The last year has changed everything, when coronavirus hit Wuhan in 2019 no one quite expected the damage it would end up causing worldwide. Everyone’s lives have had to change during the last year, everyone has had to sacrifice a lot from people staying home to protect others to those risking their lives on the front lines in hospitals and shops. It’s been a crazy year and luckily, with the successful vaccine programs that are being rolled out, things are starting to open up again and the end of the pandemic is in sight. One thing that covid wreaked total havoc on was the economy of pretty much every country. As the majority of the population has been made to spend most of the last year at home, people haven’t been spending as much money which has led to a global recession. A global recession makes it hard to find a job as there is a vicious cycle of people losing their jobs, not having enough disposable income to spend, which then causes other people to lose their jobs, and the cycle continues. Finding a job in a recession is extremely difficult and in an industry that is already highly competitive, the pandemic has made it even more so. To get a job in the finance sector you’ll need to really stand out and one way to help your applications stand out is by obtaining a CFA charter as businesses are starting to favor candidates who have this qualification.
What is a CFA charter?
CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst and it is a highly respected qualification, if you obtain one of these you will really stand out at any job interview, but as it is so respected, that means it is hard work to achieve it, only the most motivated and dedicated students manage to obtain this qualification. There is a long process to follow to get your CFA, the first step in the process is that you must complete all of the CFA exams. There are 3 modules, each one lasting a year, and they all end with an exam. After you complete the first you’ll have a better understanding of how the exams work, but they are still extremely difficult. If you’re doing your year 1 exam and aren’t fully sure what to expect then you can find a mock cfa level 1 exam to help you prepare. Once you complete these exams the next step is to gain some qualified work experience, you can do this alongside studying or you can do it after, the only requirement here is that your work experience must be involved with the decision-making process in investing. You must have at least 1-year experience working in this environment before you can proceed to stage 3. You’ll be glad to hear that stages 1 and 2 are the hardest, stage 3 is the referencing stage, you’ll have to find 2 or 3 people who have either taught you or worked with you to be a referee. Then, as long as your referencing is accepted you can apply to be a member of CFA, and once accepted you’ll be chartered.
Why is CFA important to businesses?
There is a whole variety of reasons why businesses are now looking for applicants with a CFA charter, we’ve summed up the ones that we think are the most significant reasons. More people who were interested in investment finance started to obtain their CFA which led to it becoming more mainstream and more companies being interested in it. In the past year, the growth rate of members has increased by 7%. Now that the CFA is more well known, it has an important place in the finance sector and is outstanding for any candidate to have. The reasons employers are starting to look for this is because having a CFA shows employers straight away that you’re a committed and disciplined individual as this charter reflects the fact you’ve put in upwards of 1000 hours of study time, as that is how long is required to be successful on these tests. Having a strong drive and being resilient is valued among employers in the finance industry, by obtaining this charter you can show that about yourself without having to say anything else. Whilst an MBA is still a great qualification, a CFA reflects this drive better.
The 2008 economic crash led to investment firms tightening their rules and restriction and lending and investing much more carefully than they had been to prevent a similar disaster from happening again. Since then, more than 90% of investment firms have stated that whilst it is not required to get a position, that the preferred candidate would have a CFA as they are seen to be more knowledgeable and more equipped to avoid disasters.