Career opportunities for CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholders

he CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation is a globally recognized mark of distinction in the finance industry. Being an extensive program, it requires candidates to invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort, which can leave them with the thought of whether it’s truly valuable. Upon reviewing numerous blogs and forums, we found that supporters of the CFA charter outnumbered those against it by around 80% with many claiming that it has helped them climb the corporate ladder and helped enhance their existing skillset.

According to the 2020 Middle East Salary Guide by Robert Half, the compensation scale annually for financial analysts range between AED156K and AED217K while senior-internal auditors can earn between AED 287K to AED 295K.

Based on a survey conducted by the CFA Institute about the job roles held by CFA charterholders in 2019, we have summarised the top careers that pursuing or certified CFA candidates can attain.

Research Analyst

Over 13% of CFA charterholders hold the coveted position of being a research analyst. Research analysts play a key role in the world of business and finance as they use qualitative data to analyze past financial history and make recommendations for the future. The information that they gather is crucial for organizations as it helps prioritize and develop investment decisions.

Corporate Financial Analyst

A hybrid of a research analyst is a corporate financial analyst. The financial analyst, unlike the research analyst, goes beyond data input to frame conclusions. During venture choices, they offer research and guidance on budgets and income statements along with other financial data. They account for over 9% of CFA charterholders and are one of the commonly opted-for job roles soon after the qualification has been achieved.


Approximately 7% of all CFA (chartered financial analysts) charterholders work as consultants. They offer an external and personalized view of the organization’s practices, changes and deal with crucial monetary decisions related to savings, investment, or insurance. Their skillset includes business valuation, financial investigations, and identifying methods to increase shareholder profitability.

Portfolio Manager

Over 5% of chartered financial analysts are employed as portfolio managers. Portfolio managers facilitate the purchase and sale of assets constantly. Effective asset sale requires interaction with clients, analysts, and researchers to remain up to date with the market trends. An extraordinary portfolio leader can see past the surface and settle on educated choices for their customers because of insightful expertise.

Risk Managers

Risk is an inevitable aspect of every flourishing business. To grow and earn greater profits, a certain amount of acceptable risk is continuously undertaken to achieve and excel in organizational goals. 5% of charterholders have the job role of a financial risk manager, a role that identifies potential monetary risks that the organization could face in the near future and helps highlight risks that can be converted into prospective opportunities.

Chief-Level Executive

Top-level executives are the most imperative and influential individuals in an organization and branch into CEO, COO & CFO. Being the apex of the organization, the significant choices that they finalize, drive the accomplishment of strategic, tactical, and operational goals contingent upon the organization’s structure and market.

Relationship Manager

Networking is crucial for effective business management. A relationship manager offers both a financial and humanistic aspect which is imperative during mergers, acquisitions, or other business relations. The relationship manager also prevents or rather limits the extent of unpredictability by constantly assessing the current financial status and elements that impact it. 5% of CFA (chartered financial analysts) work as Relationship Managers.

Financial Advisor

Advisors are usually known for being the go-to professionals that assist customers with speculations, assess laws, and take insurance decisions. They help individuals formulate short and long-term objectives, and additionally a budgeting framework that helps them accomplish their financial goals. Some of the advisors also make investments for their clients and provide levy assistance.

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