Any students of prospective students out there know just how difficult it is to secure a place in a good university, it takes lots of hard work from as early as age 14 if you’re aiming for the very top institutions, it takes consistently good results from school and a whole range of extracurricular activities to prove yourself as a worthy candidate to be offered a place at the institution you’re applying to. Finance programs are some of the most competitive courses out there, there are hundreds of applications per 1 place available so it takes a lot of extra work to stand out from the rest. Unluckily for finance students, after you obtain your university place, it doesn’t get easier. Finance is one of the most competitive sectors, getting a job in the finance sector is even harder than obtaining a place at university. Universities want their students to go on to graduate positions related to their degree once they’ve finished, because of this universities will provide students with advice and opportunities over the years of their course. One of the newest things that universities have started to promote and encourage their students to get is their CFA. If you’re not sure what a CFA is or why universities and pushing them, we’ve summed it all up for you below.
What is a CFA charter and how do you get one?
CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst and it is one of the top finance charters out there. Only the top students apply for a CFA as it requires a lot of intelligence, motivation, and determination. Even out of the students that apply, less than half complete the 3 years and obtain their charter. The course is split into 3 modules, these are spread out over 3 years and all end with an exam. These exams are extremely difficult and require upwards of 1000 hours of study time to be successful when you sit them, if you’re currently sitting your level 1 then you should make sure you’ve got the cfa level 1 formula sheet as this is one of the best things to help when you’re revising. Following the completion of these exams, you’ll be worn out as it’s hard work to study for them but unluckily for you, there are still 3 stages left to complete before you’ve obtained your charter. The next stage is to gain work experience, if you can manage it you can do this alongside your studies or as most people so you can take a year after to work in a job that involves decision-making in investment. After this, you’ll need to find the people you were working for or being taught by as you’ll need to find 3 referees to submit a reference. Once this is complete you can finally become a member and you’ll have your CFA charter.
Why are universities pushing people to get their CFA charter?
Universities are beginning to put much more focus on how important this charter is and are spending more time and effort to encourage their students to obtain one. This is what they’re encouraging most as it is starting to become a requirement in investment firms to have a CFA to be hired. A CFA demonstrates that you have theoretical knowledge, that you have experience applying it, and that you’re a hard worker. These are all the qualities that future employers are looking for and having this charter shows them that you meet all of their requirements. Finance never used to be a difficult sector to find a job in, but following the 2008 recession things got much stricter. Many investment companies realized that a lot of their staff did not have as much knowledge as they should, to prevent a financial disaster from occurring again they realized they needed staff who were more knowledgeable and better trained. If you’ve obtained a CFA then without saying anything potential employers will already know that you have these qualities. Having a CFA is becoming the new standard in investment firms, this is why universities are encouraging students to obtain it as it will help them in getting a job.