If you’re interested in a career in finance, you have a lot of options for financial certifications that can boost your career path. However, many of these certifications are expensive and may be specific to the United States. If you’re looking for a cost-effective certification that will give you global recognition and a deep understanding of finance, you may consider becoming a CFA. We have outlined the top 3 reasons you should consider the certified financial analyst credential below.
1. Promising Career Path
When you complete the CFA program, you become a CFA Institute member, which is a global network of over 135,000 investment professionals. The CFA charter is recognized by regulators, universities, and certification programs in at least 30 countries. That’s a pretty impressive club to join when it comes to networking. You’ll gain unmatched career resources and relationships, as well as access to jobs around the world that require a CFA certification.
With your unique skills, you can qualify for a variety of investment-related jobs. The most popular destination for CFA charterholders is portfolio manager, but there are lots of other positions such as research analyst, consultant, risk manager, corporate financial analyst, and even chief executive!
2. Boost Your Salary
Since the CFA program is one of the most respected designations in the financial field, the salary is quite impressive. There are a number of factors that can determine your possible salary including experience, education, position, size of employer, and location.
After one to four years of experience as a CFA, you can expect to earn a median salary of approximately $68,383. That number goes up to $87,732 after five to nine years, according to PayScale. Professionals with more than 20 years of experience are paid a median salary of approximately $155,100. (Note that these are the median salaries and they do not consider other factors.)
Your salary could be higher or lower depending on what job title you have with your CFA certification. Financial analyst is one of the lower paying CFA positions with a salary range of $43,218 to $78,374. Chief Financial Officers, on the other hand, make much more and can expect a salary in the range of $67,786 to $217,242.
There are many positions that fall in the middle of these two positions’ salaries, such as investment analysts. Also, many CFA charter-holders are compensated with bonuses and incentive pay on top of their attractive salaries. Even with the other factors like location and size of the company, the salary of a CFA is the top reason for many to go after this prestigious title.
3. The Gold Standard
The CFA charter is considered the “gold standard” of Wall Street qualifications due to its rigor. If you work hard to get your CFA, you prove to everyone that you have expertise in investment management and financial analysis.
Compared to other programs in the business world, like the MBA, the CFA charter specializes in niche areas of business and is much less broad. By earning a CFA title, you gain analytical skills and expertise in quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting, investments analysis, and portfolio management. This set of skills and specialized knowledge makes you a very valuable employee and will definitely serve you well throughout your finance career.