What is CFA and its scope in 2024

What is CFA


The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is one of the most prestigious certifications in the finance industry. It is highly respected and recognized globally, making it a valuable credential for finance professionals. With the financial world becoming increasingly complex, the demand for skilled and knowledgeable professionals is on the rise. This blog will delve into what CFA is, who should consider it, its eligibility criteria, syllabus, exam pattern, difficulty level, preparation strategies, scope in 2024, job opportunities, salary expectations, and FAQs.

What is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)?

A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute. The CFA program equips candidates with in-depth knowledge in investment management, financial analysis, stocks, bonds, and derivatives. The CFA charter is considered the gold standard in the investment management profession.

Who Should Consider Pursuing CFA?

The CFA designation is ideal for finance professionals looking to advance their careers in investment management. This includes roles such as portfolio managers, research analysts, investment bankers, and financial advisors. It is also suitable for those looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of financial markets and investments.

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Eligibility Criteria for the CFA Exam

To enroll in the CFA program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Education: A bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  2. Professional Experience: A combination of 4,000 hours of professional work experience and higher education.
  3. Other Requirements:
    • Reside in a participating country.
    • Possess an international passport.
    • Submit a Professional Conduct Statement form.

CFA Syllabus and Weightage

The CFA curriculum is divided into three levels, each with specific topics and weightage. Here’s a detailed look at the syllabus for each level:

CFA Level 1

Topic Weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards 15-20%
Quantitative Methods 8-12%
Economics 8-12%
Financial Statement Analysis 13-17%
Corporate Finance 8-12%
Equity Investments 10-12%
Fixed Income 10-12%
Derivatives 5-8%
Alternative Investments 5-8%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 5-8%

CFA Level 2

Topic Weightage
Fixed Income 10-15%
Derivatives 5-10%
Alternative Investments 5-10%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 10-15%
Ethical and Professional Standards 10-15%
Quantitative Methods 5-10%
Economics 5-10%
Financial Statement Analysis 10-15%
Corporate Finance 5-10%
Equity Investments 10-15%

CFA Level 3

Topic Weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards 10-15%
Economics 5-10%
Equity Investments 10-15%
Derivatives 5-10%
Alternative Investments 5-10%
Fixed Income 15-20%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 35-40%

CFA Exam Pattern

The CFA exams are structured to test a candidate’s knowledge and skills comprehensively.

CFA Level 1

  • Format: Multiple choice questions.
  • Duration: Two sessions of 3 hours each.
  • Total Questions: 240 (120 per session).

CFA Level 2

  • Format: Item set questions (case studies).
  • Duration: Two sessions of 3 hours each.
  • Total Questions: 120 (21 case studies, each with 6 or 4 questions).

CFA Level 3

  • Format: Constructed response (essay) and item set questions.
  • Duration: Two sessions of 3 hours each.
  • Total Questions: 8-12 essay questions and 11 item set questions.

CFA Exam Difficulty

The CFA exams are known for their rigorous nature. The pass rates are relatively low, reflecting the exam’s difficulty. Level 3 is often considered the toughest due to its emphasis on portfolio management and essay questions.

How To Prepare for CFA Exams

  1. Study Plan: Create a detailed study plan covering all topics.
  2. Study Materials: Use CFA Institute’s curriculum and other reputable study aids.
  3. Practice Exams: Take multiple practice exams to gauge your preparation.
  4. Study Groups: Join study groups for collaborative learning.
  5. Time Management: Allocate sufficient time for each topic based on weightage.

Scope for CFA in 2024

In 2024, the scope for CFAs continues to expand, especially in emerging markets and global financial hubs. The increasing complexity of financial markets and investment products drives the demand for skilled professionals with CFA credentials. Roles in investment management, risk management, financial analysis, and consulting are expected to see significant growth.

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Job Opportunities and Salary after CFA

  1. CFAs are highly sought after by top financial institutions such as KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, JP Morgan Chase, and others. Here are some potential job roles and salary ranges for CFAs in 2024:
    Job Role Average Salary (INR)
    Portfolio Manager 7-15 LPA
    Research Analyst 6-12 LPA
    Risk Manager 8-14 LPA
    Investment Banking Analyst 9-16 LPA
    Financial Advisor 5-10 LPA

Watch the Video of Expert for more detail information on CFA Career Opportunities


The CFA designation remains one of the most respected and challenging certifications in the finance industry. It offers vast opportunities for career growth and financial reward. For those committed to a career in investment management, the CFA program is a significant step toward achieving professional excellence.


Is CFA worth pursuing?

Absolutely, the CFA designation is globally recognized and provides excellent career prospects in finance and investment management.

Why is the CFA program so hard?

The CFA program is challenging due to its extensive curriculum, demanding exams, and the depth of knowledge required across various financial topics.

Which level of CFA is the toughest?

Many CFA charter holders find Level 3 to be the toughest, as it focuses on portfolio management and includes essay-based questions.

How much does the CFA program cost?

The cost of the CFA program ranges from $700 to $1,450 per exam registration, with additional expenses for study materials and potential travel for exam locations.

Can CFA Level 1 candidates get hired?

Yes, many companies hire CFA Level 1 candidates, typically for entry-level positions such as research analyst or junior portfolio manager, with salaries ranging from ₹4 to 6 LPA.

What is the duration of the CFA course?

The CFA program generally takes 2-3 years to complete, depending on the candidate’s preparation and the time needed to pass all three levels.Top of Form

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