Money is the lifeblood of the global industry, commerce, and government.
So, it is logical that there will always be a strong demand for financial advisors, intermediaries and analysts. Especially ones with the universally respected status of CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). Interestingly, technology has automated and streamlined many of the more mundane processes of managing financial data and extracting business intel. Leaving exciting and dynamic advisory opportunities for anyone with an interest in the financial industry.
You could say that financial analysts have come out of side offices, and into boardrooms and executive committees. As their forensic, real-time and predictive analysis abilities are now central to much of everyday business decision-making. Alongside the increased significance of qualified CFAs, what are the other benefits of working in the financial industry?
There is a diverse range of career paths available
Mention has been made of how financial analysts are influencing business planning more than ever. However, you don’t need to work in-house doing corporate finance or financial planning of course. There are a range of career paths available for CFA charterholders, including positions with some of the most famous investment banks and financial services companies that span international boundaries. Companies at the heart of economic trends and activities worldwide. Or, set your sights on joining a smaller, closer team working within investment banking, managing private equity, or carrying out risk management projects.
Transferable knowledge and skills to gain
All organisations depend on good financial management, but also on the ability to create strong plans based on accurate projections. This means once you are a CFA charterholder, you have a set of skills relevant to multiple sectors of industry and commerce. Or, within healthcare, life sciences, government and charity and non-profits for example. There is nothing to stop you from getting a broad breadth of experience, and then starting your own financial company too!
Opportunities for co-working, joint projects and networking
Working in a financial role is likely to bring you into contact with a diverse range of business people, beyond the decision-makers at your own company. You may enjoy a consultancy position, and support various types and sizes of clients. Or you could end up negotiating with suppliers, for example. CFAs are often part of large multi-company project teams too and conduct networking activities to gather new business intel.
A global jobs marketplace at your fingertips
The choice of jobs in the financial industry runs alongside options to go overseas to take up prime posts. New York is still widely held to be the top spot for pursuing a career in finance and leads the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). London is a close second, but you may be surprised to know that Shanghai and other Asian finance centres are opening up and becoming powerful world forces. Statista also outlines other recent leading financial centers globally, such as Zurich, Vancouver, and San Francisco. Your opportunities to travel in financial posts certainly now include some of the most exciting emerging economies in the world, where your skills will be warmly embraced.
Rewarding salaries and benefits
With such a rich diversity of opportunities – and a pivotal role in a lot of business development and growth activities – the career rewards are excellent. Once you have CFA qualifications and solid experience, you can pick and choose posts according to salary, benefits and perks such as international business travel opportunities. You can also expect to be of interest to headhunters, tasked with finding the best financial analysts.
Clear path to qualifying as a CFA
With so much to commend a career as a financial analyst, the ultimate question is how easy is it to become a CFA Charterholder? There are multiple stages of exams to complete, as well as work based requirements. While passing the exams isn’t a walk in the park for most people, there are plenty of online resources available which can make working towards and passing your CFA exams straightforward and surprisingly affordable, as well as plenty of guidance and resources from people who have successfully completed this process, providing you with the best possible chance of successfully launching your financial industry career.