The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation stands out as a symbol of excellence and
dedication in the world of finance, where precision and expertise are paramount. If you’re intrigued by the financial industry, this blog will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what the CFA course entails, why you should pursue it, who should consider it, details on the program, how to become a CFA, exam costs, the scope of CFA in India and abroad, and available scholarships.
What is CFA?
CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, is a globally recognized professional designation awarded by
the CFA Institute. It is a prestigious credential that signifies a deep understanding of investment
management, financial analysis, and ethical principles in the world of finance. The CFA program
equips candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in various roles within the finance
Why Should You Pursue CFA?
1. Global Recognition: The CFA designation is respected worldwide, opening doors to career
opportunities on a global scale.
2. Exposure To a Variety of Roles in Finance: The program covers a wide range of financial
topics, making it relevant for professionals in investment banking, portfolio management,
equity research, and more.
3. Better Job Prospects at Top Investment Firms: Many top-tier financial institutions value
CFA charter holders, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.
4. Equipped for Analysis and Decision-Making: CFA candidates develop strong analytical
and decision-making skills, critical for success in finance.
5. Delivers Practical, Real-World Skills: The CFA program focuses on real-world
applications, ensuring that what you learn is immediately applicable in your career.
6. Enforces Ethical Standards: Ethical behavior is emphasized throughout the program,
emphasizing the importance of integrity in financial professions.
7. Networking Opportunities for Faster Career Growth: CFA candidates and charter holders
have access to a vast professional network, facilitating career advancement.
Who Should Pursue CFA Course?
The CFA program is suitable for:
- Fresh Graduates: It’s an excellent way to kickstart your career in finance.
- Investment Industry Professionals: Enhance your knowledge and skills for career progression.
- Academicians: Teach and share your expertise with future financial professionals.
- Skilled Management Professionals (MBAs): Complement your MBA with specialized
Details one CFA Program – According to the New Updates
The CFA program consists of three levels:
- CFA Level 1: Entry-level, covering fundamental concepts in finance.
- Changes in Level 1: In 2024, there are some changes in the CFA exam. Before taking the Level 1 exam, students are now expected to understand Economics, Quantitative Methods, and Financial Statements. Even though these topics are still available for students to study, they won’t be tested in the exams.
Additionally, three new subjects have been added to Level 1:
- Introduction to Geopolitics
- Corporate Structures and Ownership
- Business Models
In the Professional Skills and Competencies (PSM) category, Level 1 students will also learn about Financial Modeling and Python Programming Fundamentals. IMS Proschool appreciates these changes made by the CFA Institute because they help students gain practical knowledge and experience.
For the subjects that have been removed from the exam, we believe they are important for students and provide valuable training. Our goal is to help you prepare for the CFA exam with a strong foundation, so we’ve designed our training modules accordingly.
- Top of Form
- Jobs After Level 1: Roles like research analyst, financial advisor, or junior portfolio manager.
- CFA Level 2: Focuses on asset valuation and application of financial analysis.
- Changes in Level 2: For students getting ready for the Level 2 exam, there are some adjustments in what they will be studying. The way the lessons are organized has changed a bit. They added some new topics and moved a few from Level 2 to Level 1. One big change is how they divided the content about multiple regression into four separate lessons.
In the Professional Skills and Competencies (PSM) section, Level 2 students will also get hands-on practice in things like Analyst Skills, Python, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence.
- Jobs After Level 2: Positions like equity analyst, senior research analyst, or risk manager.
- CFA Level 3: Emphasizes portfolio management and wealth planning.
- Changes in Level 3: In Level 3, students will have to pick one of three options:
- Portfolio Management
- Private Wealth Management
- Private Markets
This change will start in the 2025 season, and there are also other updates for this level, like the introduction of PSM (Professional Skills and Competencies), which will also start in the 2025 CFA season.
- Jobs After Level 3: Opportunities include portfolio manager, wealth manager, or investment strategist.
How to Become a CFA?
To become eligible for a CFA charter, one must:
- Possess relevant job experience in the banking or financial services industry.
- Provide reference letters from professionals who can vouch for your experience and character.
- Fill out the CFA Institute’s application, demonstrating your commitment to ethics and professionalism.
CFA Exam Costs
The cost of CFA exams varies by level and registration deadline. Typically, it includes registration fees, exam fees, and the cost of study materials.
Scope of CFA in India and Abroad
The scope of CFA is vast, both in India and abroad. In India, CFA charter holders find opportunities in various sectors of finance, including investment banking, asset management, and corporate finance. The credential is highly regarded by employers, making it a valuable asset for career growth. Additionally, CFA charter holders often enjoy competitive salaries in the Indian job market. Beyond India, the CFA designation holds global recognition, opening doors to international career opportunities in financial hubs like New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It serves as a passport to the world of finance, enabling professionals to work on a global scale and tackle complex financial challenges.
Any Scholarships for CFA?
The CFA Institute offers several scholarships to eligible candidates:
- Access Scholarships: For those who may have financial constraints.
- Women’s Scholarships: Promoting gender diversity in the industry.
- Student Scholarship: Supporting university students pursuing the CFA.
- Professor Scholarship: Available to university professors.
- Regulator Scholarship: For employees of regulatory bodies.
The CFA designation is a prestigious and globally recognized qualification that can significantly boost your career in finance. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, pursuing the CFA program can open doors to a wide range of opportunities, enhance your skills, and provide you with a strong ethical foundation in the world of finance. It’s a challenging journey, but one that can lead to a rewarding and successful career in the financial industry.
1.What are the CFA courses fees for all three Exams levels ?
ANS. For Level I of the CFA® course exam, the candidate will have to pay a one-time program enrolment fee of USD 350 apart from the Registration fees. The following are the registration costs for all levels: Cost of early registration-USD 900 Fee for Standard Registration – USD 1200 Fee for Exam Rescheduling – Fee – USD 250
2.How is the CFA® program different from CA ?
ANS. Auditing, accounting, and taxation are the three main areas of focus for CA. Investment banking, equity research, investment advisory services, portfolio management, wealth management, and other topics are covered in the CFA® course. In India, CA certification is required. A global credential accepted by every investment company is the CFA® Programme
3. How is the CFA® Program different from CIMA?
ANS. The CFA® programme focuses on investments. To successfully finish the CFA® Programme, you must learn about Investment Banking, Mutual Funds, Derivatives, Portfolio Management, Equity / Debt Research, Financial Services, Fund Management for Large Institutional Investors, Banking Industry, etc. Instead of accounting, the emphasis is on the analysis and research side. For people working in fields other than public accounting (such as audit), CIMA is a “management accounting qualification.” It addresses difficulties relating to accounting in financial departments and businesses.
4. How will CFA® Program will help an Engineer Person?
ANS. It is difficult for engineers to enter the finance industry without an MBA from a reputable B School. However, because the CFA® course certification is focused on investments, it is still feasible. Your primary priority should be the CFA® Programme if you are an engineer looking to go into the financial industry. You have talents in quantitative problem-solving thanks to your engineering background. Your credentials are ideal for the investment sector and include a CFA® charter. You ought to take the CFA® course if you enjoy maths and have an interest in finance. Engineers are frequently hired in the fields of financial engineering and quantitative finance.
5.How long does the CFA course take?
ANS. It takes 6 to 9 months to prepare for each level of the CFA course and 4000 hours of job experience before, during, or after the course. To become a charter holder, it would generally take you between two and five years. The good news is that you can begin your CFA preparation immediately following your 12th-grade commerce exams. The best aspect is that you can start making money as soon as you pass CFA level 1. It’s true that organizations all across the world provide career opportunities at the CFA level 1.