Climbing the career ladder in the finance industry entails scaling all the rungs that will ultimately enable you to reach the pinnacle. These steps come in the form of things you have to do to complete one level of accomplishment at a time until you achieve all your career goals. These requirements include gaining as much relevant experience as possible, attending training programs and events, networking, working with a mentor or coach, and obtaining the right qualifications. To meet these requirements, you need to make a plan and choose the right options and pathways. This is particularly important when selecting the training programs you want to undertake and the qualifications you wish to obtain. In the field of finance, there are various professional qualifications you can choose from. If you are having a difficult time selecting which one to acquire first, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) by completing a CFA course and passing the CFA exams is a good idea. The entire process of obtaining a CFA qualification equips you with vital knowledge and skills to thrive and advance in the highly competitive finance industry. Becoming a CFA charterholder entails passing three exams and levels and completing the relevant work experience requirements. When you hold this designation, you can take up various senior and executive positions in finance, investment, asset, and risk management. Benefits of Acquiring a CFA Charter Becoming a CFA charterholder can help you climb the career ladder and your professional goals since you can experience these benefits: 1. It broadens your knowledge in finance and investment. CFA courses are designed to cover everything directly or indirectly relevant to finance and investment. This is because the CFA exams cover three levels and a wide range of topics. These include financial accounting and inclusion, corporate finance, economics, alternative investments, ethics, and professional standards. If you are new to the world of finance and investment, you can gain all the knowledge and skills you need to be thoroughly introduced to this field. If you are already a finance professional, you can broaden and update your knowledge and skill set. These benefits ensure you acquire all the information necessary for passing the exams. And once you get the certification for the level you are aiming for, you show that you have a good, solid knowledge and credential in finance and investment. 2. It improves your career prospects. Although being a CFA charter holder is not a guarantee that you’ll land your dream job, it will boost your CV and professional credentials and open more career opportunities for you. As mentioned, earning this qualification demonstrates your strong work ethic, analytical thinking abilities, and other skills that make you a good job candidate. These are characteristics that many employers are looking for in the employees they want to hire. Many investment companies, including those specializing in mutual and pension funds and insurance, prefer CFA qualifications over MBAs. This credential can give you a leg up when you want to get a job in these firms. Moreover, the CFA Institute says that many of the world’s biggest and top companies prefer applicants who are CFA charterholders. These include JPMorgan Chase, UBS Group, HSBC Holdings, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Wells Fargo and Company. If you have always dreamed of working for any of these well-known companies, you can boost your chances by obtaining your CFA qualification. 3. It helps you get higher compensation packages. A CFA qualification is one of the primary factors that can influence the job offers and salary increases you will receive. According to a study, finance professionals with CFA qualifications experience a pay increase based on the level they completed. Those with a Level 1 qualification saw a 29% salary increase, while those who passed Level 2 got a 34% pay raise. Meanwhile, those with a Level 3 qualification saw a 53% salary increase. And since finance and investment professionals are likely to hold high positions, such as portfolio manager, financial planner, and corporate financial analyst, getting one of these jobs helps ensure you are offered an attractive salary and employment package. 4. It is a globally recognized professional qualification. The CFA appellation is one of the most recognized financial professional qualifications in the world. This designation is acknowledged by various regulators, universities, and certification programs in over 165 countries across the world. Since it is a globally recognized qualification, CFA charterholders can experience international career mobility. Whether you want to work in Europe, North America, or Asia, you will have the edge over your competitors. Moreover, CFAs and CFA societies are present in all major cities around the world. This gives you an unmatched network you can leverage for your career advancement. 5. It allows you to bypass some licensing requirements. Since the CFA qualification is recognized globally, several countries waive some or all of the licensure requirements for finance professionals, particularly those in the field of investment and trading. Due to this reason, you can work in certain countries as a licensed finance and investment professional without the need to pass some regulatory requirements. Moreover, if you’re thinking of pursuing graduate education in finance, banking, or investment, you might be able to skip the GMAT entrance exam and other courses if you are currently enrolled in or have completed the CFA program. Your CFA designations can also help you earn other professional qualifications. You might be able to leverage your status as a charterholder to waive exams, continuing education, and work experience requirements for certain programs. 6. It is a prestigious designation in finance and investment. In the finance and investment industry, there is no other designation more significant and renowned than the CFA. Passing all three exam levels of the CFA and acquiring the qualification puts you on the radar for prestigious jobs in various companies worldwide. If you are a research analyst or asset manager or aiming to be one, this designation can give you incomparable value. A CFA qualification can give you an edge as you diversify and climb the ladder of success in portfolio management, financial advisory, and private banking. If you are an auditor or lawyer, or you’re chosen accountancy as a career, you can also benefit from the prestigious CFA qualification. Completing the courses and levels can help broaden and update your knowledge and skills and allow you to stand out from your peers and the competition. Becoming a CFA charterholder can give you access to more opportunities in finance and investment. Completing the courses and exams is one of the best decisions you can make to achieve success in this field.