CFA Career Paths and Jobs - FinTree India

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CFA Career Paths and Jobs

The CFA Program is a programme that gives you a strong foundation in the real-world of investment analysis and portfolio management. You obtain relevant skills and knowledge that you will need in the current financial industry. It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards.

The CFA Program equips you with the practical and fundamental knowledge you need for a wide variety of career choices in the investment profession. CFA professionals find that earning the CFA certification provides them with a global passport for working in numerous investment specialties and markets across the globe. It can provide them with leverage to change specialties as their careers evolve.

Career Paths and Jobs Roles for CFA Candidates

Employers appreciate the CFA qualification for positions and responsibilities in every area of the global financial industry, including portfolio management, private wealth, and consultancy. It is widely regarded as the pinnacle of professional growth in investment management. The CFA charter, on the other hand, gives professionals the flexibility to pursue their careers in a wide variety of ways

Listed below are a few of the many careers a CFA Candidate can explore:

Investment Banker

To manage their operations, every company or organisation in the world requires capital. An investment banker assists customers in raising capital for their business. They also use various valuation methods, make recommendations for product offerings, private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, build relationships with new and existing clients to expand the business and raise capital, review materials used in client financing, and perform due diligence.

They need strong financial abilities and a thorough understanding of financial principles, as well as sales ability to raise funds. This is why India has a high demand for CFAs.

Key Skills requiredQualificationsExpected Salary
Quantitative and financial skills.   Tenacity, persuasiveness, networking, and communication skills.   The ability to perform a valuation on the spot.  Organizations typically look for Investment Bankers with a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.   Continuing education, such as pursuing a CFA credential, can help you stand out in the job field.A CFA Candidate in India with an experience of 1 to 4 years can earn an average of INR 8 to 10 lakhs which increases with experience.   The average annual base salary in the US ranges from $54,000 to $210,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $101,407.

Risk Manager

A Risk Manager is responsible to predict and manage the risks that a firm faces or might face in the future. Their analyses determine the potential loss and the amount of investment exposed. They manage and regulate risk-related components of the business. They’re in charge of running liability programs, collecting risk data, and reducing risks as necessary.


They are in charge of planning and directing the risk management programme, as well as perform analysis and research to address issues about procedures, risk, and control data. CFA job opportunities in India includes the position of the risk manager as it requires certain skills and knowledge that the CFA program teaches you.

Key Skills for Risk ManagerQualificationsSalary Expectations
  Negotiation and diplomacy   Impeccable quantitative and numerical skills   Sharp analytical mind   Excellent Communication    Organizations typically look for Risk Managers with a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.   Continuing education, such as pursuing a CFA credential, FRM also helps.  A CFA Candidate in India with an experience of 1 to 4 years can earn an average of INR 10 lakhs which can increase with experience.   The average annual base salary of a risk manager in the US ranges from $57,000 to $131,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $87,840.  

Portfolio Manager

A portfolio manager is in charge of making investment decisions for individuals and institutions. He/she is also responsible for formulating and implementing investment strategies, overseeing and regulating day-to-day portfolio management operations. Portfolio Managers either implement active strategies or passive strategies.

An active strategy is one where the manager is constantly required to track the securities and change the allocation of funds as required in order to beat the market returns. A passive strategy is one where the manager is not trying to beat the market but simply achieve returns equivalent to the market.

The ability to originate ideas, as well as excellent research skills, are the two skills that make the portfolio manager stand out in his or her career.

Key Skills for Portfolio ManagerQualificationsSalary Expectations
Investment strategy and process Portfolio construction and execution Performance measurement and risk managementA Portfolio Manager will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, though Master’s degree requirements are becoming more common.   Employers also frequently give priority to candidates with the CFA designation.A CFA Candidate in India with can earn an average of INR 6.50 LPA.   The average annual base salary of a portfolio manager in the US ranges from $54,000 – $146,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $87,791.

Market Research Analyst

A market research analyst monitors and analyses data from many sources regarding current and potential market needs for various goods in order to create results that are then delivered to a customer.

They could also have to provide suggestions depending on what they’ve observed. Public and private sector companies, as well as charities and not-for-profit groups, hire market research analysts. They can also work as a consultant or freelancer. For the position, a finance degree or completion of CFA with a bachelor’s degree is necessary.

