It’s no secret that while some of us enter the CFA program simply to challenge themselves (5% according to the most recent CFA institute survey), a far higher portion to it for career advancement. For most of us, that means finding a new job. If you had decided to do the CPA for example, your next step would be a very clear one. On the other hand, MBA graduates have a very broad opportunity in front of them. Somewhere in the middle there lie CFA candidates. They will sometimes end up working in the corporate finance departments of large companies no matter what the field but I think it’s fair to say that in the vast majority of cases, CFA charter holders end up working in the financial industry.
In most cases, we end up working for buy side companies such as:
-investment companies & mutual funds
What type of jobs? I would say that these are the most common jobs for CFA holders:
-analyst (research analyst for example)
All of these can be done for equity, fixed income, foreign exchange, private equity, etc. There really is no limitation there. The most important part is trying to figure out where you’d like to end up working by reading about those places, meeting with current and former employees, etc.
Using Your CFA Title To Your Advantage
Once you hold the CFA charter, you will be part of a local affiliation. This should help you get in contact with some well positioned individuals that can guide you. They might not give you that dream job right away but over time, they might provide you with valuable contacts and tips. Most local chapters also have job boards which will have jobs that would normally make a lot of sense for you to register for.