CFA Course

CFA Course

Do you want to pursue a career in Finance and its allied specialisations? Are you good with numbers and calculations and have a varied set of management and problem-solving skills? Rather than opting for the same old conventional fields, there is a varied range of specialised career domains in Finance that you can choose from. One such prospect is a CFA course which is increasingly becoming popular amongst those wanting to earn professional degrees in Finance. Amongst the toughest exams in the world, CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst which is an internationally recognised credential and is one of the most sought-after professions amongst the graduates of Finance and Investment. Through this blog, we aim to explore the key features of the CFA course along with highlighting the different exams you need to qualify and the job opportunities you can avail.

What is the CFA Course?

Offered by the CFA Institute, this course focuses on several facets of Finance and Management along with integrating the essential knowledge of the discipline of Investment. It works towards honing your analytical abilities and provides you with an understanding of how you can navigate ethical problems in the investment industry. Studying the CFA course, you will also gain valuable insights into the workings of the finance and investment sector and it will equip you with the right skills required in handling real-life problems and complex situations in this dynamic domain. This program is immensely beneficial for those aspiring for a career in banking or financial services.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to pursue the CFA course, there are some prerequisites specified by the CFA institute that you need to fulfil. These eligibility requirements are elaborated below.

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in a Finance related field as the institutes strives for candidates with the foundational knowledge of the Banking, Finance and Investment industry which is further polished through the CFA course.
  • You must have a proven work experience of at least four years in a Finance-related career profile.
  • Reference Letters: As over 150,000 people from more than 165 countries are registered charter holders, the competition for the CFA course is rigid. Hence to establish your credibility, you would need to submit reference letters from more than two reputed and established professionals working in your field.

Related Read: How to Pursue CA After Graduation

CFA Course: The Process

The CFA course is bifurcated into three levels of exams which you need to clear into order to attain the professional credential. Every level of CFA tests the candidates on different aspects encompassing the disciplines of Finance and Investment. To help you understand the process of this course, we have detailed the three levels of CFA below:

Level I

The first level of the examination would test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of financial investment and its various tools and techniques. Here is a table enlisting the key features for the Level I of the CFA course:  

Structure of the Exam  240 Questions
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions: 
1. Morning Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Multiple Choice 
Declaration of Result  Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Once the candidate has fulfilled
the enrollment requirements for the next level  
Rate of Level completion   43%

Level II

This level of the CFA course examines a candidate’s knowledge about the applications of case studies in Finance and Investment as well as the essential aspects pertaining to facilitating asset valuation. Check out the exam pattern for this level described in the following table:

Structure of the Exam  120 (supported by 20-30 vignettes) 
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 60 questions
supported by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 60 questions supported
by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Multiple Choice
Declaration of Result  Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Passing of Level 1 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion   45% 

Level III

As the levels go up, the CFA course demand candidates to demonstrate the synthesis and evaluation in terms of portfolio management. Let’s take a look at what the final level of this exam entails which is detailed in the table below:

Structure of the Exam  A varied number of questions constructed
around 20-30 specific case studies
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 8-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session: 10-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Vignette-based Multiple Choice Questions and
Constructed Response Questions 
Declaration of Result  Within 90 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Passing of Level 2 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion   56% 

Career Prospects 

For a professional working in the Finance sector, the CFA course can play an incremental role in enhancing their resume and polishing their skills and expertise. As it is a prestigious program, it has inculcated the coursework of plentiful finance programs offered by popular and reputed universities like New York University, University of Oxford’s Saiid Business School and INSEAD amongst other institutions. Earning your credential as a certified Chartered Financial Analyst, you can explore a varied range of career profiles including,

  • Research Analyst 
  • Corporate Financial Analyst 
  • Portfolios Manager 
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Relationship Manager 
  • Financial Strategist 

Also Read: 

If the CFA course appeals to you with the colossal exposure it offers but you are confused about how it can benefit your career or how you can effectively prepare for this examination, then reach out to our team of experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide you in sorting out your interests and aspirations along with connecting you with suitable mentors that can help you prepare for this exam and attain this globally recognised credential to advance in your career.

to know more about the CFA course, or Institue and the program they run, you may also read about it from the website of the CFA Institute.

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