A critical review of CFA job opportunities

Is the title of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) worth the job it needs, and is it better than other professional commitments, such as the title of Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

To determine the value of the CFA designation, you must decide whether your chosen career path requires a position in the company or industry that places CFA above other possible academic endeavors. Read on to better understand the careers that attract CFA and make sure these are the positions you are interested in pursuing.

Key points

  • The CFA charter is time-consuming, difficult to obtain, and offers great benefits, but it is limited to certain industries and business areas: it is not for everyone.
  • To obtain the CFA, candidates must take an average of four years to complete the course, which includes an estimated 400 hours of study time.
  • An MBA or a master’s degree in business administration is a supplement to the CFA degree; both certificates may be necessary for employees who want to be promoted in the company.
  • The most common occupations for people holding CFA titles are portfolio managers and research analysts, followed by a smaller proportion of CEOs and consultants.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for financial analysts is $83,660.

Check out CFA job opportunities

CFA requirements

The commitment to pursuing CFA cannot be underestimated. According to the CFA Institute, the following is the time required to obtain the CFA title:

  • It takes an average of four years to complete the course
  • Prepare for each exam for six months
  • Over 300 hours of study time

Unfortunately, some candidates may never be designated, whether due to lack of academic skills, work or life responsibilities, or other factors. Compare this promise to an MBA; after being admitted and completing an average of four semesters of study, most students will receive a diploma.

The CFA course is self-study. Therefore, the probability of success is definitely low. However, the decision to pursue any achievement should not be based on the difficulty of time or the certainty of completing them, but should be based on where they provide the greatest value personally or professionally.


The emergence of MBA courses that provide coursework to help CFA candidates indicate that MBAs may not provide enough expertise to prepare students for their investment careers. The MBA program provides students with a wide range of business backgrounds, enabling graduates to follow countless different career opportunities in corporate environments and even entrepreneurial companies.

Before CFA, MBA was In fact The requirements of the investment industry, but the professional courses provided by CFA have changed this. Now, most companies engaged in investment or management investment insist that employees in senior positions have CFA, and in some cases, employees in senior positions are also required to have academic achievements. Due to the historical connection between the CFA and MBA titles, it is understandable why some people find it difficult to decide between these two courses.

This is not the case when deciding between CFA and other professional business certifications, including Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and CPA. Because CPA is a profession in the accounting industry, it is very different from CFA. Anyone who is challenged by making a decision between the two is a person who has not really decided what type of career he wants to pursue.

Skills required for CFA

The following skills are valued by employers and can be identified through CFA study courses. Students must pass three exams to obtain a CFA license. Although all three exams focus on different aspects of the course, the CFA Candidate Knowledge System (CBOK) points out the main topics as follows:

  1. Ethical and professional standards
  2. Quantitative method
  3. economics
  4. Financial report and analysis
  5. Corporate financing
  6. Equity investment
  7. stable income
  8. Derivatives
  9. Alternative Investments
  10. Portfolio management and wealth planning

Where CFA works

According to the CFA Institute: “The membership of the CFA Institute in more than 100 countries/regions can be regarded as a microcosm of the global investment industry. Almost every type of investment company is represented by every type of investment professional. ”

The CFA Institute provides a breakdown of the following most common occupations:

  • 13% Research analyst
  • 9% Corporate Financial Analyst
  • 8% accountant or auditor
  • 7% consultant
  • 5% Risk Analyst/Manager
  • 5% Account Manager/Account Manager
  • 5% credit analyst
  • 5% Portfolio Manager

Interest in CFA is growing, and for those who obtain it, there are significant benefits in terms of career development and compensation; however, the decision to conduct the necessary rigorous research cannot be taken lightly.

The value of the Court of Final Appeal

One way to determine which industries or companies value CFA is to look at surveys that compare CFA salaries with other names. Salary surveys conducted by CFA Institute cover many countries; however, these surveys only apply to CFA Institute members.

If you are not a member, but are interested in learning more about the salary difference between CFA and non-CFA, please contact your local analyst association, which can be found on the CFA Institute website. This can help answer your questions about industries and companies that pay premiums for CFA.

In areas where the number of members is increasing, the value of CFA is also increasing. Although the number of members of the CFA Institute in the United States is increasing, the number of members is growing faster in other countries that are aware of the benefits of hiring CFA. Bob Johnson, former deputy chief executive of the CFA Institute, said: “This shows that employers are increasingly interested in certification and there are more and more opportunities for university training.”

83,660 USD

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average salary of financial analysts.

Bottom line

The question of whether you are committed to obtaining a CFA charter certificate requires a lot of reflection and a little research.

If you decide to become a candidate, make sure that your decision is based on your passion for investment and the materials to be researched. In short, if your strengths and ambitions lie in occupations and industries that require a CFA designation, then it may make sense for you to commit to a CFA designation.


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