What is better than having a master’s degree in commerce or finance? A master’s degree with a CFA certification, of course. When you’re getting ready to enter the overcrowded job market, you need all the ammunition you can get to blow the competition away. The investment banking industry needs employees who have a solid foundation in portfolio management and investment analysis. If you have a master’s degree in commerce or an MBA in finance, you’re almost there. To improve your proficiency and technical skills, you need the CFA course. Recruiters get tons of resumes every day. The financial industry is filled with eager, young hopefuls that are looking to carve a niche for themselves. Add a CFA qualification next to your master’s degree on your resume, and you may well be unstoppable.
How can a CFA enhance your existing degree?
As a chartered financial analyst, many opportunities suddenly become available to you in the financial industry. The Chartered Financial Analyst is one of the best courses on investment management in the world. Budding investment banking professionals will find that this program will give you the edge you need to succeed. The CFA coupled with your master’s degree can make you a force to reckon with in the finance world.
Here are some of the advantages of doing the CFA over any other financial course
#1 Fills up the gaps in your finance education
You may hold an MBA in finance or an M.com degree. It still won’t be enough to apply for the jobs you want in the investment industry. You will require specialized skills and specific knowledge that may not have been covered in your former education. The CFA course extensively covers topics such as ethics and professional standards, corporate issuers, equity investments, portfolio management and quantitative methods. Every detail about investment management is substantially covered here. The CFA subjects are designed by an education advisory board made up of industry stalwarts. There are industry movers and shakers who keep the syllabus updated and relevant. They have created a course that is rigorous, detailed and impressive. This is cutting-edge education that will give your career the boost it needs.
#2 Has a lot of credibility in the global investment industry
It can’t be said enough. The CFA certification is the gold standard for the investment industry. The course enables you to be career-ready for roles such as portfolio managers, relationship managers, risk analysts and financial advisors. In fact, very often, when companies post job openings for these designations, they list the CFA credential as a requirement. Another point to consider: seven percent of CFA charter holders move on to upper management and leadership roles.
#3 Will help you negotiate for a higher salary
Your salary package will depend largely on the size of the company, your role in it along with your negotiation skills. However, listing a Master’s degree with the CFA certificate will help you justify a higher income than your peers who don’t have both qualifications. You will be better trained and possess real-world expertise that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates. The average salary of an MBA with a CFA is 25 to 30 lakhs per year.
#4 You can network with other CFA charter holders
The CFA charter members are a tightly knit community of certificate holders who work in various organizations around the globe. Over a hundred thousand CFA-certified professionals have been hired by reputed firms. When there are job openings, they reach out to other charter holders to fill up the positions. When there are lectures, seminars and other industry-related events, you can connect with the CFA members to form a strong global network of investment specialists.
#5 The CFA is a sought after qualification by all of the big investment firms
While a Master’s degree in commerce or an MBA in finance is impressive and highly recognized amongst global financial firms, it is not always enough to seal the deal. When it comes down to you versus another candidate with a similar degree, what will tip the scales in your favor? Your CFA membership. Companies like Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan Chase have hired several employees with master’s degrees and a CFA certification. They recognize the immense value of the two courses combined.
How the CFA helps you after your MBA/PGDM/M.Com
The CFA program is known to be a challenge for most students. However, if you have a master’s degree in finance or commerce, there are a few reasons why getting a CFA certificate is a good idea.
- The CFA curriculum offers a thorough education in financial analysis
If you are an MBA looking to get into investment banking, this certification will round off your academic background nicely.
- CFA professionals get universal global recognition
The business school you graduate from matters more than your MBA or M.com degree. If you are not from the top-tier colleges, you won’t command the high salaries their students get. This is not true for CFA holders. The qualification is highly reputed throughout the world. It has the same value no matter where you get your certificate. This will help boost your existing MBA to make more of an impact on prospective employers.
- Easier to clear as most concepts will be familiar to you
By the time you finish your MBA or PGDM in finance, you will already have a working understanding of the investment industry. Grasping new concepts and skills in the CFA course won’t be hard since you come from a similar academic background.
- Better opportunities for your career
The jobs after MBA/M.Com versus the jobs after M.com/MBA with a CFA certificate will be different. You will qualify for a variety of profiles such as equity analyst, finance manager, portfolio manager, research analyst, credit analyst and investment banker.
When you do a financial analyst course after your degree, you open up many doors for your career. The investment banking field is always looking for highly qualified professionals with a stellar academic background. Many financial firms insist on these qualifications when posting job openings. However, if you don’t want to wait to start your career, you don’t have to. You can start working after getting your degree and do the CFA course side by side. It will be strenuous, but in the end, your hard work will pay off. So if you are a newly minted MBA or have just received your commerce degree, we have given you plenty to think about.