Key Skills for Research AnalystQualificationsSalary Expectations
Data Analysis   Financial Analysis   Financial Modelling   Valuation   Monitoring the progress of data collection  A Research Analyst will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.   Employers also frequently give priority to candidates with the CFA designation, also a MBA in marketing might helpA CFA in India as a Market Research Analyst can earn an average of INR 9.35 lakhs which can increase with the experience.   The average annual base salary of an investment banker in the US ranges from $54,000 – $210,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $101,407.

Investment Strategist

Strategists are employed in a number of positions within the investment sector. Executive-level positions involved in strategy activities ranging from creating broad investment strategy or delivering tactical market analysis to more closely focused research jobs in specific asset classes, investing styles, products, or local and regional markets, among other applications.

Key Skills for Investment StrategistQualificationsSalary Expectations
Analytical & problem-solving skills Project management Interpersonal skills Presentation skills  An Investment Strategist will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.    Employers also frequently give priority to candidates with the CFA designation.A CFA in India as investment strategists reported a typical total compensation of INR 11.95 Lakhs.   The average annual base salary of an investment strategist in the US ranges from $56,000 – $150,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $96,567.

Forex Analyst

The global currency market is certainly fascinating. Currency analysts, often known as currency researchers or currency strategists, are those who work in the forex market. To analyse the pattern of currency movement, these specialists generally utilise technical, fundamental, and other quantitative approaches.

They usually provide their research in the form of market commentary or intraday calls, and they assist both individual and institutional investors in hedging their currency risk. Due to the unpredictable nature of the forex markets, analysts must be swift with their observations. To become a skilled forex analyst, you must have a solid understanding of the global economy and strong numerical skills.

Key Skills for Forex AnalystQualificationsSalary Expectations
Analytical & Mathematical skills Discipline Fundamental understanding of Forex  A Forex Analyst will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. He/she must be well-versed in economics and international finance.A CFA in India as Forex Analyst can earn an average of INR 7.5 Lakhs which can increase with the experience.   The average annual base salary of a forex analyst in the US ranges from $48,000 – $119,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $81,512.

Fintech

Fintech (Financial Technology) is the newest buzzword among finance professionals, as businesses race to harness the untapped potential of technology in finance. Fintech is one of the trendiest industries in finance right now. Master Card, American Express, and Barclays are just a few of the companies that are hiring CFAs with big data experience. Lloyds Bank and Rabobank are two such firms in India that provide similar positions. The CFA Institute has acknowledged that this is the era of Bitcoins, Blockchains, and Robo-advisers. As the institute is not one to lag behind the market requirements, in 2019, the institute included big data as part of its curriculum. With that, demand for CFAs in fintech businesses, both established and start-up ventures, would definitely see an increase.

Key Skills for FintechQualificationsSalary Expectations
Analytical skills Knowledge of AI Multitasking Cybersecurity Knowledge Coding skills  A Fintech Professional will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.   Employers also frequently give priority to candidates with the CFA designation.A CFA in India as Fintech can earn an average of INR 8.5 Lakhs which can increase with the experience.   The average annual base salary of an investment banker in the US ranges from $40,000 – $213,000, based on the candidate’s work experience, and averages at $113,359.

Taking the less travelled path

If none of the above options appease you, you may want to read on a little more.

  • Education as a profession. The first thing that one must know about teaching as a profession is that teaching is about inspiring and motivating students to realize and exceed their potentials.
  • Consultancy, working closely with clients and other professionals to add value to their investment portfolios by providing research driven investment solutions that address their specific needs.

There are also plenty of other jobs that require CFAs to be sharp. Going off the traditional road is frequently dangerous, but the payoff is often worth the risk. So take a careful look at the job market; you never know which latent profile may arise as the next great challenge for CFA charter holders in the future.

Have you desired to understand the key competencies that you would need for a job in the finance industry? Do you wish to know how you can be more competent in your current job role? The CFA Institute has developed a framework that can answer these questions. You can see the framework developed by them that will help you understand this better – CFA institute competency framework The CFA Institute has a platform to assist candidates with careers. This is available at CFA Careers.