31 May, 2019

Should one take CFA in hope of a career change?

The CFA journey is well known for its grueling journey.

Being unsure if I should embark on the same path, I went to see what people were saying on the forums. Many shared the same doubt if they will regret doing so despite the high recognition it will provide. Few of the writers who passed CFA has zero financial backgrounds when they just started out (some are even Chartered now)
At the same time, they shared their extensive studying schedule to let us know what we will be signing up for. 

From what I read, it feels like we should go for it if we have the heart or passion for it.
It is like how many successful businessmen got to where they are using passion and determination without the need of academic qualifications.

If we are going solely for the hope of getting an attractive salary, do not bother.
This is because we lacked the fire to push through. Moreover, the CFA does not guarantee a high pay check. We "may" get a high salary is the key word to remember. 

I have not forgotten the 4 years of part time studies pursuing my degree. (and even promised myself to never pursue another academic certification again)
However, I took my degree mostly for qualification purpose when I had only some interest in the topics covered.  (It is lucky that they did covered some finance related modules in Business school)

While I cannot bring back the past and change my profession/degree to Finance, CFA may be an alternative I can turn to now. Or I can get a banking & finance job before taking CFA. 

Another thing to be considered is our Skills Future credits. It will be good if the government can top it up for our usage soon. Those who already spent the first $500 on courses will understand this. 

While what I mentioned above is easy for me to say, I am still wondering if it is the right call to make.

It also seems like the society view working experience and skills more importantly over academic nowadays.


  1. I agree to what you have wrote here - Society view working experience and skills more importantly over academic.

    It is a fact today. Skills and experience matter a lot if you have to grow in your life.

  2. Majority of big hedge fund managers don't have CFA

    1. The thing is most of them have finance degrees/masters. I don't..

  3. Dont bother to take cfa unless you are already in that line..

    I failed my level 3 and didnt able to get any job related

  4. Okay. May I know which industry you are currently in?

  5. Hello Frowns,

    Tbh, the CFA certification is good for opening doors, but it doesn't guarantee a cushy job and a higher paycheck (as you said).

    Being an engineering graduate, I took CFA as a way to build my foundation in finance. But in my current job, I don't use much of what I had learnt. Haha.

    Take it if you have DEEP interest in learning more about finance. Note there is a pre-requisite for 4 years' of relevant experience before you can apply to be a CFA Charterholder.

    Good luck!

    PS: Yes, I am a CFA Charterholder myself.

  6. Hi SS,

    Thanks for your feedback. I am seriously still considering to take CFA for the purpose of interest, challenge as well as possible career change.
    May I ask you, did you start CFA after getting a finance job?