CFA job opportunities abroad, Salary, Top companies, etc.

You are done with your CFA program and now are wondering about future CFA job opportunities?

Who am I kidding! 

Most of you reading this are probably in the middle of the program, or about to give their first CFA level-1 exam! Aren’t you?

(if there are any of you still wondering about their future career, give this one a read)

But it’s a good thing to be so forward-minded. (lol!)

In any case, here I will be expanding upon all the information regarding the queries going through your mind.

We’ll be covering various topics. The countries that recognize CFA designation, the job domains available, CFA jobs abroad, and most importantly, (face it, that’s why you all are here), the pay package!

Let’s first establish something though.

Once you have attained the CFA charter, you are now a member of one of the most prominent societies of investment professionals.

The CFA charter is also a very powerful tool to boost your career and help you climb fast up the corporate ladder.

In terms of opportunities, the CFA charter unlocks powerful job opportunities in a lot of countries outside.

(a very important reason people do this program is to go for CFA jobs abroad)

Countries where you can apply for jobs after the CFA charter

Once you become a CFA charter holder, you will have access to the CFA’s institute global career network which you can tap into to fulfill your job requirements. 

You can thus interact with that vast network and apply for CFA jobs abroad.

The USA is the home country of the CFA institute, thus the CFA charter is greatly recognized in the states and the job opportunities are immense.

Similarly, in countries like UAE, and Hong Kong, the CFA designation is valued considerably and you can fairly expect to land a great paying job in such countries.

As a thumb rule, USA and Canada are considered the best possible countries to pursue your after CFA career.

Here’s a list of the countries with the most volume of CAs. (list shown is an estimate based on previous year census)

  • China 
  • USA  
  • India 
  • Canada 
  • UK 
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong 
  • Singapore
  • South Africa 
  • UAE

All said and done, you still need a CFA qualification to achieve all of the above.

CFA career opportunities and paths

Before holding the CFA charter, and moving forward in your professional career, you would need to build a particular skill set.

In a general way, if you clear your CFA program, you might have already aced all of those required skills.

CFA level-1,2 and 3 exams ensure that you are adept and well informed on the following topics:

  • Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Equity Investments
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative Investments
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

Once you have a strong grip on all of the above, you can move forward with your CFA charter to apply for jobs.

While there are immense job opportunities after going through with the CFA charter, it is important for individuals to have a clear idea of the core field they will be getting into, post their CFA.

According to some previous years consensus average, 

the following pie chart accurately describes how different CFA candidates apply for jobs and in which domains:

CFA job opportunities

It is to be noted, that this data is based only on 70% of the total CFA population of the world who are employed in some job or other.

There are many CFAs who start out on their own ventures or continue studying.

What kind of salary can a CFA expect?

In any profession, when you gain enough experience, you filter yourself out from the competition. This leads to a natural increase in your worth, and consequently your paycheck.

A fresher CFA in India could expect anywhere between 4 to 10 LPA. 5 to 10 years of experience can easily double those figures.

The figures might be more appealing in countries abroad.

For ex: in the United States, a CFA can earn anywhere between $64,000 and $2,50,000.

For one thing, it depends on a lot of factors such as Industry conditions, Globalization, Unemployment, and Demand in a particular area.

How can you get CFA job opportunities abroad?

For all of you day-dreamers who want to know about the career opportunities before even attempting the CFA exams, (I know who you are! 😉 )

Here’s how you can pursue your professional careers in a country that you can’t call your home. (just kidding!)

  • Complete the necessary requirements before you can apply for the CFA charter, which includes, clearing those monstrous CFA level-1,2, and 3 exams, having an undergraduate degree or having completed 4000 hours of work experience.
  • Apply for the CFA charter, and acquire it.
  • Show off that charter to everyone and anyone. Market it as much as you can. Put it on Linkedin, Instagram, even Tinder if you are feeling creative.
  • Build a well-packed resume and highlight all the important details associated with it, including the fact that you hold a CFA charter).
  • Join a gang. (I mean join your local CFA chapter).
  • Login to the CFA institute official website, go-to career resource, “jobline” and from there you can track, and apply for jobs all over the world. (almost, I mean all over the world in countries that RECOGNISE the CFA designation)
  • Alternatively, you can just interact and network through your local CFA chapter, and apply for job postings that you find there.
  • Use the conventional methods of newsletters, job portals, and other normie stuff. ( you can apply for job portals of other countries too.

CFA job opportunities in some of the world’s top companies

When you are CFA institute certified, you essentially become part of a group of the most trusted investment professionals in the world.

While you will definitely have an abundance of jobs after obtaining the CFA charter.

You might actually aim to get placed in some or other so-called “dream companies”

Some of the top companies that require the services of CFAs are:

  • JP Morgan Chase- One of the oldest financial institutions in the US, it has often been awarded as one of the best places for employees to work. It is a great place for you to work, learn and grow your skillset.
  • HSBC- a British multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC is a great place for students to start off their careers in the banking and financial sectors.
  • Morgan Stanley- American MNC headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. It operates in 42 countries and has a network of 60000 employees.
  • Ernst & Young- One of the big 4 audit firms in the world, it is a financial MNC headquartered in London and is one of the most coveted firms by students all over the world.
  • RBC- Canada’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest banks according to market cap. It also boasts of being recognized as one of the best workplaces in India.

Apart from this, there are various other companies such as UBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CitiGroup, etc. Some of these are the dream companies of many finance-related job seekers and often have open positions for CFAs.

In the end, there is an abundance of job opportunities once you have obtained your CFA charter.

In fact, even if you have cleared a single level of the CFA exam, you still get an edge over 70% of job seekers while applying for a financial investment profile.

Thus, if you truly have a passion for becoming an investment professional, then aim for the CFA charter, and bring forth devastation in the corporate world.

This informational piece was produced in association with Jobaaj Learnings.

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