The Real Value of the CFA Charter
The demand for CFA in UAE has seen an exponential rise over the past decade. Attaining a CFA Charter is considered a key indicator of solid financial knowledge and can often be observed as a crucial decision-making criterion by employers when hiring for various roles within the finance industry.
While CFA has always been much coveted and sought after in the arena of professional development, the demand for it has only increased in the last few years due to the alarmingly low pass rates. The low pass rates make the qualification a worthy and exclusive achievement in the finance industry especially among early to mid-career professionals.
However, it is also no secret that working towards earning this qualification is a challenging task. It requires an average of 900 hours of total study time from aspirants and intense dedication despite which most candidates are met with disappointment in their attempts with a pass rate as low as about 22%.
These statistics often lead aspirants to question the overall value of CFA, opting for the CFA classes and whether or not it is truly worth pursuing. Here is a compilation of the key-value additions that CFA offers to help you understand the true worth of the qualification and assist you in making your decision with better awareness.
A boost in salary is perhaps the most commonly known and often mistaken as the only perk to come with the CFA Charter.
According to the CFA Institute’s 2019 survey, CFA salaries are 40% more than their peers and roughly 25% more than MBA holders annually. Therefore, when compensation is the criteria for deciding among aspirants between CFA vs MBA, the former stands at a clear advantage.
The CFA Charterholders enjoy a very high international career mobility. There is little relevance or emphasis paid on the fact where they have attained the charter since it’s a standard form of professional development recognized by employers and countries around the world.
Also, when seeking employment, CFA Charterholders have a higher chance of securing placements since employers across the world acknowledge the dedication and efforts that are involved in earning the charter.
The CFA also has proven to be a very good return on investment, especially when pitched against an MBA degree. While an average MBA may require you to shell out an average of $180,000 and two years of time to pursue the full-time degree, a CFA charter can be attained within a comparatively affordable range of $2500 to $8000.
It is also important to note that most professionals who choose to pursue the CFA qualification, continue their jobs full-time and therefore it does not pose a hindrance to their careers.
In addition, the CFA Institute also presents scholarship opportunities to aspiring candidates who need financial assistance that includes an enrollment fee waiver and a significant discount on registration costs.
With an impressively wide global network of more than 170,000 members, the CFA Institute offers exclusive opportunities to its Charterholders to connect and engage in member-only events. CFA networking is often seen to be highly effective among job-seekers in the industry.
Regional and local CFA societies regularly organize invitation-based meets to expand professional networks and educational seminars thereby enhancing the scope for continued professional development.
Those professionals who make it through the rather difficult journey of taking the exams and becoming certified Charterholders reap attractive rewards for their hard work. Based on the CFA employment statistics for the period ranging from 2015-2019, it was observed that the number of CFAs hired by the top 10 companies significantly increased year after year. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley depicted the most consistent growth by hiring over 13% more CFAs annually.
It is also commonly observed in the recent hiring trends that employers tend to have a higher regard for CFA applicants since they acknowledge the potential employee’s dedication, hard work, and commitment to personal growth, therefore, making them an attractive prospect to contribute to a firm’s success.
Ultimately, all these factors associated with the CFA qualification empower professionals to significantly boost their careers and open more opportunities for future success! The choice is yours to make, and if you are looking to enroll in CFA course in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or anywhere in the Middle East, contact Kaplan Professional to know how we can help you!