pay the required dues. These two CFA career paths offer many possibilities. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and it is up to each individual to select the CFA career that best fits his personality and lifestyle.
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