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Is The CFA Only For Finance Graduates?

[1]I’ve heard the question quite often by people who have studied as an engineer or in math or physics and are intrigued about making a career move. The fact is that the financial industry, now more than ever, needs specialists in all kinds of domains. Candidates that are primarily math or physics graduates form a growing portion of the workforce. Why? Because it has become more complex and there is so much at stake that getting the brightest minds is the top priority rather than actually getting someone who knows about the markets in depth. Also, these candidates generally add a fresh and different perspective on things.

Why Finance?

I think finance is such a dynamic industry and so much is to be learned that it attracts a lot of bright minds looking for a big challenge. As well, performance is generally well paid given the stakes which can be a good incentive for many candidates.

Why Do The CFA?

If you did not study finance, you might still be considering working in finance. If that is the case, doing the exam will serve a few purposes:

-Give you a better idea of your interest for the field
-Get knowledge that will be helpful in interviews but also in your eventual job
-Proof to eventual employers that you know what you are getting into: Often, candidates from other fields want to get jobs on Wall Street or in the financial industry but it can be difficult for employers to trust that they know what they’re getting into, that they will be interested and dedicated. The CFA is a great way to improve your chances.

Will It All Be Useful?

One of the problems with doing the exam is that chances are that you want to work in a specific segment such as trading or research. Doing the CFA goes well beyond that and you might sometimes feel like you are learning useless stuff. In a way it is true. But in another, chances are good that at some point some of those things will come in handy.

Do I Need Some Financial Background?

You might think that you’d need to have studied finance for some time before attempting to do the CFA. Fortunately, that is not really the case.The CFA material is very broad and most candidates can learn the basics from the material itself. There are very few assumptions that you should know going in. There might be a few things that you will need help with but overall, you’ll be more than fine if you put in the time and effort.

How To Know If It’s For Me

I think one good way would be taking a look at the scope of what is covered in the CFA material. Does that interest you?