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Chartered Financial Analyst is a coveted degree, it is a difficult certification to possess, but once obtained can add immense value to one’s career. It can be considered as a gateway to a long, satisfying and high paying career in the financial world.

A CFA degree earns an individual a global and local recognition. It also imparts credibility in the eyes of the client as well as colleagues. Earning a CFA degree can provide an individual with a competitive advantage and imparts global knowledge to an individual. Moreover, by earning a CFA degree, a person can join the global network of 10,000 CFA professionals.

  • Possess a valid international travel passport.
  • Possess either of the following:
    • A Bachelor or equivalent degree or currently be in the final year of a bachelor degree programme. However, in case the candidate is in the final year of the bachelor degree, he/she will not be allowed to sit for the Level II examination unless the degree is completed.
    • At least four years of work experience which may not be necessary in the investment sector.
    • A combination of education and professional work experience, adding up to a total of 4 years. The 4 years will be calculated prior to enrolment and will not include any part time experience.

The CFA examinations are conducted in three different levels each of which test a different kind of skill for the candidates. In Level I, the basic knowledge of the ethical and professional standards is examined, in Level II, how a candidate applies these standards in practical use are examined and in Level III, how the standards are applied in the context of portfolio management is examined. A candidate has to clear all the three levels to obtain the CFA certification.

Companies Looking For CFA Holders

CFA holders are valued highly and various organizations across the world look into employing CFA holders. The roles that CFA holders can obtain include Private Bankers, Portfolio Managers, Fund Managers, Fund of Fund Managers, Financial Advisor, Relationship Managers, Financial Strategists, Financial Analysts, Investment Analysts, etc.

In this respect, companies which employ CFA holders include hedge funds, asset management companies, investment banks, wealth management companies, etc. Brands which have CFA holders as a major chunk of their employees include Blackrock, Pimco, Goldman Sachs, RBS, Ernst and Young etc.

Salary

Obtaining a CFA degree can be the gateway to a high paying career. Through various surveys, it has been found that the salary of a CFA can vary from $44,000 per annum to $167,000 per year. The city which pays the highest salary to CFA holders is New York ($ 63,243 to $ 138,911) followed by Chicago ($56,414 to $122,936), Boston ($57,044 to $119,127) and Philadelphia ($53,923 to $ 142,506).

Companies which pay the highest salary include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co ($51,521 to $138, 822), The Northern Trust Company ($ 44,126 to $ 117, 916), Goldman Sachs Group ($48,479 to $117,916), Ernst & Young ($54,612 to $ 86,897) and The PNC Financial Services Group ($46,369 to $114, 783).

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